In response to a recent
article you ran entitled "Panorama 2005 - Behind Enemy Lines" by
Augustin Hinkson, I was deeply troubled to see that "When
Steel Talks" would even run such an article. Mr. Hinkson has
some personal problems that he feels should be aired on the
"stage" of Pan. It should be noted that the Pan movement
is not a New York thing. Thanks to the help of "When Steel
Talks", Pan is spreading throughout the world like wildfire.
I am amazed to see news relating to pan groups from all over the
world and the number of people that are getting involved in pan.
Pan is even taking a prominent place in the churches across the
world. Mr. Hinkson seems to think first of all that Pan is
strictly an "African" movement. I have never
considered Pan as an
African art form, but an art form of Trinidad. There is a
Mr. Hinkson really has
problems concerning the politics of New York City (i.e. the lack
of space for panyards, etc.). Has he priced real estate in
NY lately? I have often been amazed that NY is a location
where Pan could exist at all. There is no doubt that there are
several good groups in NY. However, there is much more going on
in the pan community outside of NY City. Look at the
institutions across the country and the world that have
developed pan programs. It is truly amazing the number of public
schools and universities across the United States that have
outstanding ensembles that are exploring all areas of music.
NY City is but a small sample of the pan movement. My
recommendation is that if there are so many problems with New
York City, then get out of town. There are hundreds of
other places across the country that would love to have the
groups call home. There is plenty of real estate available
in North Carolina for example for groups to have all the room
they need. The self centered attitude that Pan is a New York
thing is troubling. The future of Pan is not in New York
City. It is through the institutions across the world that are
truly advancing the art form.
Finally, Pan is an art
form. The world is taking notice of pan everywhere, mostly
outside the city limits of NY. The worse thing that could
happen is for idiots such as Augustin Hinkson to be allowed to
use Pan as his political stage. Politics could be the end
of Pan as a musical art form. Pan is not an "African" thing.
The exciting thing about Pan is that it is a multi-racial
movement. IT IS A WORLD ART FORM. If the NY Pan
community becomes political, then the rest of the world pan
movement will ignore them and leave NY behind.