When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

I’m not pointing any fingers nor am I taking sides; I just think that a serious conversation has to be had among stakeholders about the type of competition we want the panorama to be. Is it about music? Is it about jam?   I have no beef with whichever way it’s decided, I'm just saying that we need to agree on what takes precedence over what so that everybody, including the judges and the man in the street, could be on the same page. Otherwise (at least me) will continue to be confused (make that flabbergasted) by the results each year.  In the golden era of panorama the score sheet clearly alluded to the fact that it was a musical competition; there was a category called, 'spirit of carnival’ for which 5 points was awarded. Arrangers like Bradley could have decided then to sacrifice 2 or 3 points in that category and go after the points for the music with which he mesmerized the world.   Spirit of carnival was incorporated into the arrangement category in recent years and from all indications now take precedence over all else. Let me say again, I have no problem with that; I'm quite aware that the only constant in life is change itself. All I'm saying is, if the thing has evolved, (like our soca music), then lets scrap the current score sheet and use instead one similar to that used to judge the power soca monarch. Then every arranger would know that he could ride a rhythm and win and not have to buss he brains with re-harmonization and all the other fancy terms stated on the score sheet. We could also create a new classification to cater for the several rhythm sections in the land - who knows, maybe Laventille rhythm section would win panorama in time to come.

Views: 1796

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

trinibaby9, you talk about letting the music breath, for some time now I have been wondering if points are being awarded for the most notes played by the tenors.

Is it still about music, , or money? To get the butts in the benches, you have to play with the main draws e.g All Stars and Phase 11, with Renegades, Exodus and Silver Stars bringing up the rear. To make it a profitable venture, it is impt that the 'bigs' place for the finals, regardless of what/how they play
Music, money, judges and jokers.....take yuh pick!

It has always been about music. Over the years different styles seem to rise to the top.  This year we have the two leading big bands offering contrasting styles to their respective selections.  All Stars opting for a more aggressive style of playing which would be consistent with a selection titled Play Yourself celebrating the spectacle and history of our savannah party and carnival . One would hardly expect that to be played like a dirge.  On the other hand Phase 11 selection - Archbishop Of Pan honoring the legacy of Pat lends itself to a different interpretation.  Its all music.  I love Miles Davis and Shirley Horn and Bomber and Cypher, but I also love Ornette Coleman, James Brown and John Coltrane (sheets of sound & gentle tenderness) Shadow and Squibby. 

Before some of us prematurely criticize Trinidad All Stars, listen to Woman On The Bass final night and then the slow version that has become immensely popular. You would agree the judges heard it right on final night and all the ingredients we have come to love in panorama were there in the mix.  Smooth is at it again.

All Stars is not my band.
But on the evening of the 2012 Panorama semi-finals, the Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra delivered an artful master piece.
That rendition of Play yuh self is a musical sojourn not to be ventured by any unseasoned pannists.
And so, it is clear now, why 'youth' was apparently absent from their stage lineup on that magical night.
 
"Play yuh self", the title of their tune, is masterfully interpreted and superbly arranged.
Nuances abound.  'Runs' judiciously interspersed and blended throughout, hypnotic both in form and content, chromatically harmonized somehow, never really stray from the structure of the melody.
 
From the very inception, the interpreted tone is expounded, . . . the game plan is announced  — play thyself!! 
It's a command by the tenors. Echoed by the double tenors. Coerced strummingly by the double-seconds and provoked forcefully by the guitar-pans.
 
In turn, and never out of place, the cellos teasingly and alluringly beg the other pans (pannists) "to show what you've got, show what you can do — to play yuhself!" And do they ever comply!!
 
Of course, the bass — thumping out their response, offering unwavering constant support to each section, almost bully-like at times but never ever taking sides. Yep!...True diplomats, that bass section, tantalizing their avid fans and listeners, old and new, with a steady creative bass line, even enticing some to yearn in lustful wonderment — "Please. Let there be women on the bass."
 
Goodness gracious!
What underscores the mastery of this intricate arrangement is the intimate musical conversations between the various pans, a daunting task at best, yet successfully accomplished primarily because of the dexterity and skill of these pannists that is, oh ... so idiosyncratic of this dynamic band, Trinidad All Stars.  Sometimes we tend to forget that these pannists are all stars.  Well trained.  Military precise.  Polished.  Crisp to the ear. Visually rhythmic to the eye.  Joy to behold.  Simple.
 
Don't take my word for it.  Listen for yourself and note.
 
Become part of this melodious conversation, albeit vicariously, as the tenors 'play themselves', taunting at first with provocative bold runs, beckoning the 'lower pans' to respond, if they can. And obviously they all do, correctly and appropriately — rendering a cornucopia of musical delights, and shall we say, wrapped in cello-phane?
 
The only bad thing, on that semi-final night, was that this soon-to-be classic had to end.
 
But, as a rhetorical rebuttal in the parlance of "Play yuh self", ..... "Say wot!?!"
 
All Stars' brilliant interpretaion and flawless execution of "Play yuhself" corroborated — sadly by their final played note that — "All good things must come to an end."
 
Luckily, these accoustical memories are ours to cherish and enjoy.
 

Peter you're a delight to All Stars, yuh sure that's not yuh band? lol

Cecil:
The subtlety and brevity of your comment leaves me delighted — clever.
Much apreciated.
 
In all seriousness, AllStars is not my band.
 
But, if you have the time, check this (1980):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djbrpaikBqM
You are permitted to close your eyes while listening, if you so care.
 
At the expense of being silly,....
Question: What is the difference between an egg, a steeldrum, and the anticipated upcoming AllStars performance at the 2012 Panorama Finals?
Answer: You could beat an egg and a steeldrum.
LOL
 
 

Peter back in the day I used to beat a steeldrum, now I can't even beat an egg.

Cecil:
Yuh eh easy, nah — you could EGGaggerate. :-)
Tell me — Is 'back in the day' when carnival celebrations and festivities used to be held in the Queens Park OVAL? .....

The only thing I know about the Oval back in the day is where people used to meet INVADERS, and ah aint EGGaggerating. 

Ceciil, don't use 4-letter words like "can't" ... you never know what latent talent remains unutilized.   Peter

to answer this rhetorical question*is panorama still about music? the answer is obviously NO!!!!! Panorama today is about antics, theatrics, chromatic scales, hook lines borrowed from  popular songs or repeated harmonies and phrases year after year etc.They, the judges have killed the whole concept of originality in a panorama arrangement. hence the reason we see the same judges handing out the exact results every year to the same bands who are boldface enough to repeat identical  passages of music year after year.These bands go on to grab the top spots in the competition............ sad but true!!!!!

Brandon that's so true, that's why Edwin Pouchet is telling the other arrangers "GIE THEM TEMPO"  LMAO!

RSS

© 2020   Created by When Steel Talks.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service