Bass Adjustment—Austrian artist and producer Raha Poostchi’s stage name—first came about in 2006. Raha started a movement, driven by a sincere desire to serve and translate the uniting vision of Baha’u’llah into music.
Exposed to music his whole life, Raha began playing classical piano at an early age. He soon came to the conclusion that playing music by other composers did not fulfill his musical desires, so he turned to composing original songs himself on an old PC and MIDI keyboard. Growing increasingly frustrated with his lack of ability early on, Raha learned quickly to expand his creative network and to learn from his mentors and collaborators. To this day, Raha has never stopped learning and pushing himself to strive for excellence in both his work as a musician and service to the community.
Although most would regard Bass Adjustment as primarily electronic music, Raha makes a point that the music he creates should not be limited to one genre. Raha incorporates diverse elements of all genres and styles of music into his creative work, and also carefully chooses his project collaborators. The main mission of Bass Adjustment: to create music that reflects the oneness of humankind and unity in diversity, inspired by the Baha’i writings:
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 250.
Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. – Ibid.
Bass Adjustment’s music places a high value on the messaging and lyrical content in the songs. Often an element overlooked in the dominant cultures surrounding electronic music, Raha is very particular about the types of messages he wants to convey. He has found that focusing on writing positive lyrics which speak to the listeners’ spiritual identity tend to break down barriers and elevate attitudes and conversations surrounding the song. Although many electronic music artists think that the musical arrangement takes precedence over a song’s lyrics and messages, Raha tends to believe otherwise, and reflects on the following words of Abdu’l-Baha:
When eloquence of expression, beauty of sense and sweetness of composition unite with new melodies the effect is ever great, especially if it be the anthem of the verses of oneness and the songs of praise to the Lord of Glory. Endeavour your utmost to compose beautiful poems to be chanted with heavenly music; thus may their beauty affect the minds and impress the hearts of those who listen. – Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdul-Baha, Volume I, p. 59.
In his interview with Cloud9, Raha shares his hopes that music by Bass Adjustment will help listeners reflect and take action on their contributions to the betterment of the world through selfless service, because this in essence is worship. Raha cites a response by Abdu’l-Baha when he was asked if prayer should take the form of action:
Yes. In the Baha’i Cause arts, sciences and all crafts are (counted as) worship. The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. – Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 176.
In his interview, Raha elaborates on the essential role that music plays in culture, and the power it has to help young people understand how to contribute to the betterment of the world. He touches on the unifying experience of collective music-making, and his belief that music can advance the spiritual and material conditions of our communities.
This interview also features a discussion on the meaning and collaborative process behind a Bass Adjustment production called And I Pray, which features lyrics and vocals by BahaiTeachings.org Arts Editor, Shadi Toloui-Wallace.
And I Pray
Words are lost in all
Closed my eyes
To hear my breath
And I pray
Cus’ it flows
Like a river to the sea
And I find
The only place I wanna be
Is right here
With you right next to me
And I know that
With you I’ll be free
With you I’ll be free
I waited for so long
Has made me feel so strong
Can do me no wrong
With this love
I wrote you this song
With you I’ll be free