In Trinidad, now that Christmas is past we begin the build-up to Carnival! There are so many things that occur but not the least of which is the final preparations of steel pan orchestras which will competeand provide the background for all the wining in the streets. If you live near a panyard you'll live your life to the soundtrack of rehearsals as the music fills the neighborhood.
One of my early Trini Tuesday posts explained the roots of Steelpan. Another one explored the importance of Calypso as an artform and social commentary. Here's a terrific video that is a great example of both that addresses some of the cultural shifts regarding pan musicians and the artform. You can see the traditional panyards and some shots of steelpan construction. Don't worry, it's not documentary. You'll be wanting to wine dem hips along with a couple lovelies who make an appearance too.
And here is another video that has some great shots from around the island, from the capital to the beaches. It also gives a good view of the bowl of a steelpan so you can see how the individual notes on the pans are shaped in the metal. Keep in mind tuning occurs with a blow torch and a hammer and mallet. Amazing, no?
Happy Trini Tuesday!
UPDATE: Here is one link to current information on steelbands in Trinidad.