Last night my brother Dharam Singh was over at our house (visiting from Phoenix, Arizona) and we were just chatting and catching up with things. We started talking about the planned new Gurbani Audio Section for SikhNet and he asked about Akhand Path Recordings that I had (Complete reading of the Siri Guru Granth Sahib from start to finish). He mentioned how it would be great to have a similar audio recording of an English translation of the the whole Siri Guru Granth Sahib, so that he could alternate playing the original Gurmukhi audio and the translation. (He has an mp3 player that plays continuous akhand paath audio all the time).
Recently I had someone asking me about making a recording of our local Akhand Path (which is done in a mix of Gurmukhi and English Translation depending on who is reading) but that wouldn’t have worked for just having English Translation recording. As me and Dharam started to talk more we got excited about the idea, since there is no such recording available, and it could be a great inspiration for many English speaking Sikhs who can have this playing in their house and hear the message of the Gurus, that they can understand!
I have a Sukhmani Sahib recording that I love listening to and has background sounds of rain. We could do similar things by adding some subtle background sounds/music so it could be very nice to listen to.
One of the other ideas that I thought would be cool is rather than just having a recording done by a single person to have many people involved (men & women). So it could be a recording done by the Sangat. This would also be nice because one might get tired of hearing the same person’s voice all the time and having lots of different people would make it varied all the time.
Normal Akhand Path in Gurmukhi is about 48 hours long, but an English Translation recording would probably by more like 72 hour. We talked about different ways of breaking up the recordings and maybe having different people doing each of the 31 raags.
The first step is to get together a group of people who have nice speaking voices and who can read clearly and accurately. Then to assign certain page numbers to read and a system for recording. I have a nice portable digital audio recorder that records good quality audio which we can start using. We are going to be dealing with a HUGE amount of audio recordings, so having a system for keeping track of them and making sure the recording quality is good is important.
Then once it is recorded we have to edit all the audio and output in various ways. I figure we’ll have a single file version for continuous play, and also a multi file version probably split up by the reader. Later on of course one could edit the audio down to page page by or other ways.
This is just one more project on top of many so will have to keep it relatively simple so that we can complete it. It will be like a virtual group Sahej Paath! Please do share your thoughts and any ideas that you have about this project.