India chapter had been busy for the last three months, planning the conference
section of the PALM 2002 show, and so it was a great relief when 26th
September finally arrived. The nationwide bandh on the first day was naturally a
tremendous dampener on the enthusiasm of the numerous exhibitors, visitors and
organizers of PALM but as the saying goes “the show must go on!” We, in the
AES committee were also very excited as our international Vice President,
Neville Thiele was to give the keynote address along with Subhash Ghai, the
Bollywood Movie Moghul. Neville Thiele, the famous Audio scientist, has
published over 30 papers on loudspeakers, filters, and equalizers, and testing
methods for sound and video broadcasting. He
is also internationally known for his “Thiele-Small” parameters which are
used in loudspeaker design.
exhibition/conference was a hectic affair for all of us and as AES India
Chairman, I had the added responsibility to be with Mr Thiele during his busy
schedule in India. The exhibition had the usual crowd of Audio professionals,
enthusiasts and businessmen and sometimes the din created by loudspeaker demos
got out of hand. I guess, demo rooms will have to become a necessity at Audio
exhibitions so that exhibitors can coexist!
importance of a great demonstration can never be understated, and a clever demo
has convinced many an undecided prospective buyer. Unfortunately, there were not
too many such detailed demonstrations at the exhibition. A lot more musicians,
studio engineers etc. will have to be hired by the exhibitors to convince the
exhibition visitors of the worthiness of their product. After all, the proof of
the pudding is in the eating!
an enormous honor and a privilege for me to spend so much time with the great
speaker design guru, Neville Thiele. The unassuming manner and extreme humility
of this genius, coupled with his incisive observations and vast all-round
knowledge, made the few days I spent with him, an absolute delight. This 81-year
old gentleman, was on the go throughout the conference and exhibition, and made
it a point to catch each and every conference session he possibly could. His
boundless energy and enormous thirst for knowledge was an invigorating
experience, and he kept me on my toes with his constant questions.
first visit to India, he landed in Mumbai at what Subhash Ghai politely referred
to as an embarrassing moment for India, the bandh! He seemed to take everything
in his stride, and was ready for any eventuality. On this trip, he met a large
number of important Audio professionals from Mumbai and Chennai, and was tickled
pink to know that a few “Australian” products were actually being made in
SEEPZ, the export processing zone in Mumbai. I hope the Indian Audio Industry
has benefited from this rare visit of a great Audio scientist and I wish we can
have many more such visits.
at AES India, met to determine the topics for the PALM conference, we decided to
include a panel discussion where our primary focus was to initiate a dialogue
between the artiste and the engineer, both in the live and studio fields.
Through the experiences and suggestions of our panel, we hoped we could help in
achieving both the artistic goals of artistes, and the technical excellence
demanded by the audio engineer. We soon had confirmations from a distinguished
panel of artistes and engineers who represented both live and recorded music. It
included Ronu Mazumdar, the famous flautist, Taufiq Quereshi, the eminent
percussionist, Ravindra Sathe, the master singer and recordist in one,
Avinash Oak, studio engineer extraordinaire and Uday Chitre, the live
mixing engineer for illustrious artistes like Lata Mangeshkar and Jagjit Singh.
I was moderating the session and it promised to be an exciting experience.
not proved wrong as on that day, both the artistes and engineers got into the
thick of it, and vented their woes with enormous clarity. The hour & a half
was over in a jiffy, and while concluding, I had to remark that we had just
touched the tip of the iceberg. It was obvious that there had to be many more
such forums for discussions between artistes and engineers especially as in the
future, technology is virtually going to rule the way music is going to be made,
both live and in the studio.
launching of the South India chapter of AES saw Mr Thiele and me make a
whirlwind trip to Chennai, and meet prominent members of the Audio community in
a city that makes countless films and music albums. It has a booming Audio
production industry, and with its incredible Audio engineering talent, it has
already created works of world class standard. The launching of the South India
chapter of AES would go a long way in getting the Audio community of the South
together, and educate itself in the latest developments of Audio Engineering
around the world. I wish Mr Modi and his team all the very best on this
excellent endeavor. This trip also
served to expose us to the Real Image DTS mixing theater, where Mr Thiele and I
saw a reel of an upcoming Jackie Shroff suspense thriller.
a few days earlier at the Real Image workshop on Protools and Procontrol in
Mumbai, Sridhar had demonstrated to us the enormous potential of present day
technology to achieve world class standards, at a fraction of the cost of the
earlier days. Many famous Bollywood recordists along with Audio students,
trainees and assistant recordists, watched a mixed reel of a recent Mani Ratnam
film with dialogues, background music, effects etc.
It was truly a magnificent sonic and dramatic experience!
daughter Amrita’s recent success in her Social Work activities using Dance
Therapy for AIDs affected children got me interested in the use of the Arts for
healing purposes. I discovered that a lot of research has been done in this area
by eminent people from all across the world. Some say that the use of music as a
healing technique can actually be traced to the 18th century. The department of
music therapy at the Berklee College of Music in Boston has published many
studies which say that music provides a tremendous distraction for patients who
are deeply agitated or in severe pain. Music Therapy has been proven to be a
powerful tool that can put patients in a different frame of mind and help them
Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeet Sabha recently held a Music Symposium on
Music Therapy in Mumbai, and it was a pleasure to hear the numerous Indian
speakers present their various experiences on this subject with actual
demonstrations by musicians. The healing effect of various low frequencies on
the human body was a revelation to me, and various hospitals around the country
are already successfully using this therapy to ease the suffering of the ill.
Besides Music, other Art forms like Drama, Dance, Art etc. have also been proven
to have therapeutic values. I hope this facet of the Arts continues to be
developed further and the Arts are no longer just viewed as ‘fun and games.”
national tragedy of the temple killings in Gujarat was an atrocity that was
condemned by one and all, and today’s world seems to run on the whims and
wishes of terrorist groups. Unfortunately, the ideas for ways to handle these
madmen are sorely lacking in worth. The idea of having a bandh to mark the
Gujarat tragedy was one of the very worst. Instead of the bandh, I wish our
politicians had announced a protest day when everybody would work double the
working hours, and do some community work to show their solidarity with the
nation and mourn the dead of this atrocity.
with the help of our very own political leaders seems to be following the well
laid plans of our enemies to cause the maximum harm to the nation. With
‘friends’ like these, who needs enemies? With just one stroke, a handful of
terrorists managed to cause thousands of crores of loss to the nation, and in
the process shake the moral fiber of this nation. The one-upmanship of our
political leaders, to score points to oust each other at our expense, is a trick
that needs to be recognized by all of us and dealt with forcefully. As a famous
American poster said, “Stop whining, start a revolution!”