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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

I am really pleased to announce the launch of my new CD! Named after Lord Kitchener’s calypso celebration of the flame-haired ladies, the album demonstrates the ample capabilities of the pan for versatility, and for musical and emotional expression. Two tracks (‘Happy’ and ‘Ave Maria’) feature fabulous and unique vocals from my long-term friend from our days in the Radcliffe Rollers Steel Band: Jo Servi. There is a wide range of styles here from soca and calypso to JS Bach and Lou Reed. I've had universally great feedback so far from everyone who has heard it so l am confident that this is my best work so far. We can ship worldwide.


Outta de Box - Mark Loquan
Happy - Pharrell Williams 
Poker Face - Lady Gaga
You Know I’m No Good - Amy Winehouse 
Mario (Overworld Theme) - Koji Kondo 
Price Tag - Jessie J 
Red Head - Lord Kitchener 
The Statue Got Me High - They Might Be Giants 
All Tomorrow’s Parties - The Velvet Underground 
Anji - Davey Graham 
Sarabande - G. F. Handel
Gavotte en Rondeau/Bourrée/Gigue - J. S. Bach 
Ave Maria - Gounod/J. S. Bach 
Lover Come Back - Lionel Belasco 
Sapphire Bullets of Pure Love - They Might Be Giants 


Only available here (worldwide shipping available)
http://robert-rankin.myshopify.com/products/red-head-cd-album

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Congratulations on your latest work, Rachel

Thank you! It was hard work but lots of fun and worth it too I think. You can hear my previous cd on Spotify FOR FREE by searching either "Rachel Hayward" or "Priestess of Pan" (on the Spotify search facility). For more information on my credentials and achievements see my website http://www.steelpan.co.uk

Rachel: I read your BIO and I listened to some of your music. I have to compliment you for RECORDING THE MUSIC. But if you got a good MUSIC PRODUCER and good technology oriented SOUND ENGINEER -- you might be able to deliver the music I am expecting to hear coming from the PAN. Your vast MUSICAL BACKGROUND is NOT TRANSMITTING through the PAN and I think that I understand why -- you are falling into all the traditional Caribbean pitfalls even though you are British. Maybe you hire me as a "radio ears" consultant when you start working on your next album. I will order a couple of your new CDs on the grounds that YOU ARE RECORDING.

Thank you for your feedback, Claude. The new album Red Head was made in a different studio and with a different producer and engineer from Priestess of Pan (which I presume you listened to as Red Head isn't available online at the moment) so you may find it suits your tastes better. If you could give me more specific examples of how I have fallen into the 'Caribbean pitfalls' I'd be very grateful as I don't think I understand quite what you mean by that phrase.

At the moment your orders haven't come through on our system yet so if you are having trouble placing your order please click this link; we can ship worldwide. Thanks!

http://robertrankinstore.com/products/red-head-cd-album

Rachel: I went ahead and ordered TWO COPIES of your CD only because YOU ARE RECORDING and I am such a BIG ADVOCATE of RECORDING THE INSTRUMENT. I am going to give the CDs to two friends but I doubt very much that I will actually open one and listen to it. 

After looking at your SONG SELECTION and listening to some of your past work, I doubt very much that you can escape the CULTURAL BOX in which you have put yourself. So I do not think that your NEW RECORDING could be different from your OLD STROKES ... something about a leopard.

I did send an email to one of your "contact sites" but I did not get a response. But when you check my order you can get my email address and maybe we can start discussing your NEXT CD and how you could MAKE PAN MUSIC with a GLOBAL APPEAL that gets played on MAINSTREAM RADIO.

... And that has been my MOST COMMON CRY on this forum for years now.

Claude

 

Hi Claude, I shipped the CDs earlier this week, thank you for ordering! I really appreciate your support. I did write a reply to your email but inadvertently I didn't send it and it remained in my 'draft' box. Please accept my apologies for that. I think, however, if you wish to promote pan and have it heard/played on mainstream radio this isn't really going to happen. For mainstream (white) audiences pan remains a novelty which is only suitable for playing 'Yellow Bird' style music or to be heard at Carnival banging out some noisy calypsos. I have spent the last 25 years or so trying to change people's minds about this and it seems almost impossible to be taken seriously. I even went as far as gaining my doctorate in ethnomusicology (specialising in pan) to try and understand the barriers to pan's acceptance in the wider community. 

So really I am interested in producing the best possible music I can, without attempting to cater for anyone else pleasure or artistic visions except my own. I can only make the music which I have in my heart and soul and if those are the 'boxes' which constrain me then I have to be satisfied with that. I cannot see that acceptance but he mainstream will happen in the foreseeable future so I have to be content to do my best within my small circle of influence.

Lady Raygun: The CDs arrived today! I am just letting you know for your general marketing information. It took exactly one week to get from England to Northern California which I thought was EXCEPTIONALLY FAST.

You have a platform from which GOOD THINGS CAN HAPPEN!!!

That was a brilliant response you made to my comment and it shows that you have THICK SKIN (unlike Donald Trump -- that is an American political joke). I could write a TWENTY PAGE response to your reply but this is the wrong medium. However, I will say that when I listened to your past recordings, you seem to play for YOURSELF more so than YOUR AUDIENCE -- which is essential to the core of my critique of your recordings.

(You brought it up so ALL IS FAIR!!!)

I think that you have been around Trinidad and Caribbean PAN PLAYERS too long and they have rubbed off on you (which ties into an earlier comment that I made about your work). 

I am obsessed with the idea of a PAN PLAYER making ONE DECENT CD that could get played GLOBALLY. I don't know how many times I have raised that topic on this forum. 

Cecil Hinkson wants to see STEELBANDS ON THE ROAD FOR CARNIVAL just like in the SIXTIES And Claude Gonzales wants to be driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas one day and just as I get to the edge of the Mojave Desert driving through desolate terrain and lose my radio station and start seeking another one: A station comes in playing a piece of PAN MUSIC loud and clear ... and the music wins my approval.

In conclusion I would say, you ought to think BIGGER than your small circle of friends. 

Should I open one of the CDs and listen to it or should I give them away to friends as I plan to do? After the concussion I got from seeing LeBron (the greatest basketball player the world has ever seen) demolish my local team last night -- I might be tempted to seek some solace in listening to your music.

You should dig that email out of the DRAFT FILE and send it to me. I am sure that I could give you some pointers that would lift you out of that TRINIDAD PAN MODE and make you a GLOBAL STAR!!!

Sincerely,

Claude

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