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Indian classical singer’s songs heard in space

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'If I had the final say in the project, I would have included Palghat Mani Iyer's solo mridangamfive-tala rendition in that compilation,' says Robert Brown.

Four decades ago, on August 20, 1977, Voyager II spacecraft was launched. It included Golden Records: The Sound of the Earth. The records contain selected sounds and images and musical renditions, both vocal and instrumental, from various parts of the world to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. It features KesharBai's classical vocal rendition as well.

A special committee was set up to select the musical scores. Carl Sagan's wife Ann Druyan was the chairman of the committee.InMurmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record, author Druyanwrote, Robert Brown, executive director of Centre for World Music had KesharBai's rendition of 'Jata Kahan' right on top of his list of selected vocalists.

Timothy Ferris, producer of Voyager Golden Records had said, 'My favourite in the compilation is when the strains of China's Kuan Ping Hu's Flowing Stream gradually fades, close to the base of the mighty Himalayan ranges and then the Indian subcontinent reverberates with the full-throated rendition of Khayal by septuagenarian KesharBai.' The record also contains messages in Bengali, Hindi, Gujrati, Kannad, Marathi, Telugu and Urdu, addressed to intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them some day.