“The performing arts teach us to create, communicate and collaborate. India has the most diverse musical culture in the entire world, and the museum celebrates this.” said Ms. Manasi Prasad, Museum director and classical vocalist 

After 9 years since the conceptualization of the idea, The Indian Music Experience, finally fully opened its doors to the public on 27th July 2019. The first of its kind in Asia, this interactive museum aims to educate the visitors about the diversity of Indian music – traditional and contemporary. It was established with a vision of “preserving the musical heritage of India, developing a better understanding and appreciation of Indian music and documenting the history of music in India for the future generations.”

The initiative is brought about by Indian Music Experience Trust which is a non-profit supported by the Brigade Group. MR Jaishankar, who is the MD and Chairman of the Brigade Group, is also the founder of IME. IME was also supported by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, Government of Karnataka, several other corporates and philanthropists.

“IME is our way of connecting with the community and preserving the vast musical heritage of our country and helping people know more. We have great exhibits and interactive elements to inspire a new generation. It is our way of giving back to the society, encouraging the next generation of music lovers and documenting music history for the future generations,” MR Jayashankar, talking to Metrolife

Contemporary Exhibition at IME

The Architecture and Planning

The building is designed by Bengaluru-based Architecture Paradigm, while the exhibits have been designed by the world-renowned Gallagher & associates, who have previously conceptualised the Grammy Museum in LA and also the Woodstock museum in New York. The IME is modelled around the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle.

The IME aims to be an all-inclusive venue with special privileges for various people. In a programme headed by Suma Sudhindra – founder of Bangalore International Arts Festival – the establishment aims to reach out to underprivileged children. The children get free entry and there is special care given to differently-abled children. IME is also open to schools and conducts tours people who are visually or hearing impaired.

There are about 9 different spaces including an instrument gallery, performance venues, learning spaces, interactive installations, sound garden, seminar halls and more. The museum spans 50,000 sq.ft. and its foundation was completed in 2013 by the then CM of Karnataka – Sri Siddaramaiah. The learning centre was completed in 2015 and aims to provide students with high quality music education. It plans to offer courses in various musical instruments, vocals, bharatnatyam and many more, including long term courses. The Sound Garden, which was inaugurated in 2017, features various unique musical sculptures that aims to introduce people to the principles of sound. The interactive music museum opened its doors to visitors in November 2018

Humming Stone at Sound Garden

IME exhibits feature various different kinds of memorabilia from Bharat Ratna winning musicians like Bismillah Khan, Bhimsen Joshi and MS Subbulakshmi. One of Daler Mehndi’s performance costumes is also a part of the exhibition, along with gramophone records and various other artefacts. Apart from a beautiful and extensive gallery on Hindustani Classical music, the museum also has various sections devoted to indie music  and cross-cultural music traditions.

Instrument Gallery at IME

The Launch Of IME

“The grand launch of the IME is a culmination of nearly a decade of effort to set up a truly world-class museum and arts center in India. We are hopeful that the IME will grow to become a pre-eminent arts hub of the country and preserve and propagate India’s rich cultural heritage to the next generation.” said M. R. Jaishankar at the launch.

The museum is located in JP Nagar 7th Phase, within the Brigade Millennium Enclave. The Executive Director of Grammy Museum revealed that Ravi Shankar and his legacy will be the first to feature as an exhibition. His sitar will be placed at IME and will be unveiled on his centenary.  

The final launch of the museum last week, saw dignitaries like Robert Santelli (Founding Executive Director, Grammy Museum), Sadananda Gowda (Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers), Shri. S. M. Krishna (former External Affairs Minister), Tejasvi Surya (Bangalore South Member of Parliament), and more.

The gala after the launch was attended by 2000+ invitees. The event featured a concert by Ustad Zakir Hussain, tabla maestro, along with jazz legend Louis Banks. Drummer Gino Banks, bassist Sheldon D’Silva, guitarist Sanjay Divecha and violinist Kumaresh performed at the gala. Zakir Hussain also gifted the tablas to the museum at the end of their performance.

Author

Rushaki is a restless explorer at heart, always questioning. Started her journey with honours in Psychology, has worked in events related to music and poetry, in an NGO, managed operations at a start-up, handled hospitality and artists at a bar, and now is on a quest to understand business and content. With a draw to the creative arts, is a vocalist for a rock band - Coffee For Giraffes - and also dabbles in poetry. Wishes to find the right answers and the right road someday to put to rest the never-ending questions in her mind.

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