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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music



Pan needs a big idea. Like when Peter Ueberroth made the 1984 Olympics the TV games, raising close to a billion US dollars from broadcast rights. Previous to 1984, others focused on stadium seats to be the main supply of revenue.

So we need a big idea. Ueberroth changed the “product distribution” from the stadium seat to the living room couch.

What if we went on a massive YouTube thrust where we put steel bands in worldview and simultaneously start a conversation with the world? Blogging and building a communities interested in tuning, arranging, organising, building teams and all the other great stuff that steelbands do. This will mean steelband people learning some new skills. Skills that are no harder than what they do now. Of course steelbands will also be able to sell their recordings and take bookings.

Or what if we did something crazy like stopping Panorama for a 3 year test period and get steelbands back playing in their community blockos and across T&T. What if we could promise the movement the same level of government subvention to be distributed to its membership as it determines.

Stopping Panorama might be the biggest big idea. It removes the focus on 8 minutes of music and places it back on the instrument and its power to delight well beyond 8 minutes. Do pan people have the belly for this big idea? 


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Comment by Dennis Ramdeen on June 5, 2011 at 12:17pm

I'm not as close to Pat Bishop as I wish I was, because I could have been closer.  Almost like the opportunity I blew by not following (literally) Lloyd Best.  He tried his best to show me the way, but I did not give him the time to my own detriment.  Back to Pat Bishop.  I have heard Pat say (a few times) that "you have to do the work".  What I understand her to mean by this is not just the sweat equity that one needs to invest in any undertaking.  That's the normal interpretation.  You also the brain equity, the planning and strategising that must form part of any work.

So on two levels we need to do the work to figure out what to do with this instrument and decide what we want it to be and to mean.  And then all the tactics that will come together to deliver the objective.  I understand that Kurt Iffill led a team that put together a solid document for Pan Trinbago.  Mayber we can hand that document to some 25 years olds who love pan and ask them to come back with a one pager that maps out pan's future.

Ms. Bishop is right.  We do need to do the work and fast before the patient dies.

Comment by wayne walcott on June 5, 2011 at 10:43am
Dennis is not dat dey doe have de belly tuh stop de biggest pan killer we call Panorama . . at least till we could re-organize it tuh make sense . . but dey doe have de foresight tuh do dat . .  Pan dying in front ah we eyes an we turnin we heads away . . ah keep sayin it  . . an I will keep sayin it . . Stop de damm competitions  till we do wot we have tuh do . . . 1/Standardize de pans . . 2/ Build ah Pan Factory . .wey we makin pans accordin tuh Tony Williams Steel; pressin plans . . 3 / Elec Honest . . yes honest .Leadership . . persons who could plan de future of pan properly . . not tuh continue in de same messy roads we goin down  . . tuh change de course to progress . . tuh really Do Sumting 4 Pan . . 4 / Get bizness people .  .wid ideas yuh suggestin , ,an more  . . tuh move pan as ah bizness item . . cause it is . .  5 / Organize we own shows . .an events . . Nationally  an Internationally . . 6 / Pan in schools . . an de yards . . must teach  Music . . yes players Must learn tuh read an write Music . . not jes tuh play . .  6 / Pan fuh de road especially . . but in general . .Must be miked-up . . stop dese backward ideas bout spoilin de sounds . . again Tony showed how tuh make dese pans so damm long ago . . but because of pettiness an Tribal Warfare  we still wid dis ancient method . . b.s. . . dey does mike up fuh all de competitions . .eh  .. so wot de hell is de keepback . .  we not movin forward . . into de 21sr Century . .  not yet anyway . . anybody ever do ah recordin widout miking up de pans . . so cut out dis SHIT  now . . Peace an progress tuh all T &T people  an pan lovers in general . .
Comment by Andre-Roger Dellevi on June 4, 2011 at 10:43pm

Oh Lord, Pan People...

Or what if we did something crazy like stopping Panorama for a 3 year test period and get steelbands back playing in their community blockos and across T&T.

You sound like Gypsy...  They might not take kindly to the notion that Panorama killing Pan...

They may not be able to accept the underlying meaning of what Gypsy was trying to provoke people to think about...  They may not want anyone to really do something for pan.


What we need to do is along the lines you suggest.  Saturate T&T with steelpan at every level of society from kinder-garden to university and beyond.  Then saturate the world with steelpan at eery turn.  Learn from our Jamaican people how they did it with Reggae Music, then repeat liberally across the world.


Before, we tackle it, get the steelpan patented "once and for all".


If someone with poetic talents can take what you stated above and add some music to the lyrics, you may well have the makings of a really wicked calypso...

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