Cyril Darceuil of Casablanca Steelband Passes
by Selwyn Henry
Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - The sun has set on the physical presence of a Casablanca Icon. On Christmas day Cyril Darceuil at 92 years quietly ceased to be part of our physical space. He will be remembered by those who knew him as a contributor to the musical experience of the Casablanca Steelband. His slim sartorial presence was accentuated by the 15-inch skirt of his second Pan which was always freshly painted. The master steelpan player’s instrument was completed with a highly polished, well-crafted surface with indentations forming the musical notes. Cyril appreciated and praised the work of skilled pan-maker Randopth ‘Croppy’ Simmonds who created the instrument he used to express his musical talents.
This self-taught musician led the harmonic expressions of the single pan Casablanca steelband. He joined the second generation of Casablanca members on Argyle Street under Brown Boy’s parlour in close proximity to their first bamboo tent yard. This steelband collective led by Oscar Pile had created musical history mixing voices with the steelpan instrument, recording and performing European classics among other accomplishments which earned for them a well-deserved page in the history of the steelband movement. Cyril introduced chords and counter melodies that sometimes frustrated and embarrassed the more accomplished musical arranger Art De Coteau who was the established musical director of the band.
The Casablanca family, his partner Joycelyn, his children Gloria, Danny and Tony, and his brothers Tony and Michael will treasure the memory of this quiet, distinguished steelband icon.
Homage and image: Selwyn Henry
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