Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
I'm watching the Carnival parade on CTNTWorld and I'm thinking, Carnival is big money.
Band leaders,costume creators and designers, caterers, retailers, DJs,Soca singers and bands, transportation companies etc. etc., they all make money off the Carnival.
Meanwhile, panists labor long and hard, hoping to win the Panorama lottery.
If they do win, the prize money after expenses amounts to relatively little compensation to the panist, based on the size of a large panorama steelband.
I think something is definitely wrong with this picture.
Am I the only one seeing this?
Glenroy can you remember the article the guy wrote the other day where he spoke about the only job for the little black boy was to look after the pee truck, there is your answer.
There is nothing wrong with this picture, It is exactly as it should be. You may not like what is being broadcast to you, but there is nothing wrong with the image.
How many people crossing that stage care what happens to pan? Does TnT really want pan in Carnival?
I would be the first to admit that if the big 5 (Exodus, Phase II, Renegades, All Stars, Desperadoes) were to go on strike serious gains could be made. But that will never happen. BP owns Renegades, Neal and Massy owns All Stars, RBT owns Exodus, WITCO own Desperadoes and Petrotrin owns Phase II.
Right here on WST we saw the type of fear that these companies put in the steelpan executives when Michael Marcano of Renegades chastised one of his own members for saying something negative about BP.
I agree with you Bugs about many not really wanting pan in the Carnival parade, This was always the case, and goes back to the bad old days of steelband violence, not to mention class-ism..
We are long past that now, but the attitude still remains with some, and many were not sorry when pan left the streets, taking with them most young (black) men. Notice how the Carnival is predominantly female?
But that was not my point.
I'm simply trying (as usual) to point out that the chase after the Panorama victory precludes most steelbands from doing much more at the Carnival.
Apart from Panorama, I would love to see a much more aggressive attempt by the steel bands to diversify their participation in the Carnival, from putting on mini concerts in the pan yards before carnival to preparing for meaningful participation on the road.
I would love to see the steelbands use the Carnival "season" more efficiently.
It may take some doing to recondition the mindset of the public, who have grown accustomed to the only real steelband participation at Carnival to be the Panorama.
But it can and should be done.
Very good ideas Glenroy. Just to let you and readers know, Starlift who did that in the past resurrected this in 2012, by advertising two Friday night concerts where people can come to the yard and not only hear a panorama rehearsal. The crowd was reasonable on the first and large on the second. People had tables and seating and were treated to an hour ( two half hour sessions) with this year's songs and some oldies, including penny Lane and Du Du Yemi,with another small side filling in between the two sessions. Our bar was supported and tee shirts and items purchased from our gift shop.
Hope that your idea reverberates within the fraternity and the ripples are felt throughout the fraternity of Carnival Artists.
Those are the kinds of things I'm talking about, Gerald Clarke, and I hope they are duplicated by other bands.
We just can't wait on government, or hope for Panorama money. We have to get creative as to how best to use the Carnival season to benefit the steel bands and panists.
This picture is more than 30 years old. I am glad your eyes have been opened. The pannatics remain behind the blind drawn by the glamour of panorama and the leadership within the pan movement or is it pan inertia. Its time for pan people to start thinking. I am sure things will change then.
Trinidad or is Trinidad and Tobago is the home of Calypso and the Steelband. This cannot be disputed. But what about "Air Time" on the Radio and on the Television for these Art Forms. At least from New Years Day of each year the public of Trinidad and Tobago should be constantly exposed to Calypso and Steelband Music so that by Panorama time we will all be familiar with the various tunes and the lyrics so that we can sing along and fully appreciate the song. Imagine that on Carnival Sunday ,on Carnival Monday and on Carnival Tuesday Morning of 2012, some Television Stations showed Religous Programmes . If not current Calypsoes and current Steelband Tunes,including the winning performances, surely on Carnival Days , "shut-ins". like me should be enjoying Calypsoes and Steelband Music both the popular old and current music.
About the prizes remembering that Trinidad and Tobago is the home of Calypso and Steelband, the First Prize for the Calypso Monarch 2012 was $1 Million ( after last minute negotiations for an increase from $750,000) The Soca Monarch received a prize of $2 Million in 2011 and $2 Million in 2012 and so too did the Chutney Soca Monarch receive substantial prizes in 2011 and in 2012. Now that the precedent has been established, I do not expect a reduction in 2013..
The Panorama Champion Steelband for 2012 received a prize of $750,000 . Am I correct in saying that this amount is to be divided among 100 pannists and any reserves, the Manager, the Tuners and other persons who may have worked and contributed to the band's success. Surely the Pan Trinbago Executive, Keith Diaz , Bryon Serette and other Executive Members are the persons to seek better conditions and better prizes for the Steelbands participating In Panaroma for the Winners and for other participating Steelbands. In my opinion, the Winning Steelband is the World's Panorama Champion for that Year and until dethroned. Steelbands deserve better and more substantial Cash Prizes.
On another topic the shows are too long and on that special Final Night of Panorama ,only the Large Bands should perform. Small and Medium Bands can have their Finals on the previous week-end.
In a recent Television Interview , Mr.William Munroe spoke of his early "grass roots" beginnings, of his entry into business , his disappointments and of his successes as an empresario.. I admire the success of Mr. Monroe.
Mr.Monroe has stated thatthe Barbados Authorities have been making an offer of a substantial asum for him to transfer the Soca Monarch Show to Barbados. The also mentioned the Eddie Grant was paid a considerable sum to stage the "Ringband" Show in Tobago and that Donald Trump received US $30 Million to stage the Miss Universe Show in Trinidad.
