Another valued tape gone. I have a considerable number from the dark ages when there were only magnetic tapes, and now my player is eating them and I’m faced weekly with a tangled wreck of what once used to be lovely music. It was Amjad Ali Khan’s Bhimpalasi last week, a leisurely evocative double-sided exposition that used to part of my travelling collection. Today it was Mian Tansen torn to shreds, quite beyond patchwork.
I’m struggling to digitise my tapes. I’ve found some excellent lessons online which seem doable if only I could discover why, after making all the connections I’m supposed to make, the output doesn’t pour out of my system’s speakers. The alternative is to take them all to a new-fangled electronics wala, which means some effort, time and money.
Then there is the dilemma. Should I indeed carry over all this – about 500 tapes – into the future? Or resolve to buy only digital music from here on and let these go? All these Mehdi Hassans, these Nusrats, the only version of ‘Nit Khair Mangan’ I have?
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Bismillah Khan, Prabhakar Karekar.
Noor Jahan, Farida Khanum, Nayyara Noor.
My grandfather’s collection: MD Ramanathan, TV Sankaranarayanan, Maharajapuram Santhanam. Kadri Gopalnath and U Srinivas.
Even writing this makes up my mind for me. It would be criminal, I think, to not at least try. I find the task daunting: the very idea of lugging these over, deciding how to sort and lump them… still, let us put it down in my list of things to do.