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It takes years of fastidious sifting through crates to build a collection of records having some musical value. But to Sunny Mathew in Plassanal, Kerala, hording records for private listening seemed less legitimate a way of documenting the country’s sonic culture.
Along with Dr. Suresh Chandvankar, a researcher on India’s music playback history, he established Sunny’s Gramophone Museum & Records Archive – India’s only academy on records and record players. It enters its 3rd year of operations on 25th January.
Home to over 150,000 records, and 250 gramophones of varying pedigree, the museum is every music lover’s handbook. Each piece on display is impeccably preserved and comes with its original label. A demonstration of the curator’s intent of recounting India’s accurate audio history.
Good news for enthusiasts - a 2-day seminar is being held in the museum on its 3rd anniversary. Private record collectors and researchers from all over the world are expected at the conclave. The focus – “saving for posterity” – drawing the next steps in preserving audio-visual recordings for the future. For more details on how to register for the seminar, visit http://www.sunnysgramophonemuseum.com
Dr. Suresh Chandvankar, Secretary of Society of Indian Record Collectors, Bombay
He is the record man of India today. A retired faculty of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Dr. Suresh Chandvankar now occupies himself with building a library on India’s journey through microgrooves. His annual publication - The Record News, which is in its 26th year of circulation, is a definitive guide on rare Indian sound recordings and record players.
Dr. Tommy Puthenangady, K.U.M.A., Kochi
Dr. Puthenangady is at the helm of nurturing creative aspirations of the Malayalee youth in Kerala. His Kalabhavan Universal Media Academy has groomed countless professionals for the media fraternity.
Sunny Mathew, Discs & Machines,
The curator of Sunny’s Gramophone Museum & Records Archive, and a long time associate of Dr. Suresh Chandvankar, Mr. Mathew gives legitimacy to an audiophile’s obsession for details. His most prized possession is his collection of early 1900’s South Indian recordings on shellac records. However, he considers himself more of a researcher than a collector.