It saddens me to say this, after all the fight from both the local and international pan world, but after some results in the semi-final round of Panorama 2011, i cannot agree more. PANORAMA (JUDGING) IS KILLING PAN.
Firstly let me say that i didnt play with nor have afilliations with any particular band. I dont know, and i stand to be corrected, that there's any Judge in the Panorama competition that got a greater listening position, or has vastly greater academic or musical experience than many of the members or visitors of this WST website. I might go even further to compare them to the average visitor to the panyards.
To think that year after year, people expect and beg of Pan Trinbago to find the MOST Competent Panel of Judges, and i firmly believe this is one area that the organization unfortunately fails every single year.
In regards to the title of my discussion, after listening to every band LIVE and then seeing the results, there is no way the judges came even close to getting it right based on the CRITERIA. Even though the criteria itself is another topic for discussion, based on what we have to go by right now, something has gone terribly wrong with our judging system.
When 90% of listeners have commented on the poor tonal quality sound of a band like SILVER STARS, among other valid observations, how can they come out on top? It goes further into what growth can be expected for pan by Panorama Competition??? NONE!! WHY? When you have a competition that you cant expect to hear anything different from the previous years, and this is being rewarded with full marks, can we really ever expect growth??
I will leave it here for now and leave it up to the pan world to discuss. Let's wake up, be real, whether our band is on top or not, is this fair to the Artform???
Dhanesh: Your posting is most intriguing to me. For decades I have irritated my pan-passionate friends with the comment that once you put more than three pans together you have NOISE. So to you see isolating one band (the band that won the last two panoramas (SILVER STARS) and possibly three in a row) and accusing them of being "too noisy" and delivering "a metallic sound" gives me hope that others are starting to listen to this pan music a little more objectively. I grew up with SILVER STARS in the sixties and I have always loved the SILVER STARS noise but they DO NOT stand unique as NOISE MAKERS.
Tell me which STEELBAND does not sound NOISY and METALLIC!!!
KEEPING THEM HONEST: "For decades I have irritated my pan-passionate friends with the comment that once you put more than three pans together you have NOISE." Claude Gonzales. (Who proudly boasts of "irritating" their "pan-passionate" friends? Who considers pan music as "NOISE"? Answer: DUMMIES!!!)
GHOST - Who Is NOT A "Friend" Of This Dummy, But A Pan-Passionate Trinidad & Tobago Patriot!!!
In my opinion, it is precisely the job of Panorama judges to set the tone (no pun intended) for bands to follow -- by providing feedback about the arrangements bands present on stage (or wherever). So they should be advising arrangers about the musical content and structure of their Panorama pieces. In the old days (1970s), each band would receice a written review of the points awarded in the various categories, Bu sadly this practice seems to have been abandoned nowadays. Furthernore, very few judges are in a position to fully comprehend, much less advise, arrangers like Bradley or Boogsie. And many judges have never played pan. So how do we resolve the incessant annual complaints about "the judging"?
My sentiments exactly... Judges, through Pan Trinbago, over the years have been able to adopt a WHAT WE SAY GOES attitude so they dont think its their JOB to give PROPER Feedback. I have seen some scoresheets over the years, and as a musician, arranger myself (not in panorama though) i wouldnt know where to start to improve with the kind of comments some arranger get.
Its best the JUDGES WRITE: " HARD LUCK! TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR" .
No feedback, No growth.
FOR ALL THOSE WHO DISAGREE THAT PANORAMA NOT KILLING PAN, You ever smell a stagnant river???
Dave - We would be at a very sad state if we judging the state of pan by Panorama Attendance (much less the semis) I have worked with a media house who did a behind the scenes last year. And we interview over 50 persons at semi-finals (randomly) asking which band they supporting or tell us what band on stage, these were the responses:
"Ammmmmm, i supporting that band on stage now"
"Band? the only band i know is the one on my hand"
"No comment, i drunk and disorderly"
and thats at least 60% of your crowd.
If you wanna argue PANORAMA hasnt killed PANORAMA, then we in business. But, just like the recent episodes at Chutney Soca Monarch, our culture is dying at the expense of a TITLE.
Hey. I was being facetious. This is exactly what Panorama has become and there will always be bands willing to participate in it for whatever reason. It is not "Panorama" that is killing pan - but the bands that participate in Panorama and do not put enough effort into self-sufficiency and taking positive steps to advance the industry. I believe that if enough serious bands participate in the "Panorama Charade" and pursue the latter, then Panorama would never kill pan.
The Steelband movement as a whole and the steelpan industry have far too much at stake to be caught up in the mire of "who teef" and "who geh rob". In addition to culture dying at the expense of TITLE, there is the matter of an industry with enormous export potential which could redound to the benefit of the entire movement if managed properly. And, that is irrespective of thr political goodwill of any government of the day.
Back to Panorama. What Panorama has become parallels what mas has become and unfortunately I don't see either reverting to the good ole days.
I could not read all those replies as there are so many, but what i can say is panorama not killing pan its trinis . There are bands that have stage sides that perform year round while many others dont do any thing at all for them selves.
Its time bands espically smaller bands get their communities involved and teach music. Promote them selves for gigs, have a stage side and promote them selves for shows or any kind of function, where only a small number can play, rotoate players so all can get a gig..
There are many pan players who just like to play for panorama and thats a fact, and there are thoose who are more committed to year round activities.
To me panorama brings out more in an arranger where he can express his musical ability .
Big Bands dont make panorama a problem as they learn more music for the season e.g Renegades who is one of the best road bands, All Stars learn quite a few tunes during the season also. By the way i'm an All Stars supporter so I'm accustomed to to great music. Related to Edwin Pouchet and is proud of him and his band acheivements so far but I'm still an All Stars.
My main point is that the pan ferternity should work to gether to develope a way of sustaining them selves .Pantrinbago's main piority is to get bands to work harder to attract more members develope musicians so they can be independent as musicians promote .
Get bands to work close to the schools in their area to make their instruments accessable to the children ..
As a resident of Belmont and and ex pupil of St Margaret's Boys A.C School I see them working harder then the other Belmont bands keep up the good work.