Bacchus Barua

7. (with Nanz)
(** due to a technical glitch, songs # 1, 9 and 7 each contain only one channel of audio-data)

It's often been written and said that the most intuitive nerds amongst those empowered with technology are ideally children, at age 14. Well Bax turned 13 this June, and is -we think- a great example close at hand of what kids can get up to these days, if only they had the tools,.. the chance. He's had no formal music teacher (though mum and dad do each play a bit of guitar and also keep the tech rolling), and yet he's even learned quite a bit of traditional staff-notation from the "Yamaha Education Suite" built into the screen of the cheap PSR-79 keyboard that he's had for just under a year.

To our minds, it all adds up to the sort of stuff we need to think about on behalf of the millions of unempowered children scattered everywhere around like pearls in the dirt of our times.

In featuring here, it certainly made things easy that Bax is part of "The IDEA" family, but we do hope to fetch many other empowered creative adolescents from around India and the world into these pages over time, to keep these thoughts alive and share in the great work such kids are and will be doing
(also check out the IABC link listed under Video / Anim. in this gazette). In the meanwhile, here's what Bacchus has to say about how technology's helping him learn and make music:

Learning percussion from Bobby Duggal"It's now been three years since I played my first chord on the guitar, and since then, the change that's taken place in my musical life has been tremendous.

"From sitting in my room on my bed when there was no electricity and making noise, now I sit on a high chair, depending wholly on electricity, and make noise with the wierdest sounds ever. From using a second-hand acoustic nylon-string guitar, I have shifted to a jazzy electric guitar, heavily lighted digital recorder-mixer, the "cheapest" MIDI-keyboard in the world, a computer gone crazy, and a beautiful "Personal Music Assistant" (PMA-5). This total shift took place only since last summer, and before that I hadn't a clue of how to play the keyboard,.. but now by integrating all these instruments I've stepped into the world of virtuality.

First Chords "Around October 1999, I produced my first two pieces of music using the keyboard. They were extremely simple pieces, but meant a to me ~ I was absolutely flabbergasted (nowadays I feel they're nowhere near good). When December came around, we got the digital recorder-mixer, and now since I had a keyboard, a sequencer (the PMA), and a recorder, I rocked on to making my second two pieces, which I feel are the best I have made till today.

"In January 2000, my parents kicked out a P-1 computer-gone-crazy from the office, and my Dad and I thought this the perfect opportunity to add something more "that was useful" to our music-rig. We fixed the PC to our rack and through a whole bunch of configuration hassles finally managed to set up the Cakewalk software-sequencer that came free with the sound-card,.. in place of the PMA. Unfortunately, after around two weeks the computer went bananas again and turned most of my songs into junk by giving tracks the stupidest instrument voices.

"Anyway, I went on making more songs and rejecting them for about 2 months till I finally came to my senses and stopped. So the problem now was what to do with the computer? My parents and I are still trying to figure that one out.

"So, I've now managed to make around 6 songs I'm happy with. Some are complete, but some still need more layering, perhaps guitar, lyrics,..

"Anyway, I'm back on the PMA, so till I make my next batch ~ ROCK ON DUDES! "

Bax provided some of his pre-keyboard pieces of music for editorial use on the 1st IDEA gazette, with the picture of his at right appearing on the "Music-Only" page. Boo (his dog in the pic) died one morning in May at about age 3, from liver failure, and in the evening, Bacchus composed "Boo Ballad" about it, leaving the song as originally played:


Bacchus Barua
D-3/3492 Vasant Kunj
New Delhi - 110 070 (India)
vox & fax: (91-11) 689 9930