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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music

Athie Martin
  • 75, Male
  • Roseau
  • Dominica
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If you like, go ahead and tell your fellow WST Ning members about yourself here
Have played pan since I was 12 years old; now at 63, I play jazz and classicson pan and teach the young players.

Have played pan on several albums of local artistes including Michel Henderson, Cornell Phillip and, have produced a christmas album together with my brother Julie and Cornell Phillip.

H Guppy Brown has built all by pans (tenors and Douible seconds) since 1996. I am completely satisfied with his work.

Last year, with support from SAGICOR, I led a team of 5 of Dominica's young players on an immersion tour in pan to Trinidad. We visited and spent time with Angel Harps, Invaders, Phase II, Golden Hands and, All Stars as well as long conversations with H Guppy Brown on pan building and care and with Ray Holman on the history of pan and the playing techniques as they evolved over the last 40 years.

Ray Holman spent time with us here in Dominica last year conducting assessment and training sessions with our young players. Invaluable. Ray did a public lecture on the history and evolution of pan at the local Campus of UWI.

We are now seeking support for getting a master pan tuner to visit Dominica for several weeks where we can begin development of a modern pan building and tuning and care capacity and facility.

From a low of 30 or so players 10 years ago, the National Pan Association has begun the restoration of the art form to its place of pride and we have 6 operating groups in addition to pan in three schools. Some 200 players are now engaged.

For Carnival this year and last, I trained 40 players from three groups to play pan on the road as a band large enough to compete with the electronic bands. We also used some amplification thanks to Junior Delsol the husband of Michel Henderson and one of our finest bass players and sound engineers.

The future includes getting young players to tune in to Pan Radio and other features of panonthenet as When Steel Talks.

The Region should take urgent steps to secure the future of our instrument as a fine art from building through tuning to plaing and arranging.

Most of the players that we work with now arew music literate and this makes a huge difference in the ease with which more intricate scores are addressed.

We are experimenting with the combination of pan with raw African drums and with our local music "jingping" that makes use of an accordion, a bamboo bass,, scratch scratch, and "tambal" (goat skin over an expanded tambourine frame).

The future is exciting especially if we can ensure that the pan art form and the business of pan are properly passed on to the next several generations of Caribbean people.


Athie martin

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