ASET Colloquium

Voyager Mission and voice of Indian Classical Music

by Dr. Achintya Pal (Retired Exploration Geophysicist and TIFR Alumnus)

Friday, June 15, 2018 from to (Asia/Kolkata)
at AG-66.
NASA launched spacecrafts Voyager 1 and 2 in 1977 to explore interstellar space extending its original mission to study outer planets. Apart from numerous instruments for scientific study, the spacecrafts carried a golden record containing pictures, sounds and music from different regions of the earth. This was done with the hope that in the event of the spaceship encountering a civilization like ours in any distant stellar system, its intelligent beings would be able to decipher the contents and would come to know about us.

Many of us, however, may not be aware that a piece of Indian classical music finds a proud place in the selection of 27 musical items from various parts of the world. It is a song rendered by Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar of Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana. The talk will include anecdote on how this music piece was tracked down in New York on insistence of the famous ethnomusicologist Robert E. Brown.

About the Speaker:
The speaker, a TIFR alumnus, retired as Exploration Geophysicist of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC), the national oil company of India. Over the years, he is considered as an expert in oil exploration related software development, map projection systems and in Geographical Information System (GIS). 

After doing his Bachelor’s from Presidency College and Masters from University of Calcutta, Dr Achintya Pal did PhD in Theoretical Physics in 1982 from TIFR where he also developed interest in Astronomy and Astrophysics. Later, he spent two years as visiting research fellow at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin. While in TIFR (1977-82), his interest in classical music was kindled by a hoard of talented people primarily in Mathematics and Theoretical Physics Groups. Among his other interests are study of history, history of science and literature.
Organised by Dr. Satyanarayana Bheesette
PODCAST click here to start