The authentic Trini steelpan on display in the UWI Museum serves a lot of purposes: It is an artifact in its own right, donated to the UWI by a former alumna who became Prime Minister of the twin-island republic that gave birth to pan; it conjures T&T and the UWI St Augustine Campus there; it is a unique musical instrument. It also provides the museum the occasional opportunity to fill the space with the signature sound.
But it can also go out of tune – which is a key factor for the final of those purposes listed above.
Recently, we had the chance to have our pan tuned when Jamaican ethnomusicologist David Aarons came to visit the museum, fresh back from research in Ethopia (Check back to David’s Guest Post last May: https://uwimuseum.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/guest-post-the-musical-legacy-in-ethiopia-of-the-1966-visit/
Of course we jumped at it, and also asked if we could record David at work for the benefit of those – like most people who came in that day – who had never seen this phenomenon.
So click below to share the experience. The video is about 14 minutes long, much of it music, especially at the end. So enjoy in your own way.
Thanks again David! Same time next year?
Oh yes – we’re looking for an expert and enthusiastic tenor pannist who would like to volunteer to give the pan an occasional workout. Be in touch if you’re that person!