Steelband Panorama 2011

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My First Pilgrimage to the Mecca of Pan - Entry 6

Posted by Eric Mannweiler on January 28, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.

Trinidad & Tobago - Hello to everyone,

Panorama 2011I'm really sorry I haven't updated this post in awhile, I thought it had only been a few days, not five! I have had some wonderful experiences since the last post though, and I'll have even more throughout the rest of the week. Sorry about my absence, but here's what I've been up to:

On Sunday there was a single pan band launching/ Birthday party at a house in Diego Martin (hosted and in honor of a member of Starlift's community). This was the first band launching I've been to, and the first time hearing single pan in person. MAN, I have to say single pan is really nice. It has a really nice groove and feel to it, a certain rhythmic presence that you don't get with larger bands. It reminds me of steelband recordings from the 50s and 60s. One thing I liked about this launching was the communal feeling of the music. There was an iron, tambourine, and scratcher left out, and whenever the band played, folks just grabbed them up and jammed alongside the band. It was also a really nice lime! I met some really wonderful people, got some connections, and was THRILLED to get caught up in a pan history arguEricment by some of the older gentlemen at the party (I wasn't part of the argument, but was somewhat caught in the middle...) Diego Martin is also a pretty place, from what I saw of it anyway.

I had a whole day that I spent in the panyard. It was a bit slow at times, but I got some of the Bomb tune learned, and got some good practice time in. Plus the founder of Starlift came by with some historical materials for the secretary, and I was able to copy notes about the band's history! (What lucky timing...)

Starlift Pan Yard 2011

After rehearsal two nights ago, my ride drove me up to a hill high above St. James and Woodbrook, and you could see the WHOLE city of POS. It was such an incredible view!

National Museum and Art Gallery National Museum and Art Gallery

Yesterday the foreigners in Starlift got a ride into town to check out the National Museum and Art Gallery. There were some cool things in there, including a picture of early pans being used in a labor demonstration. Seeing what little they had on pan, I wish there was a pan museum here! With so much history, you could have a great museum on pan and steelband! I know I'm not the first person to think of that, or even say it on WST, but I know I would pay to see the pan museum! (And I'd probably be a stereotypical tourist and buy the shirt too...) In anycase, after the museum we walked around the Savanah, tried (unsuccessfully) to get into the National Academy for the Performing Arts, and tried some grilled corn. I won't say anything about the grilled corn, because ours were not made well (they were bone dry...)

The real experience came when we decided to walk into town to find food. Honestly I have to say again, this was not as scary an ordeal as many made it out to be. I'm not saying anyone can walk anywhere and be fine, but as long as you are smart about which streets you take and where you're going, I don't think walking around with a group is unsafe during the day. We ended up grabbing a bite on Independence Square, and then grabbed a ride out to Renegades' panyard. I still love the sound of Kellman pans, and their yard is one that I've enjoyed visiting. Their junior band was practicing, which was good to get to see. When we finished up there, we headed to All Stars, and then, after we saw Invaders was having a private function in their yard, we ended up liming outside Woodbrook Playboyz. I've yet to hear this band play, but I've always enjoyed liming outside their yard (where I always see players liming and have always felt welcome.)

National Academy for the Performing Arts
National Academy for the Performing Arts

Anyway, I have some awesome plans in store for the weekend, and I will do my best to post more frequently than I have this week!

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

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