Homes and gardens

There is music in the structure

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When it comes to music, the experience goes beyond the notes, encompassing the environment in which the musical experience originates. If this environment is within a structured space, the design and composition of the structure has a strong bearing on the musical experience.

Add to it an exhibit, a walk through the life histories of maestros and a display of rare and almost extinct musical instruments, the fluid notes of the physical structure echoing the silent notes of the extravagant display.

The recently inaugurated Indian Music Experience (IME) in Bengaluru reflects just that, the sinuous form of the building resonating with the smooth flowing notes of melody emanating from the 108 rare instruments housed within. Designed by Architecture Paradigm, IME, the brainchild of Brigade Group, aimed to bring music to Bengaluru in the most exotic form of a museum combined with experience, serves as a fine sensorial experience as one traverses its winding spaces.

Says Architect Sandeep J. of Architecture Paradigm, “The objective was to create a public space that showcased and celebrated Indian music. The architectural design responds to this by organising the three major components of the structure - interactive exhibit galleries, music school and exit theatre - where the nature of the site with its existing trees remains well preserved.”

The museum begins at ground level where an innovative sound garden prevails under the shade of trees, the structure craftily woven around these trees, the evolving edifice fluid, akin to the notes of a mesmerising musical composition. Various musical notes emanate from the stone, wood and metal installations that rest in the sound garden, inviting the visitor to plunge in and play the tunes or merely listen to the singing stones, as in the humming stone.


The sounds emanating from these installations are fascinating and varied, be it the storm sans the rain or the flower gongs, together serving as a fine sound therapy and setting the tone for the music experience thence forth in the nine different galleries. The terrace houses an amphitheatre to permit gatherings and performances.

“While the ground level was planned as a public realm under the existing trees with the sound garden on one side and a cheerful cafeteria on the other, the permanent galleries were elevated, which not only freed the ground space but also ensured privacy and quiet reflection in the gallery spaces. The internal spaces reflect the idea of continuum, the individual spaces contracting and expanding in harmony while infusing different qualities to each segment to synchronise with the curatorial narrative that sets the tone for the music experience in the exhibit galleries”, explains Sandeep on the design opted within the structure.

A complete experience

Each of the galleries in the 50,000 sq. ft structure address a specific facet, ensuring the Indian musical experience is all encompassing and complete when the visitor comes to the end of the journey through the fluid spaces. Starting with a commercial street musical experience, complete with rickshaws, pedestrian crossing and kiosks from where one can tune in, the galleries display an impressive presentation of contemporary music and thence on to the classical section which reveals a confluence of all genres of classical music.

Melting pot

While one of the galleries has a theatre elaborating on the ragas that alter according to the time of day, puppetry is used to celebrate the varied folk songs from across the country. Cross-cultural influence of music has always been strong and the melting pot gallery amply dwells on this inter-cultural influence. Since no museum on Indian music is complete without visiting the film music segment, the winding pathways take a walk down memory lane, stepping further on to the shores of legendary classical musicians of the country.

Spectacular view

Any display can be multiple times more spellbinding when one stumbles on it unexpectedly and more so if it is on an expanse of wall that drops down to permit an aerial view.

The display of 108 rare musical instruments permits just this, the double-height design of the gallery enabling a spectacular view from an upper floor, inviting the visitor to step down to take a closer look.

Commenting on the structure and the museum housed within, M.R. Jaishankar, Chairman, Brigade Group and Founder, IME, says, “The museum will serve to link the Indian music tradition with the younger generation who need to take it forward, besides serving as a fine tourist attraction.” The IME is incidentally the third Grammy Museum affiliate outside of the United States.

The IME is now open to the public.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 2:21:46 AM |

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