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Panorama Final #2023
A Master Class
by Sharmain Baboolal
They're bringing back music, sweet music. By any means necessary.
There seems to be an unwritten, unspoken pact among the country's finest, to save our souls. And so, shaking off the shackles of the oppressors,( judges and powers that be) there is just plain old sweet orchestral music coming from Desperadoes ( Long Live Soca) and Renegades (Feeling to Party) as they are merely at the start of putting down the notes for their arrangement. And at Phase Two, people are walking out of the yard, simply saying it's the best Boogsie, since the landmark statement piece, his composition, I Music.
Given the state of the politics, in which there is a determined effort to shove forward young arrangers, there seems to be this unconscious (mystical) understanding from the masters, not to reclaim territory (which they never lost), but to save us from descending into the cheap wildness that has been forced on us as the dominant form of soca music, where people hardly get a chance to know and like the good music.
So, look out for heart and soul, and depth from Boogsie Sharpe, Smooth Edward's and Carlton Alexander, and Duvone Stewart who is now qualified as part of the league,by the dint of hard work. Not that they did not give it before.
Carnival is the mirror and reflects where we are.
With the creativity in mas gone to the dogs, wit,humor, and thought-provoking lyrics missing from calypsonians who have been subdued into thinking they are CEPEP workers, the onus is on these four worthy leaders and their troops to save the culture.
And they will do without a single word...fly high beyond the judges, telling them you can't judge me with human ears.
With just one note the Trinidad All Stars can set the Stage on Fire, which is the name of their 2023 tune of choice.
Smooth, after all, is a teacher at the University of Trinidad and Tobago,(UTT) and like every other superb musician listed above had to bleed through his pores to win back-to-back Panorama titles, which seems to be giving away, in this dispensation.
What's more than anything else, these men embody love, for music is healing.
And love is what's desperately needed right?
Well, folks, Panorama 2023 will give the UTT undergraduates a masterclass in love, humility, music, and this instrument which many see as a means to an end, rather than a service to the people.
Don't wait for the epic show on the final night.
Walk into those sacred yards and listen and feel the vibrations lift you higher.
For the original and incomparable sound of the Desperadoes bass drums, the legacy of Rudolph Charles, the enticing and intoxicating middle pans at Renegades, the foundation of Jit Samaroo. To hear Boogsie rearrange music on the spot, picking up the bars from thin air. And to learn how Smooth will set the stage on fire without striking a match.
Even if the results are set in stone, the winner will show that he earned it... at least.
In 1987, Black Stalin, under the threat of a takeover of calypso engineered by the fledgling soca mafia, captured the heart of the people chanting Bun Dem. It was an international statement, beyond the 2×4 lyrics..and music. Beyond the myopic mindspace of Tobago and Trinidad.His spirit as a warrior prevails, as many bands will play his music in tribute. Most importantly, music will be the winner.
Don't miss classes..its a joyful journey.

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