Between Sponsors and Government HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars have been poured into the STEELBAND MOVEMENT over the last 65 years. (Not to mention the millions spent by foreign governments flying these steelbands all around the world.) Yet, today, THE WORLD GOVERNING BODY OF THE STEELBAND is FIVE MILLION DOLLARS in DEBT and the President is standing CAP IN HAND at the Government's door BEGGING FOR MORE.
One of the most repeated arguments is that STEELBANDS are a deterrent to CRIME. Well, today, CRIME in Trinidad AND TOBAGO is at epidemic proportions -- but many will stick to their guns on that proposition.
The PAN TRINBAGO trick is to promise SELF-SUFFICIENCY over and over again. Because they could only become self-sufficient if you give them MORE MONEY and MORE MONEY.
I am saying MILLIONS but ah sure we done cross BILLIONS!!!
MUSIC PRODUCED BY STEELBANDS or A STEELPAN featuring the instrument(s).
At this point I will even add ELECTRONIC PANS to the PAN MUSIC MIX!!!
These comments brings to mind, and old karate movie I had seen some time back in the day, where an English man and a Chinese man had died, and was being buried bordering each other. The English man wife was putting flowers on his grave, and when she looked on the other side she saw the Chinese woman sticking inscence and sprinkling rice. The English woman forget what she was doing, raised her vail and said to the Chinese, "but he can't eat the rice? " The Chinese woman looked at her with a straight face and said, "when your husband smell the flowers, mine go eat the rice"
Allyuh just cannot help it. Just like the English woman.
One may agree or disagree , Mikey , but there often is merit in comments expressed on this forum, and such discussions should benefit the steelband movement .(And it has to be a movement).
I recognize your sensitivities as a member of PanTrinbago , an organization that some feel may be overly demonized on this forum from time to time , but some of us do try to be fair and objective as we try to analyze the conditions and situations of the art-form and culture that we love.
And BTW , Most Importantly , this is an open forum where anything goes.
Thankfully , there has been no attempt that I know of to censor anyone's thoughts or ideas from the forum.
GLEN, YOU WOULD KNOW THAT IN THE 1950'S STEEL Bands were still being chased off the street by the police. What money was pump into Steelbands or the Steelpan fraternity? As we speak, the situation has not improved much. I wonder if you remember when Dr. Eric Williams asked George Goddard, if he wanted him to put the people's money to jump up in Steelband.? How long was that? What was the Steelband boycott about? After attracting tourist by the thousand to this country for carnival, what is given to Steelbands? Chicken feed. Pan Trinbago gets 10% from prize money, to run it's affairs. And members agree to contribute that. This is not imposed on them. Who is in the kitchen does feel the heat. It always look great when one is outside looking in. So the Bloggers will continue to do what they do best, while we do what we must. Love Still! Could you imagine, members of an organization coming together to elect who they want to represents them, and a few misguided nonmembers calling them stupid people being mislead by one man. Total disrespect. But that is their nature.
THE WORLD GOVERNING BODY OF THE STEELBAND SHOULD BE MANATED TO PLAN AT LEAST TWO COMMUNITY EVENTS EACH MONTH, AND ONE NATIONAL TELEVISED EVENT EVERY MONTH INVOLVING ALL STEELBANDS ON A ROTATION TO PERFORM.
LET THEM GET UP AND DO SOME WORK TO HAVE PANIST IN THE YARDS AND OFF THE STREETS. AND EXPOSED TO THE WORLD.
ONCE THE PRODUCTIONS ARE UP TO STANDARD THEY CAN BE SYNDICATED....JAPAN, EUROPE, USA WILL BE OUR MARKETS.
Raphael: I like your idea of developing and honing a televised PAN PRODUCTION on TRINIDAD TV until it gets up to standard for GLOBAL distribution.
We don't look very smart as a people by neglecting the fact of where the steelband originated, the steelband should ALWAYS be a part of carnival, we choose to hide behind the notion of "dem days done" because it's easier than looking for solutions to make them a part of it.
A DJ has no cultural value, but they were allowed to eliminate all our musicians from carnival, we know that economics was a factor but this should have created an opportunity for our brilliant minds to come up with solutions that would include our musicians in canival, both conventional and pan. Carnival should be tailor-made to suit our musicians not put them out of work. T&T owe the steelband.
What I don't get is the absence of basic marketing of real performances. Why are there not easily available CDs and DVDs of every year's Panoramas? Are copyright issues a holdup? It seems doable to set up appropriate protections and systems to make sure everyone gets their piece from sales. No sales, no pieces, folks. The music just drifts away into the stratosphere...
Why not more souvenir stuff for sale - tees, hats, coffee cups (I've been drinking coffee every day for 14 years from my Despers mug), rags, rubber bracelets, key rings, jewelry? Sell the stuff on the internet. There are people all over the world looking for steel pan music and goodies and they can't find anything!
... because PAN TRINBAGO sits around and waits for HANDOUTS from GOVERNMENT and SPONSORS and then they bite up that money like hungry rats and sit and wait again for the NEXT HANDOUT. Right now they are sitting around waiting for 2016 PANORAMA money to refill the BANKRUPT COFFERS.
What you are suggesting, LOVE CITY, takes some THINKING and INITIATIVE. PAN TRINBAGO DOH HAVE THAT.
I will SEE YOUR BET and RAISE YOU!!! All these discussions about PAN and PANORAMA on WHENSTEELTALKS should be taking place on a PANORAMA WEBSITE (on local ground) with all the STUFF you just suggested on the side for sale while all these STEELPAN and PANORAMA discussions run from all corners of the globe NIGHT and DAY. I have said it before: How hard will it be to build a database of TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND PAN LOVERS (worldwide) and start supplying them with all the STUFF you just mentioned. Christmas is coming and they could buy PAN CDs and give to foreign friends to expand the fan base.
We have talked about a GREATEST HITS PANORAMA CD for years on this forum already. How hard (or expensive) will it be to produce 2000 of those for TEST MARKETING and generating BUZZ about the music?
The sad thing is that this "NEW PRESIDENT" will be in office with the same old administrators for the next SIX YEARS. So CHANGE and PRODUCTIVITY is not on the STEELBAND HORIZON just yet.
Mr. Shah, having read your post I just want to touch on your statement of a modern pan factory employing scores of tuners etc... No tuner worth his salt is going to work for any factory turning out pans for it/them to pay him by the job or week,forthnight or month to clock some card a.m. and p.m. to work for them. Tuners today work for themselves and do a lot better than working for any factory. The business acumen in the profession today is a lot better than the olden days, when some entrepreneurs exploited tuners,paying a pittance and exporting and selling the pans locally at retail outlets. Tuners today are in touch with the outer pan world via the internet and foreign travel and are versed with the shipping procedures. There are those who worked at "factories" and left after some years, as soon as they were good enough to be self employed and that will continue to happen,so they keep getting beginners and would occasionally hire the now self employed maker or tuner by carrying drums or instruments to them, or call in someone to do a QC on the work of their staff. Working for entrepreneurs your wages will be at the lower end while they look to maximize profits. Some will say that's business, but they will get what they pay for.
All over the world people are tuning pan these days, why should a foreigner purchase a instrument from the Mecca if it's being made by beginners, it is normal to want the best when you are putting out hard dollars. It will be difficult for the Trini manufacturer to compete seeing they have to import raw materials then include shipping in the cost of an instrument, it could cost less to buy an OK pan locally than a OK one from the Mecca.