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Pan Tunes Rocking the Internet... The Love Affair and Fantastic Journey Continue Unabashed

Steel Orchestra Panorama 2011 Countdown

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Composer Natasha Joseph
Composer Natasha Joseph

Global - The pan tune composers continue to tell the pan man’s story - his continued struggles and triumphs, and of course - this magnificent love affair between the pan musicians, fans and the instrument, as no other. No other instrument can lay claims to such historical documentation through song. And this is what makes the pan instrument and its global movement so special. It is about an improbable journey and a fantastic story, of man’s ability to survive and conquer his environment and circumstances - to produce a physical and artistic “wonder” (steelpan and pan music).

Veteran pan tune composer De Fosto
Veteran composer DeFosto

No longer hampered or locked down by mindless, unqualified, inexpert, even contemptuous DJs and disconnected program directors -- composers and fans of steelband music compositions have now taken up refuge, through the digital revolution and internet freedom to practice, develop and promote - the musical genre known as the “Pan Tune.” The Pan Tune is directly connected to the steelpan instrument.

New and accessible delivery systems like smart phones, tablets, netbooks and other mobile devices, bolstered by the likes of social media’s facebook, twitter and their own steelpan music network - have removed the road blocks and freed up the creative juices of the creators.

Some of the greatest musical creations that are now immortalized, have come by way of the Pan Tunes’ lyrics and music. Who can forget Kitchener’s “Pan in ‘A’ Minor” and “Play Mas,” Lord Blakie’s “Steelband Clash,” Scrunter’s “Woman on the Bass,” Boogsie’s “Birthday Party,” Shadow’s “Stranger,” Ken ‘Professor’ Philmore’s “Pan By Storm,” Blueboy’s “Rebecca” and David Rudder’s “The Hammer” - to name but a few. Humor, pain, intrigue, joy, disappointment, betrayal, war, bravado, hate, peace - the gamut of human experience and emotion is all there.

The newfound freedom and ease of direct connection with the fans and practitioners of the genre, has resulted in a profound increase in the amount of entries into the discipline in recent years. It has also opened up additional markets for the music in foreign countries, colleges and entertainment venues.

The main primary objective of the “Pan Tune” composer is to have their song performed by a steel orchestra in the upcoming steelband 2011 panorama competitions taking place all over the world - with the first and grandest set to commence in Trinidad and Tobago in a few weeks. The resultant has been an increase in quality music productions and excellence in musicianship, which have become more the norm. It has also brought a resurgence in the calypso motif and respect for the practitioners of the art: veteran greats like DeFosto, and even producers and composers like Pelham Goddard - while inculcating a new generation of composer writers who continue to document this love affair with the steel pan instrument.

This year’s Pan tunes cover all aspects of steelpan life. Topics include pan romance - politics - comedy - history - social conditions - fantasy, and more.

click to hear the full playlist of Pan Tunes for 2011 http://www.panonthenet.com/tnt/2011/tunes/contents.htm 

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