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Global -  In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, the prolific steelpan artist, educator and composer speaks about Panorama 2012 and more. Liam Teague is currently the arranger for Starlift Steel Orchestra...

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Preach Bugs. lol


I agree with you that there's a lot of pride involved in playing in a Panorama.


My idea was to leave the Panorama as is and to create a separate event called a SteelPan Music Festival or something like that, where the current restrictions of Panorama are removed and arrangers are free to innovate as their creative minds allow. So basically, there will be two events:

  1. Panorama
  2. SteelPan Music Festival (calypso, no judges, no musical restrictions)



In regards to learning music theory...I think it's up to the individual to think about.  Music classes should be made available to band members should they want to learn more...maybe bands can advertise courses offered by Pan Trinbago?



just my humble opinion,


We've gotten a lot of great music in all genres - jazz, rock, classical r&b etc. etc without competition.

It is insulting to assume that steelband composers arrangers and players couldn't rise to the occasions as other musicians do without a competition.

Well said Glen,

but it's not just that...when you speak to many of these arrangers you will hear them complain about the current restrictions imposed on them in Panorama...they want to be more creative, but they limit their music to give the judges what they know they want to hear. Without competition, the shackles are removed and the sky is the limit. I truly believe most arrangers will welcome an event like this.

Liam, I commend you for the stand taken here with your honest, heartfelt remarks and moreso, it is said without fear or favour,which is admirable, since you are still prepared to make a statement and show your musical skills and ability by competing in the Panorama .... GO BRAVE LIAM!!! Such is life. In time, adjudicators will change and  hopefully, for the BETTER, systems will also change. As CRAZY sang: "In time to come"

I think I understand the fear that many pan people have that without Panorama, Panorama style musical compositions and  arrangements will disappear.

I think not.

Panorama music is not really "wine down" carnival music.

Panorama music is and should be the highest level of pan music. It is in effect "classical music for pan". Today's Panorama competition  is currently the premier stage for presenting this unique  type of classical music to the world.

This does not necessarily always have to be the case.

This music can  and should be presented to the world without a structured competition, with all its rules and limitations.

Arrangers need to be freed up to take the music to an even higher level.

We're talking about the future, folks!


"Arrangers need to be freed up to take the music to an even higher level."

I don't really see how the fact of competition prevents arrangers from giving of their best. You forget the example of Phase II. Boogsie did very innovative things with the music, and for a long time remained unrewarded. There is a reason why they called the band "Phase II," don't forget. If Liam or some other arranger wants to take the art form to a Phase III, my advice to them, is "just do it!" If you do good work, the world will come around to see it, and appreciate it for what it is. Don't worry about the judges. (The system is such that the judges don't always agree with the judges! )

There have been other arrangers whose innovative work seemingly has not found favour, e.g. Godwin Bowen with Pamberi back in the day with "Posse", "Raising dust", and "Panman Forever". But guess what, many people appreciate his contribution, and remember such pieces many, many years later. Professor has not yet walked away with a Panorama title (that I remember) but his work is well loved and appreciated. Ray Holman likewise.

Please, don't use the fact of competition as an excuse not to perform to what you think are your highest heights. That's a specious argument. I know you can come better than that, Glenroy.

- Big Sid

PS. I certainly would agree to any suggestion however to limit the difference in cash prize between the 1st and 2nd placed bands to no more than 10%, and on down the line between 2nd and 3rd, etc. Moreover, every band that takes part in the competition should get enough of a share of the overall gate receipts and subventions that they may be encouraged to develop. Steelbands are of very positive benefit to the community, and therefore deserving of subvention, either by the State or by private sponsors. 

I am not casting aspersions or personally attacking anyone let me say firstly.However,i do think its hypocritical for someone to say that they ''are not an  advocate of panorama as a competition'' but low and behold they are having their arrangement in the competition.I concur with a few of the points raised my Mr.Teague,however not all  of what was said is the truth, as there are a number of counterpoints for rebuttal.I have always maintained that panorama is a necessary evil.On one hand i think it kills muscianship but on the other, believe it or not, it is necessary for the survival of pan in TnT.Additionally,i have learnt that it is wise not to hate the game because you cant play at the level of proficiency required to win.Mind you,my statements are not a reflection of anything on the part of Mr.Teague.



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