Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
The winning performance arranged by Bradley. David Rudder's "High Mass."
With Hi Mas Bradley showed people that he can take any band and win panorama, no talk about players too young or cannot play his music, few arrangers can do that.
We are in agreement, the spirit of carnival must respected.
@Pan Times - In a way you help to make my point. Had I listened to this tune at a Classical Steelband festival, my musical expectations would have been quite different, and under those conditions I may have gotten an entirely different vibe from the tune.
Subconsciously I think that the Carnival atmosphere causes us to have certain expectations from the music and in a way this also limits the creativity of the arrangers.
A case in point.
I happen to think that Boogsie's "Archbishop of Pan" was a masterpiece.
But because of the subject matter, Boogsie's approach was one of reverence and solemnity that was was very appropriate, and beautifully done.
But I think that they were beaten by All Stars because in my opinion their selection "Play Yourself" exuded that Carnival excitement, that "joie de vivre" that we associate with the festival, and the judges were affected, maybe subconsciously by it.
It is possible that in a different competition under different circumstances the results could have been quite different.
(Not that I'm making any judgments here, folks, as far as I'm concerned it was and is Trinidad All Stars)
Glenroy view the band as a moving vessel down the road or through the challenges of Trinidad life. In Bradley’s pieces the band is always moving even if the audience is not. And even when he repeats phrases for emphasis, attention and emotional pivoting.
Brads opens up this TnT musical "mass/journey" with a beautiful intro to set up the "don't stop the carnival" request. He lets you know what kind of sermon is about go down and what the people want. The fete folks and carnival gods are happy. He states the melody like few can over and over. He has the orchestra singing with impeccable clarity to the gods with high, low and mid voices, Now the judges are happy. And who has a bigger god complex than the judges on panorama night? He makes a wicked transition into the banded rhythms and now the badjohns, fighting and melancholy spirits are happy. By the time he gets to halleluiah phrase the road has been blessed for his and the bands safe passage. All challenges have been cleared. Prayers have been answered. There is the great exultation to punctuate the piece.. No stopping of the carnival.
The other bands never had a chance.
Glenroy, you are not alone. I have listened to this performance LIVE on the day it won, and listened to the recordings OVER and OVER to date and still can't get it. I could only surmise that the judges pens slipped on the score sheets that night. All respects to Nutones.
Ian, I always try to be honest, especially when it comes to pan related subjects.
@Pan Times- Very interesting and insightful response, and this ties into my argument that Panorama has little to do with Carnival music, but is in reality "Classical Music for Pan"
Maybe that's why , realizing this, PanTrinbago decided to create a more Carnival atmosphere at Panorama, by allowing DJ bacchanal on the Greens during the competition.
I will give the tune another listening with your points in mind. I've always listened to it from a Carnival perspective, expecting to get a carnival type lift, which I never got.
In a way, Panorama music (and this tune) has more in common with Anthony William's arrangement of "Intermezzo in E Flat" ( a light classical piece composed by Anthony Prospect) that was a test piece at the 1966 Steelband Music festival, than than it does with Bradley's "Rebecca".
It seems that once we realized that we could master European classical music, we decided to create our own for pan.
Not to belabor the subject, but to my mind the question remains, is Carnival weekend the right time and place for this?
Glenroy, I told you that you are a honest person before today's comments. You and many others may share the same sentiments. This reminds me of Exodus with Pelham's, "Savannah Party." I listened again to their winning performance some ten years after, and think that was Exodus/Pellam Goddard's "masterpiece." However, I am in no way stating that "High Mas" will grow on you. I believe that Nu Tones/Bradley were never far behind on points from the prelims. Yes, they may have won as a an underdog, but they did not enter the finals as underdogs. As I stated prior, they were always in the runnings, but know one noticed.
@ Glenroy -- Bradley strategically interwove movements and passages that play hard on the religious (shango, Gregorian chants), spiritual and cultural psyche of the Trinidad and Tobago people. Bradley himself told us he studied and experimented with different religions in quest for a better understanding of self. Once he dropped that "Amen" it was over.
I have to be honest about this.
Of all the winning Panorama tunes I've ever heard, this is one I never got. I don't know what it is since I love Rudders tune and Bradley has been one of my favorite arrangers over the years.
And I was happy to see a relative 'underdog' steelband win.
But I've never been able to get any vibes from that performance.
I can only hypothesize that maybe this was one of those performances that had to be experienced live.
Historical facts at panorama 1998: (1) Nu Tones is the second Steel Orchestra that won panorama, but did not make the finals the previous year. (2) Their 11 points win margin was the widest since 1984. (3) They are the second Steel Orchestra from the Eastern Zone to win. Yes I know, but Harmonites victories were before the zonal system were implemeted in 1976. (4) Mr. Clive Bradley became the only arranger to date that led two different Steel Orchestras to victory, and also placed three different bands to 1st, 2nd and 3rd at three different finals. Nu Tones may be the one and only Steel Orchestra that won panorama "without winning the tonal category" If anyone is interested, I penned another Pan Book. firstname.lastname@example.org. love peace and pan.
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