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Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2011 - HOME

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The Steelpan Revolution will be Televised - And Then Again Maybe Not...

Symposium tackles the Panorama question: Is there a need to revisit the Steel Band Panorama Format?

Panorama 2011Brooklyn, New York - The recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and other parts of the Middle East have again taught us that revolution and change will not necessarily happen when and where you think.  In addition, those recent occurrences have also illustrated, that the incident or voice which will become the pebble that precipitates the crystallization, or start of an avalanche - is not necessarily what or who you think it might be.

Last week, the  Trinidad and Tobago Folk Arts Institute held a special symposium titled “Is there a Need to Revisit the Steel Band Panorama Format?” While the symposium went on without a major shift on the seismic scale of steelpan music activities, the aftermaths  of what was put out there on the table for public consumption, may have massive volcanic repercussions in the future, all over the steel orchestras and steelpan music panorama world.

Garvin BlakeGarvin Blake
Les SlaterLes Slater
Andy Narell
Andy Narell
Dalton Narine
Dalton Narine
Kenton KirbyKenton Kirby
Desmond ChaseDesmond Chase
Ike HindsIke Hinds
When Steel Talks Stats two days after Semi Finals - Tuesday 9:00am StatsWST Stats

There were presentations by seven noted steelpan music personalities. Among the symposium’s presenters and papers put forth were acclaimed steel pan instrumentalist and arranger Garvin Blake; Anthony Hinds, leader of Dem Stars Steel Orchestra of New York and president of the National Alliance of Steelbands; Kenton Kirby, editor-in-chief of Caribbean Life and formerly a multiple Panorama-winning arranger in St. Vincent; songwriter, performing and recording artist Andy Narell who sent in his thoughts on the subject via an article, as did noted award-winning film director, journalist, historian and panist Dalton Narine; Desmond Chase, an instrumental figure in the formation for original panorama events, and; noted journalist, and former arranger and chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Folk Arts Institute Les Slater.

There are few topics that can generate as much emotion and passion as "panorama". The When Steel Talks (WST) web stats recorded over 4,000 individual visitors to the site - before the early morning was even over, a few days  ago.  The majority of members were seeking panorama-related information. And the WST social network presence (facebook, Twitter and Ning) lit up with ‘popcorn’ sounding alerts as pan folks from all over the world chimed in for ‘panorama 411’. Panorama has never been bigger globally -but is it better?

At the symposium each presenter offered different perspectives, angles, interest and solutions to the panorama question asked.

Clearly, as Garvin Blake so eloquently demonstrated and expounded upon in his presentation - “panorama means different things to different people... and it is a very complex beast”. This was more than abundantly clear even among the presenters. Garvin Blake gave one of the more reasoned and thought-provoking presentations on the subject of Panorama to date. His discourse is required reading.

Rather than attempting to paraphrase and/or translate what each orator presented, WST has received assurances from almost all of the presenters that they will provide the WST readers access to their papers and/or summary of their salient points.  We will publish the articles as they arrive. Check out the first available presentations from Dalton Narine and Les Slater.

Garvin Blake:  If not Panorama, Then What?

Desmond Chase: An Insider's Review of What Inspired the Creation of Panorama

Anthony Hinds:  The Challenge of Sustaining a Panorama-Geared Steel Band in NYC

Kenton Kirby: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Pan's Journey and the Need for an Informed Way Forward

Les Slater:  Panorama's Ill-Advised Drift Away from Carnival

Dalton Narine:  The Business of Pan

Andy Narell:  Thoughts on the Panorama



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