In the last few weeks, hundreds of thousands of pan historians, fans and players
hooked into the When Steel Talks online network and site seeking to gain and/or
share information on the panorama happenings, and become associates and friends
with others of like minds. Our WST amalgamation of PanOnTheNet.com, bolstered by
our presence on emerging technologies like Facebook, Ning and Twitter - to name
a few - heated up our ‘lines’ into unprecedented numbers.
We at When Steel Talks are particularly pleased with the unprecedented lineup of
prestigious educators, historians, management, arrangers and players who have
become members of our recently-formed WST forum. You represent some of the
greatest minds and talent in the global steelpan community. You hail from every
corner of the planet. We are honored with your presence. Moreover, we look
forward to your contributions in making this a community that will propel the
steelpan music genre and art form to new levels. Your accessibility, exchanging
of ideas, and interaction with the youth, are priceless.
The selfless interaction that we have seen between players and arrangers
globally has been very encouraging. The ability for a budding pan player in
Europe, Africa or Japan to exchange concepts and tips with a noted educator,
arranger or player in the Caribbean or any place in the world, is awesome. The
fact that you have availed yourselves to such an undertaking is impressive and
we at When Steel Talks applaud your commitment and efforts.
Here, the steelpan music community has an opportunity to take the steelpan music
experience and culture to a new plateau, globally speaking. The opportunity is
there to bring fresh perspectives to new and existing challenges.
Panorama Fiasco on a Global Stage Caught on
The flip side of the attention to all the great pan availability on the internet
and mobi devices, is that when something stinks, it is a global stinker and
moreover, it is instantaneous. Is there anyone who has not heard or seen what
went down at the finals of the large band panorama, in relation to the removal
of able pan men, women and youth - from the Trinidad and Tobago flagship steel
orchestras/organizations - at this competition??!! Even if we didn’t want to
know, we are WST are getting an earful!!
To all the pan folks who were - just before they took the stage,
and in one case, on stage - so unbelievably dismissed and robbed of performing
in this year’s panorama, we feel you and share your agony, anger and
aggravation. If all eight of these, the greatest steelbands on the planet
gathered in final competition, had said “size is not an issue” among themselves
(and is in fact rumored to have been the case) - pray tell: just who
made it an issue - live and in vivid color on my Blackberry screen, and that of
countless others - as well as for those listening in to the radio stations
online? Clearly, no one thought of how this was playing out on the international
Ah - Panorama is no longer a ‘local event’, it is now “unleashed” on
the internet. Trinidad and Tobago are you listening? Mr. Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago are you listening?
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