Steelband players and supporters need no greater evidence that the annual Panorama competition is not a serious musical affair. Imagine, the umbrella body Pan Trinbago, the so-called world governing body for pan, introduces another distraction in the midst of the competition/event, claiming that this “Pan Splash” will attract young people to pan. It may attract them to the pool but certainly not to pan.
Steelband is the only art form which encourages or invites others to disrespect it. The behaviour of Pan Trinbago is akin to that of a spouse who allows her husband to abuse her to prove that he loves her.
During the music festival shows “which are poorly attended” when the steelbands play mostly European classical music or local compositions in that vein, there are no destructive suggestions. We give that competition/event the utmost respect, but for steelband Panorama which we attend in large numbers anything goes—doodoop, iron, whistles, zubizuela and now Pan Splash. Pan Trinbago would have us believe that our Panorama arrangers have no intricate arrangements worthy of serious listening and analysis. Only Beethoven, Mozart and Bach. The organisers have reduced steelband’s Panorama to a lime.
In the land of the steelband an artificial pool is needed to attract people to pan. Imagine Brazil needing a pool to attract young people to football.
We respect the music of others but disrespect our own.
Quo vadis pan.