How Indian Music Experience transforms music heritage into a living, interactive experienceMadanmohan Rao
In this two-part photo essay, we feature the stunning galleries and interactive exhibits in India’s first experiential museum on music.
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The Indian Music Experience (IME), India’s first interactive music museum, is now open to the public after a nine-year journey of research and design. Supported by the Brigade Group, IME aims to increase the understanding and appreciation of India's musical diversity. It is conceptualised as a living museum, and goes beyond documentation to interactive exploration and community activities.
Spread across 50,000 square feet, the four-storey museum at Brigade Millennium in JP Nagar, Bengaluru is packed with interactive exhibits showcasing music ranging from folk and classical to indie and film – along with devotional, jazz, world, folk dance, and rock.
In Part II of our photo essay, we feature insights from Manasi Prasad, Museum Director. The director for outreach is Suma Sudhindra, and the board of advisors includes Dr L Subramaniam (violin maestro), N Murali (President, Madras Music Academy) and V Shankar (President, Shanmukhananda Fine Arts, Mumbai).
Visitors and music aficionados can easily spend hours browsing through the eight galleries of stunning installations, exploring iconic songs, and even creating their own tracks in a recording studio. The exhibits evoke a strong sense of wonder, pride and delight, and will appeal to musicians as well, from India and overseas. There is an outdoor sound garden with percussion instruments, along with a performance theatre, seminar hall, and classrooms.
Highlights showcased in this photo essay include the awe-inspiring two-storeyed ‘music wall’ decorated with over a hundred Indian instruments, displays explaining the genres, puppets, songs from the freedom movement, iconic Bollywood scores, and even auto-rickshaws with interactive kiosks.
Other attractions are the gallery in the recording industry, a panorama of music stars, the merchandise store, and the interactive instruments in the outdoor Sound Garden (particularly the humming and singing stones). There are a range of chimes, gongs, xylophones, and melodic railings, along with an outdoor café.
The inspiration for IME comes from Seattle’s Experience Music Project, which is founded by Paul Allen, also the co-founder of Microsoft. The design was put together by Gallagher and Associates, who also helped create the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The Sound Garden was co-created by Svaram, along with designer Michael Foley.
IME also hosts events and workshops on shadow storytelling, children’s music, and percussion. Donors can contribute to the experiential museum in slabs ranging from Rs 10,000 (for an engraved metal brick) to Rs. 1 lakh and beyond.
Now, what have you done today to stimulate your soul with the endless and inspiring joy of music, and contribute to promoting its living heritage?
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