Since then I have heard some talk about a request for US $5 Million of Taxpayers money, to stage a Show in Trinidad.
Should the Soca Monarch Competition with the assistance of the sponsors be "self-supporting". Why should Taxpayers subsidise these shown and competitions. Who audits the Accounts of these Shows in order to determine whether a profir has been made (on the previous show) before a subsidy with Taxpayers Money is considered ?.
Why , similarly to the Parade of Bands in the Rio Sambodromo (Sambadrome) has a Lottery System for the day on which a Band will parade ( on Monday or on Tuesday) and the position in the parade on that day , not been adopted for the Trinidad Parade of the Bands, in order to relieve the congestion at the Savannah and at other judging points, on Carnival Tuesday In Rio, such draw for position is conducted in June of the preceding year. (information extracted from the Rio Carnival Website) I suspect that "Mas People" like Peter Minshall and the late Wayne Barkeley have , in the past, made suggestions for relieving the congestion at the judging sites.
Lets start planning for Carnival 2013 NOW. Ian Lambie
ON A POSITIVE NOTE,WE NEVER HAD SO MUCH YOUNG PEOPLE IN PAN AS WE DO TODAY AND SO MUCH WOMEN,
SO WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE THEM INTO THE MENTALITY OF TAKING THERE PAN LOVE AND TALENT INTO WHAT I CALL ( IN ONE OF MY NEW SONGS) THE PAN FETE/LIME.
ANOTHER THING IS MANY SONGS ARE WRITTEN FOR PAN, BUT THERE NEED TO BE A MARRIAGE (VOICES AND PAN ) ALL THESE BIG SOCA ARTISTE WRITING AND SINGING SONGS FOR PAN ,ITS TIME THEY HELP TO SHOW THE PAN MORE IN THERE SHOWS
WHILE WE AT IT WHAT ABOUT THE DRUMS OF OUR CULTURE IT IS MY HOPE THAT WE CAN BRING THE ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT OF OUR CULTURE AND CARNIVAL FORWARD ONCE MORE
SOME MAY SAY THAT CAN NEVER HAPPEN BUT I KNOW THAT WITH THE POWER OF MUSIC ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.
THATS IT FOR ME GOT TO GO WORK ON THE MUSIC.
David, thanks for your perspective, as a vocalist. I disagree, though, that the presence of young people is new. The steelband originally consisted of young (mainly inner-city, Black) men. History records that as a fact, and most, if not all of the "early pioneers" (Ellie, Vernon, Joe Crick, and others) were in their late teens/early twenties when they first joined/started steelbands. I agree, it is a "positive note", that women are now commonplace, but let's not forget how that came about. The steelband was not some exclusive male fraternity, that disallowed women; rather, a social outcast of "hooligans", shunned by society, who saw them as misfits and menaces, and not eligible suitors for any of their available daughters. To be seen with a panman, was violation enough, much less be a member of a steelband! It was due to the "steelband movement", which really began after the violent clashes of the fifties, and ended with the formation of Pan Trinbago (in MY opinion), that the steelband became more "socially acceptable", and it was during that period that world leaders, the British monarchy, Hollywood actors, famous musicians, foreign students, the Vatican, the US White House, and cultural groups in the continent of Africa, had close business relations and ties with the organization that led the pan world. The members bought into the vision of the leadership, and the violent behavior subdued. The panyard became less scary; the steelband man or panman (as he was known in those days), less intimidating. Of course, there were the few courageous women, who were around the steelband from its inception, but by the time the sixties rolled around, the image of the steelband was more appeasing, and by the seventies, there were more than a handful of school steelbands, further enabling female students, even with the strictest of parents, the opportunity to play pan. This is why I always stress the social history (remember, "history is a current event")- the sociology over the musicology, because it is the successes of the "movement", and not the improvements to the "invention", that broke the proverbial glass ceiling.
As for pan and Carnival, I hope we get out of the "seasonal" mindset (note, I said "we"; not pointing ANY fingers, just making a point), and think more progressively, and look at ways to market pan year-round. We need to truly bring pan into the 21st Century, by thinking outside the box. This may mean working with the local tourist board and other relevant organizations, in promoting pan globally, but if we see pan as only "music", we fail to see the full value in our national treasure. There are so many sub-fields within the "pan industry", and I hope we see pan for what it really is worth, for it is not simply an instrument. It is the tangible manifestation of a people, their history, their culture, norms, and mores, and fascinates the entire world, without ever having to make a sound. And, man/woman, when it does! I have a few more ideas, since I posted my "Blueprint for Pan Success", but it really would take everyone's input and commitment to make anything work. That just how I feel about it, and, again, my conscience is clear that, when everyone was discussing Panorama, I kept focused on the important issues, and in reviving a "steelband movement", that has been dormant, at best, and dead, at least.
Listening to an interview with a T&T government minister on the Carnival broadcast on CTNTWorld, and he mentioned having a second Carnival for Tobago, maybe in October.
I would suggest a month long pan festival instead.
There are already many Festivals in Tobago. Tobago Heritage Festival, Blue Food Festival, Kite Flying Festival, numerous Village Harvest Festivals but the one with the greatest potential, in my opinion, is the " Sunday School" at Buccoo Village which with proper infrastructure, facilities and Management can become an important venue for both residents and visitors to partake of good local food and to enjoy quality local entertainment ,including Steelband Music by the Buccooneers Steelband every Sunday Evening.
Come on THA Why the delay in providing the appropriate facilities for the development of the "Sunday School". at Buccoo Village.