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An Interview with Steelpan Innovator & G-Pan Inventor Brian Copeland

Global - The inventor of the G-Pan Dr. Brian Copland in this exclusive 2010 When Steel Talks (WST) interview, moves to explain some of the misconceptions about the instrument and moreover it's importance to the future development of steelpan movement.
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The "too clean" issue relates to the comment by Masai Hall below. There are musicians, some in the steelpan industry, who cannot listen to the pan for more than an hour or two. The higher level of non-musical pitches (noise) make for hard work for the brain to decipher. I suspect that it is particularly difficult for the trained musical ear. I have heard of one or two trained musicians with perfect pitch who actually held their ears when introduced to the instrument. I guess getting used to it is like a Westerner being introduced to Sushi.

To hear a band of only G-Pans one must listen to the NSSO. They are under the control of the Ministry of Culture. Their last recording was distributed at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference. They do not currently have an online presence … but I have been speaking to them on that.

Skiffle Bunch and Phase 2 used a fair amount of G's at the 2010 Panorama - their renditions are now available on line. Skiffle Bunch used a new 4-bass, fabricated on G-drums and designed by Regrello and Kelman, that worked as a sort of augmented tenor bass (their terminology).
Ref. above passage: Insert "are" before "saying," Place a ? mark after subgroups in place of the comma.
A comma after "For example" and pluralize G-pan. The passage would read as follows:
To follow up what you are saying, I assume the NSSO is totally made up of G-pans. So irrespective to range, are you recommending that an orchestra using only G-pans divide the instruments into subgroups? For example, having....................the mid range G-pans tuned with different......................timbres.
Has anyone explored the issue of resonance. After all, the note that is produced by the impact on rubber on tempered steel is unique. The pitch lingers much longer than those produced by almost any other instrument. Most people who hear pan music for the first time admit that they must make a sustained effort adjust their listening pattern.
Hi Masai

See my response to Jojo above.

There has been a lot of work in the scientific and engineering communities on the generation of sound in the steelpan. Much much more needs to be done.

Ulf Kronman lists a lot of these works at http://www.hotpans.se/pan/resources.html#books. His list does not include the seminal work of Dr Anthony Achong, who, in my opinion has made the most significant scientific. See : http://www.niherst.gov.tt/scipop/sti-personalities/index.htm.

Achong was the one who arranged the two First International Conference on the Science and Technology of the Steelpan in Trinidad in 2000 and 2002.
Hello
Dr. Copeland,I have been following your posts with much interest.I attended both of Dr. Achong's presentations.You may be able to answer some questions for me. (1) Has any of Dr. Achongs finding been successfulyl applied to the manufacture of steelpans. (2) If so,has the body of information offered been successful in improving,enhancing or revolutionizing any aspect of the Steelpan's characteristics, with a view to making the Pan much more competitive against other instruments in the musical market place.
Hello Ed

How are you?

We have been using some of Achong's work in the G-pan project. We are in the process of extending some aspects of it as we "speak." It is important to note that Achong scientifically reported on the traditional pan. The G-Pan sub-project is exactly that of re-engineering it to enhance quality and marketability.
Hi Mr. Copeland

What is the difference between the E-pan and your PHI?
Jojo,
I would love to hear Brian Copeland's replay, but in the mean time, I've been following the E-pan and P.H.I. closely and the E-pan is a stand-alone instrument as described everywhere - napeinc.com, facebook and every time this discussion has come up before. The P.H.I. is just a midi device that sends a signal to another sound generator. In this case, the P.H.I. company is selling consumers a M module (or something like that) which will generate the sound for the P.H.I. controller. You can hook up a yamaha motif rack or a roland phantom rack and it will do a much better job than the M module that I see they're recommending. After that, for the P.H.I. you have to buy speakers because it does not come with speakers. All of this the consumer would have to buy separately to make the P.H.I. work. Click on this link, or copy and paste it in your browser, and you will see the wikipedia definition for a midi controller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIDI_controller. A controller produces no sound of its own. The E-pan on the other hand, everything, all the above mentioned, is built in and it comes with a midi interface in case the user would like to use midi. I think that it is about $16,000.00 TT for just the P.H.I. controller unit. With speakers and sound module of choice the price might then double. The E-pan is approximately $2,900.00 US and that is with everything included.
I am not surprised! PNM corruption is pervasive and without boundaries. PNMites love to bamboozle with rhetoric and intellectual arguments -- but when it comes down to the brass tacks, it is the same old PNM skullduggery, educated or illiterate.

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