Friday, February 16, 2007

Where the white people at - Phase II Pan Groove

Music that touch the soul in us

In Trinidad and Tobago, going to a pan yard has two purposes, people like to support their steelbands or they just want to lime and get drunk. No matter their motive, the experience of a pan yard is generally heart warming, and it is one of the most important aspects of Trinidad and Tobago's carnival.

In St. James, Port of Spain, Phase II Pan Groove's pan yard is swamped with white middle class Trinidadians and foreigners. This may be of its safe location or people just want to hear Boogsie Sharpe's rendition of his Panorama tune. The arranger is focused in getting the best from his players by fine tuning the arrangement no matter how long it takes. His method of stopping the rehearsal if the tune was out of sync shows his dedication and integrity to his art. Although winning the Panorama prize is set in his mind.

To properly evaluate a performance such as this, you have to have the patient and stamina to stay for the entire evening. Boogsie Sharpe begins with a slower tempo so that players may not get tired too quickly, and this also helps to filter out any discrepancies in the melody. The practice takes several hours. Eventually the fever would catch you. The video explains it.

The most scenic pan yard is Desperadoes at the hill top in Laventille, Port of Spain. The view of the low Caroni plains is spectular.

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