Steelband Panorama 2011

For more on Steelpan In TnT click here

When Steel Talks... Everybody Listens!!
Get your WST Tee shirt now!   Click for details

Trinidad & Tobago Panorama 2011 - HOME

2011 panorama tunes lead sheets
click to view lead sheets for selected tunes provided by composers

Visit When Steel Talks

recommend your favorite tune for panorama 2011

Panorama - Finals Week - “I like the way Trinis talk....cook....walk”

My First Pilgrimage to the Mecca of Pan - Entry 16

Posted by Eric Mannweiler on February 28, 2011

Trinidad & Tobago

Hello everyone,

Panorama 2011I have to apologize again for not updating my posts in a week or so. I had my girlfriend, my teacher, and a colleague of mine come down last week, and so not only did I have two semis to play and prepare for, but I had entertaining to do... They have all had to return to the states, and so I now have a little more time to write. There have been tons of things I've wanted to write about since last time, so please forgive this very long post! Here goes:

Eric and friends

My girlfriend and I took a trip out to the bird sanctuary in the Caroni Swamp, because she loves birds we both really appreciate nature. Even though it was pouring rain, the trip was an awesome experience for a number of reasons! While waiting for the downpour to stop, a couple guys noticed my pan sticks and started a long conversation about this year's Panorama (having just completed Semis). Then the conversation shifted to the past when one gentleman told me he was a Tokyo panman in the Spree Simon days. I have to admit, at the time I probably would have skipped the tour to talk to him and hear his stories, but he left before the tour began. The swamp is a very beautiful place, and despite the noise of the boat, you can still hear all sorts of birds and animal sounds being trapped by the trees and traveling down the waterways. Though we saw all kinds of reptiles, animals and birds, the highlight was definitely the unbelievably red Scarlet Ibis, Trinidad's national bird. There were thousands of them flocking to this one tree, which apparently was their sleeping spot for that night. It was pretty incredible to see the tree go from green to red as the birds settled in its branches. Also as we headed back, an osprey with what looked like an 8 foot wing-span swooped directly over our heads with a fish in its talons... The last great part of that trip was back at the dock, when I couldn't reach the person who was supposed to pick us up. A Trini who took the tour with a foreigner friend of his offered us a ride with his mother, who not only dropped us off right at Woodbrook Playboyz yard, but told us about her days playing in Phase II and Silver Stars and talked pan the entire trip into Woodbrook! Not only is this an example of how kind most Trinis have been to me, but also highlights the fact that you never know who you will meet in Trinidad! Two random strangers turned out to be panists with great stories to tell!

ten bass

Next I have to talk about Single Pan Semi-finals. This round seemed very different from prelims for Woodbrook Playboyz, which is as much as I really want to say about that. The group did find it's energy by the time we hit the stage, and while we were on the street and when we hit the stage, it was a great feeling again! The thing I want to comment on the most though, is the community that I saw on the Avenue. The pan fraternity is something that really needs to be experienced to understand. I met some people, and had a chance to really get to know some others while listening to bands. I was really envious of the folks who have been coming to play for years now, because each had this awesome extended family of former bandmates that they would have to excuse themselves from the conversation to go hug and chat with. The night was filled with excellent, incredible pan talk of all sorts of topics (history, current affairs, past panorama gems, etc.) It really shows you the bonds that form when you join the pan community down here, and these folks that come year after year just keep building up their network of friends.

EricOn another note, I tried Sapodilla for the first time in punch form, and it was fantastic! I want to try the actual fruit, but who knows if I'll be able to find a fruit stand. I tried Kymet again, and it is still weird looking, but I also enjoy the taste even more (it is much better when you don't have to bite through the skin to peel it...) Other than that I have not tried anything new really, which I aim to change this week.

I made a promise to myself years ago that I would try to purchase an instrument from every country I visit, and because I can't afford a pan, I decided to purchase a tassa. I have seen many engine rooms either include tassa in the instrumentation, or reference its sound on bongo. To my knowledge nobody in Indiana plays tassa, so I figured that would be a nice addition to the pan scene back home. Now I reach out to everybody who is following this: would anyone be willing to show me some basics on the drum before I leave? Please contact me and we'll work something out. Thanks in advance everyone!


I went to the National Library for what I hoped was a pan lecture, it was unfortunately cancelled, but left me time to explore a little bit. As a quick note, the security at the library is VERY tight, so don't plan on bringing any bags or anything inside... I even got "wanded" at the gate one time. I didn't have too much time to explore the books they had, but I am interested to see what pan related materials they keep...

Outside the library was Soca on the Square, which people were obviously leaving work to come see, which is part of this build-up to Carnival that is going on. I can't describe it, but the vibe of everywhere I got has this tangible growing buzz of excitement... Tents with sound systems are popping up everywhere, you see more and more pieces of mas costumes being built, pan racks strapped on flatbed trucks, music echoing off the mountains up in Santa Cruz... I obviously haven't experienced carnival yet, but a comparison that comes to mind is the wind-up bobsled teams do before launching down the track. I know once it takes off at the end of this week, it will be this unbelievably quick rush of incredible excitement, and then before I know it everything will be over...


That leads me to my final topic: How can you miss a place so much before you even leave it? Knowing how little time I have left, I am almost in a panic to try and get out and experience things... I feel like I have mere minutes left to enjoy this place, as if I'm being driven to Piarco as I write this! As cheesy as it may seem, I agree with the lyrics of "Trini", I like the way Trinis talk, the pace of life down here (ok not walking exactly, but metaphorically speaking), and the way Trini's cook... I know pan isn't as engaged throughout the year, but I am feeling the culture shock already knowing how pan is back home. (I love the Indiana Steel Pan Association and all of its members and functions, but pan in Trinidad carnival season is on a completely different level...) I know now that I have to set a goal to return here next year, but I just have to express how much I will miss this place. I even will miss waiting what seems like hours for a maxi leaving Santa Cruz!

That is all for me, I have to get off this computer and get out to enjoy my day! Thanks to everyone who have been introducing themselves and saying kind words about my articles! I'll attempt to update more regularly this week... Until then,

Life for Pan

click to view entries - preface - 1 - 2- 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 -19 - 20- 21 - 22

© 2011 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved

Leave comments in the WST Forum

  Bookmark and Share


When Steel Talks...
Everybody Listens!!

Get your WST Tee shirt now!

Click for details


 Follow When Steel Talks on

WST YouTube Channel


When Steel Talks...
Everybody Listens!!

Get your WST Tee shirt now!
Click for details

Hall of Fame

To join mailing list, send an e-mail with Subscribe in the Subject line click here



© 2011 When Steel Talks - All Rights Reserved


Home *  Pan News  * Headlines * Events * Message Board * Guest Book * Pan Radio * Pan Global * Pan TnT  * Pan New York  * About Us * Join Mailing List * Contact

©2011   All rights reserved

Search for Anything Steelpan Music Related