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RECORDED PAN CONCERT IN TRINIDAD
Sanch Breaking New Ground with Technology
"Now is the time to break new ground. All I want is for people to hear this system. We want Trinidad to get an idea of what good sound quality is in an outdoors broadcast.’’ And that is the reason for the January 13th, Recorded Pan Concert at the Savannah in Port-of- Spain, being presented by Sanch Electronix. In an interview with Sean Douglas and reported in the Trinidad Express, Simeon Sandiford, Founder and Managing Director of Sanch, asserted that "We think we’ve got good technology for recording pan [and] we’ll broadcast a CD to show how life-like it sounds. We’ll play our CD music loudly enough to simulate exactly how it was when it was recorded with 100 players.’’
The program for the Recorded Pan Concert will include "From Tabanca to Rain’’ played by Neal and Massy All Stars Steel Orchestra. Producer Sandiford disclosed that the All Stars CD was being released after taking 14 years to compile and was so named because its selections ranged from "Curry Tabanca’’ (1987) to "Rain Melody’’ (2001). Other selections include Kitchener’s "Heavy Roller’’, "Pan Earthquake’’ and "The Power of Music’’ and Sparrow’s "Doh Back Back.’’
Emphasizing the raison d’etre for the concert Sandiford pointed out: "What we want to do is demonstrate to people that this music is not a joke. At [Trinidad] Panorama people don’t hear the detail of the music, and that’s not doing any good for the future of the [instrument, compositions, arrangements and] industry’’. He remarked that the fete atmosphere at Panorama meant that patrons never truly got to hear the steelband music. Sandiford also said that "At Panorama players get into a frenzy and play their music too fast, causing a lot of technical problems. In our recordings we have music played at Panorama, in the panyards just before the bands go to the Savannah and in panyards at the slower speeds of their normal practice sessions.
From the musicianship development perspective, he said that recorded pan music would help standardize the performance of pan players. Recorded CDs, Sandiford added, could also help younger pannists learn older and [classic] songs: "Most learn aurally anyway, so you just put on the CD for them in the panyard and they learn’’.
Another use of recorded pan music, Sandiford said, was to help
steelbands experiment with different orchestral arrangements of their various
sections. "Just like conventional orchestras, setting up different groups
of instruments in different areas of the concert hall evolved over time, so too
we are still evolving the process of how to set up a steelband properly. So a
recording allows you to sit back and critique, ‘Am I hearing this section
properly?’ Steel orchestras are still set up by trial and error, and it was
never done scientifically. [For] over 15 years the recordings I have done
in the Savannah are very variable because of different set-ups, barring
differences in the quality of the players, you should still have a benchmark’’.
Sandiford is convinced that high quality recordings will serve to create that
RAIN MELODY – AN APPRECIATION
© 2001 Simeon L. Sandiford & Jason "Stumps" Lewis
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Emporium. All Rights Reserved.
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