Borodin's Polovtsian Dances by Desperadoes Steel Orchestra, conducted by Dr Pat Bishop

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This performance is from "Pan Rising - Pan is Beautiful IV" (1986)The conductor is Trinidad's famed musicologist, Dr. Pat Bishop.At this time I would like to dedicate this video to the memory of Dr Pat Bishop, who suddenly passed away on August 20th, 2011.Rest In Peace, Dr Pat Bishop.

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  • The greatest steel orchestra of all times.........

  • A steelband performance is more than just music.

    It involves action - synchronized rhythmic movement and dance, and showcases the dexterity of highly skilled and talented artists.

    To say you can electronically separate the music from the steelband, mold and shape it into something better, more  appealing , to me is ....well ridiculous.

    You may be creating something worthwhile, different and even enjoyable.

    But you won't be creating steelband music. 

  • Excellent in 1986!  Is a 21st century version on record?

  • I am humbled!

    This music to which I am listening (for the third time over, is steelpan! And as I listen the hairs raise at the back of my neck, goosebumps rise and my heart sings.

    It is not enough to say 'steelpan: invented by Trinidadians'. This may give an incorrect impression -- of 'inventors' working away in some kind of musical laboratory. Steelpan, we must not forget to tell them, was born in the 'belly' of T&T. Men, from the ghettoes of the innercities, forged this range of instruments from the scrap material of the industry that  made some people elsewhere very rich. Badjohns, scarred from battle with other slumyard rivals, helped to form and protect these orchestras.

    These men, ignoring the sneers and scoffs of the well-to-do and the 'learned', (who continued to insist at the time that the pan was unable to produce the necessary sounds to play certain types of music) continued to develop the tone and beauty of the sound they produced.

    While they continued to 'clash' in displays of macho 'slumyard' power, they continued to cherish and improve their music. (remember, it was despers about 25 years before this performance who had that most famous clash with San Juan All Stars!)

    It was in this cauldron of the innercity black experience inT&T that the pan developed its own musical geniuses.

    It was to this beauty that talented middle class Trinbagonians like Pat Bishop were drawn -- She, like the others, was drawn by a visceral urge that recognized the music as hers, the sound of the pan as the sound of her own inner voice.

    It was this beauty one that grew out of our deepest roots, blended with the newer musical insights brought by our Indian brothers to further nourish it, that has led the creators of this site to be able to proclaim, in all seriousness,  "When steel talks, everybody listens."

    My spirit soars as I listen to renditions like these. It soars because I love music. It soars higher because I am a Trinidadian. This is MINE!

    Did somebody use the word 'ordinary-ness'?

    In whatever context it was used, please, do not dignify it with a discussion!

    PAN IS BEAUTIFUL = I am beautiful.

    Give thanks and praises.

    The Akan saying is translated "(nothing) except God.":

    Thank you Jah!

  • It was said in a particular context Glenroy,and while I admire and have no arguement with your loyalty to the culture and Pan in particular, the person's discussion with you, if I am correct, was really targeted at another whose ego is too huge to speak with directly. I dont think his words were meant to show 'the ordinary-ness of the steelpan as compared to other instruments'. If I am out of place here, please forgive me.

  • Bertel, I choose my words carefully.

    It is one thing  for one to point out that the "only acoustic instrument " stuff is pure hype.

    One the other hand, to seem to go out of the way to prove the ordinary-ness of the steel pan as compared to other instruments ,. the marimba , for example, is quite another.

    If the person doing this is a native of the country where the steel pan family of musical instruments were invented, then I do not believe that my language was too strong.

  • Humbled or embarrassed Glenroy? Thats a very extreme way of looking at it!

  • On the subject of the uniqueness of the pan, this is a reminder

    Desperadoes Steel Orchestra under the Baton of the late Dr Pat Bishop.

    Unlike Sidd and others I'll not be humble or embarrassed to take pride in these magnificent musical instruments that our people , my people, people of Trinidad and Tobago created.

    Other peoples take pride in their nations. achievements, they herald them in song. 

    Why shouldn't we?

  • Sat-Nam!Pat played her part very well!ASE! Condolences to the Extended-Family,on behalf of myself and Parry's Pan School(PPS)we also lost Mr Lennox 'Pablo' Paul(Selwyn 'Parry' Paul's eldest Brother..and PPS Consultant)last week. Pablo was the Director of T+T's "National Insurance" from its inception! Condolences to Parry and the Extended- Family! ASE!
  • This video shows the late Dr Pat Bishop in action as she conducts Desperadoes Steel Orchestra at "Pan is Beautiful- Pan Rising", 1986.
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