Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
THEY TIEF WE
Well that is usually the cry when your band loses the Panorama finals, the big steelpan festival during Trinidad and Tobago carnival. Especially if the band was favoured to win or at least give a good account of themselves.
Phase II Pangroove is regarded as one of the big three or big five, that dominate the competitions every year.
This time a lot of people felt that Phase II did not bring it.
The judges placed the mighty Phase in seventh place during the semi-finals of the competition, prompting arranger Len “Boogsie” Sharpe to change the entire arrangement in the short time between the semis and the finals.
The new version of the music was a complex arrangement of the song with the band going through extremely complicated and challenging passages, drawing on different genres of music, including some very sweet jazz riffs and an extended ending that kept the listener wondering if and when the song would end. The new direction, although admired by the faithful following, brought questions to many as to whether or not the music was appropriate for the Panorama competition.
For one thing the music might have been 'over the heads' of the judges or maybe just too far off centre.
Everybody acknowledges that there is a Panorama formula and it changes from time to time. Andy Narell, the US born and based pan composer, would not compromise his style to fit the Panorama mould when he took the band Birdsong to the finals and look what they did to him. Although the composition and performance were solid, the band did not place, ostensibly because the arrangement was too slow and did not fit into the expectations of the Panorama judges.
Boogsie may have gone too far out in left field, but the long ending was not doing him any favours. To accommodate it, the tune had to be played very fast since there is a strict time limit and in the finals it was played much too fast, falling quite short of the allotted time, so it seemed that the long ending was added to make up time, when in fact it took too much time and spoiled the music by forcing the band to play too fast.
There was just too much stuff going on in there for the judges to catch at that speed. They eventually placed the band in sixth position, drawing a loud response from the crowd that had given their performance a rousing round of applause during the competition. Even the television announcers had Phase II in at least second position.
All Stars, the eventual winner, got the nod because they had popular support of hundreds of their fans accompanying the band, not because the arrangement was so much better, if it even was better, but having a very popular song means that the work is already half done and the judges ruled accordingly.
For Phase II, changing the music completely in the week that it took did not help of course, since a lot of the music was being composed in the last hours before the competition and not every pan player can keep up that kind of effort, no matter how willing they are, but that was not the big problem, as no obvious mistakes were made during the performance.
In fact, the word performance should not have been used to describe one of the main criteria for judging the bands. It should properly be termed execution, since performance conjures up the image of a spectacle rather than a solid execution of the music. So a band that performs well, meaning jumping around, dressing snazzily, adding visual distractions or smoke and mirrors, could well be given more points than a band that simply executed the music well. Moreover, there should be consideration given to degree of difficulty as is done in other competitions, both sporting and musical.
If the judges considered only the musical aspects of the composition, nothing was a good as Boogsie's music and the Phase II execution, but obviously it is not strictly a musical competition. Popular support counts.
In any case maybe it's time the Panorama format was revised
Even Boogsie himself did it already when he scrapped Haffers entire prelims arrangement to put down his own version for semis.
Sorry I must not be in the discussion about how the judges "tief" Phase II... my bad...
Don't think that anybody on this post suggested that the judges 'tief' Phase II and certainly nobody said so out right.
Most people are discussing what the post originally said, that Phase II was hampered by first of all the late change in arrangement and the speed at which the tune had to be played.
Nobody complained about the position they placed, as after all the judges make their decision and that is supposed to be that, however some might have suggested that All Stars go more points for audience participation.
People have long since decided that the judging for Panorama leaves a lot to be desired, but to be fair nobody can judge a piece of music after only one hearing.
As far as the similarity between arrangements over the years go, so what, the judging does not take that into consideration, whether it's an arrangers style or exactly the same as another piece.
Similarly when all Stars won band of the year with sailor mas, some people were ticked off since there were many better costumes than theirs, but carnival judging is not only about costume, is it.
"but to be fair nobody can judge a piece of music after only one hearing."...
I wondered too why such heavy editing of the tune. "Maybe" Sharpe should have left more of the Semis version as is, since comments would be given as a guide to improve on a previous performance. The original piece is clearly written in the minor mode, while almost 50% of the the finals version is written in a major key. The tune even ends in the major.
Tierce de Picardie is a term describing a major chord at the end of a piece of music in a minor key....but not an entire passage (to my knowledge). I wonder if that is what he was aiming at?..Just my observation.
well written wayne
it is not the first time that boogsie has changed his arrangements of a panorama tune and it wont be his last
as they say some u win some u lose and some are rained out
the song did not come together and the last 3 minutes was really confusing
however as the old war cry
we go beat them nest year
hope he lets the song out for the public knowledge earlier
as far as music despers won but u know the judges are the judges
but in the end pan was the winner
Win or Loose Phase ll and Boogsie is still the subject of conversation I can see why some people are pissed.