When Steel Talks

Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

Steelpan still in danger


2011-03-23

Pan in danger, sang Merchant in 1985. Today, 26 Panoramas later, it seems danger still exists.

Apparently panmen in Trinidad are fuming over being drowned out by the big music trucks in the recently concluded Carnival. Some steelbands were caught between trucks and one panman said the situation was so frustrating that some of the players went and jumped behind the trucks, since they couldn't be heard anyway.

Even in areas designated as steelband competition points the players couldn't be heard, so loud was the amplified music. Some will lament the indignity meted out to that country's national instrument but it comes as no surprise. Who can fight against thousands of watts of power? Certainly not a few people pushing pans.

Clearly something must be done, otherwise pan on the road, one of the most enjoyable aspects of Carnival, may soon be no more. This is another one for tough-talking and tough-acting Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Winston Gypsy Peters to take on.

Ironically, at the same time that technology is threatening pan on the road, it is also embracing pan. There is now an app called Real Steelpan available for the iphone and the ipad. It recreates the sound of the pan, very realistically. Soon Ziggy Walcott will be arranging on his ipad. Sweet!

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If this was happening somewhere else, thats one thing but for that to happen in Trinidad is deeply troubling...
Wherever pan is in danger, it is not protected.

Answer: Change the format ... Penta Rhapsody went on the road using PHIs and did not have that problem.

Lesson 1: Change is constant. Adapt or die

Lesson 2: Our big mistake. It was never only about the pan ... we keep forgetting the pannist. Stalin: Is de pan weh gone, but de panman stay! 

 

 

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Not so fast Prof. Copeland.  Change, adapt, innovate are good and there is enough room for those and more.  Yet, pan is an extraordinary instrument, born from a particular experience of historial and human significance and crafted with blood, sweat and tears.  It has earned its stripes and now must be protected.  Did Angostura Bitters change its formula lately?  Just thought of a slogan for pan, "Respect & Protect".

THE PHI IS A PLASTIC THING WITH PAN NOTES PAINTED ON WITH AN AMPLIFIER INSIDE. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THAT AND THE BIG TRUCKS WITH  AMPLIFIERS AND BIG BLACK BOXES?

PLEASE DO NOT COMPARE A STEELPAN WITH THE PHI. IT IS INSULTING!!!

... and PAn is a piece of metal with bumps on it.  The difference between amped trucks and the PHI is ... the PHI is played by pannists. Pan is nothing without pannists. PHI is nothing without pannists.  It has always been about the pannist NOT the pan. That is the mistake we have made all along.  Pan and PHI are the media to liberate the pannist. Pan cannot play itself and pannists have a talent all locked up that the world is only now seeing. Its a gorgeous instrument scientifically as well as artistically. PHI has its own beauty - even if you do not see it.  But thus far most pannists barely make much off pan!  Yet they have the potential to do so. Time to stop the scrunt!

the theme of this is "pan in danger" and the solution is to replace it with a MIDI trigger?

 

pan in danger indeed

No need to change the format and lose one of the most acoustically pleasing experiences for Carnival (or anytime for that matter) - pan on the road. The only change that is necessary now is the introduction of a "Pan Zone" on Carnival day where no DJ's or music trucks are allowed.

That's a good idea....2 days in a "Pan Zone" would be phenomenal!  Good for pan, good for pannists, good for mas, and good for business.  Kudos to "When Steel Talks" for making the discussion possible.

We want Carnival Tuesday for pan only, that's the change we want.
I agree, and  it should start with the Panorama Semi-Finals cause that was ridiculous. If Pantrinbago cant control it at their own event, how can they control it on the streets?

http://whensteeltalks.ning.com/forum/topics/big-truck-music-killing...

 

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