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Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music



MUSIC IS AN ART AND THE MUSICIAN IS AN ARTIST. THE IMPLICATION OF THIS ASSERTION IS THAT JUST AS EVERY ARTIST HAS THE GOOD OF THE ART IN HIS HEART, THE MUSICIAN WHO IS AN ARTIST MUST PROMOTE THE BEST INTEREST OF HIS FELLOWMEN, NOT THE OPPPOSITE.

OUR YOUTHS ARE HUNGRY FOR KNOWLEDGE AND THEY THIRST FOR WISDOM. THEY WANT TO LEARN AND GROW. YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE FEELINGS AND ARE WILLING TO TAKE ON CHALLENGES. THEY WANT TO EXPERIENCE NEW AND POSITIVE THINGS. ADDITIONALLY, THEY ARE SOPHISTICATED AND VERY OBSERVANT, WHETHER OR NOT YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT THIS AS A FACT. TODAY’S YOUNG MINDS ARE OPENED, EAGER AND FULL OF POTENTIAL POWER. UNFORTUNATELY, MOST OF THE “COLLECTIVE THOUGHTS” OF OUR YOUTHS ARE TUNED TO “CHANNEL ZERO”.

BY “CHANNEL ZERO”, I REFER TO THE CONSTANT NEGATIVE INFLUENCES OF SELFISHNESS AND MATERIALISM THAT PERMEATES OUR DOMINANT CULTURE. THIS IS RESULTANT OF THE SYSTEM OF CAPITALISM, WHICH LEADS TO RACISM, SEXISM AND CLASSISM. WHETHER WE CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT OR NOT, IT IS A KNOWN FACT THAT “CAPITALISM AT ITS INCEPTION, IMPOSED A SEPARATION BETWEEN THE ECONOMY AND MORALS”.

 

ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PHENOMENON IN THE PLETHORA OF CARNIVAL ACTIVITIES, IS THE MUSIC OF OUR POPULAR BANDS AND VOCALISTS. BECAUSE OF THEIR IMMENSE POPULARITY AND INFLUENCE AMONG OUR YOUTHS IN PARTICULAR, IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT THAT WE SERIOUSLY BEGIN TO EXAMINE THE TYPE OF MUSIC OUR MUSICIANS CREATE, ESPECIALLY WITH REGARDS TO THE CONTENTS OF THE MESSAGE. THIS HOWEVER, “SHOULD BE DONE WITH THE UTMOST RESPECT.” IT SHOULD BE MADE CLEAR THAT CERTAIN ASPECT OF THEIR WORK ARE NOTEWORTHY AND HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT. FOR INSTANCE, THROUGH THEIR WORK GENRE OF CALYPSO/SOCA, THEY ARE ASSISTING IN THE PROMOTING AND PERSERVING OUR RICH AFRICAN/ CARIBBEAN ART FORM WHICH HAS, AT TIMES, PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN OUR STRUGGLE AGAISNT VARIOUS FORMS OF DOMINATIONS. IN SOME CASES, THIS ART FORM HAS HELPED TO INSPIRE AND EDUCATE GENERATIONS OF AFRICAN PEOPLE. ADDITIONALLY, IT HAS DOCUMENTED MANY IMPORTANT EVENTS IN OUR HISTORY.

IN LIGHT OF THIS ILLUSTRIONS TRADITION, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE BEGIN TO CONSTRUCTIVELY CRITIQUE THE MESSAGES IN THE SONGS OF OUR BANDS. MOREOVER, GIVEN THE UNACCEPTABLE LEVEL OF VIOLENCE AND OTHER ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOURS  AFFLICTING OUR COMMUNITIES, COUPLED WITH NEO-COLONIALISM AND OUR TROUBLED ECONOMY, THERE IS A BURNING NEED TO ADDRESS SUCH CRITICAL ISSUES IN EVERY FORM AND FASHION.

NOW MORE THAN EVER, IT HAS BECOME NECESSARY FOR OUR BANDS TO CREATE MUSIC WITH THE TYPE OF CONSCIOUS MESSAGES THAT WILL EDUCATE AND INSPIRE OUR YOUTHS AND OTHERS, TO GET INVOLVED IN EFFORTS TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE VERY SERIOUS ISSUES PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED.

TO CONTINUE TO CREATE SONGS THAT SPEAKS ABOUT WINE, PUSH BACK AND JAM WHILE OUR PEOPLE CONTINUE TO EXPERIENCE CRISIS AFTER CRISIS IS INEXCUSABLE.

IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, WE MUST BEGIN TO RAISE THE ISSUE OF SONG CONTENT WITH OUR CULTURAL ARTISTS. “IN ANY SITUATION OF OPPRESSION, EVERY MEMBER OF THE OPPRESSED HAS CERTAIN RESPONSIBLITIES.”

 

Submitted by:

STAFFORD JOSEPH

Views: 109

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Comment by bigsands on September 21, 2011 at 3:13am

Hi Stafford. A nice post, although there is no need to write in UPPER CASE, AS THIS IS THE EQUIVALENT OF SHOUTING!!! Having said that, one point that I really liked was your comment about the youth - THEY WANT TO EXPERIENCE NEW AND POSITIVE THINGS. ADDITIONALLY, THEY ARE SOPHISTICATED AND VERY OBSERVANT. I agree totally with that view. I think that the music business is one of the toughest models to develop a competitive advantage and I would advise most young adults to think carefully about what they are bringing to the table and how it will differentiate from their competitors, before committing all their time and effort to music. There are lots of other easier opportunities around. For example; a skilled person can
look at an existing product or service and apply a different mindset to see how they can improve it and run a sustainable business. I could set up a fruit & vegetable stall and present it much better than my competitors and
guarantee the quality on a day to day basis and it WILL make money. The same principle can be applied to a bakery, a roti stall, a corner shop, a rum shop, a hairdresser, a guest house, a car repair garage, a private school, a private health centre, a law firm; you can see where I am going with this. There are lots of opportunities if you have a closer look. No need to reinvent the wheel, just put some new rims on it. Innovate, this is the missing piece of jigsaw. I do understand your points on the capitalist culture, etc, there is some truth in there but it can drain too much energy trying to comprehend the politics behind it all. It is best to focus on the things that are in your control. Best regards, bigsands. www.bigsand-steelband.co.uk/parties.html

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