Many of us may not realize the critical nature of accurate sound reproduction, to the understanding and appreciation of orchestral music when played by the steelband.
This is even more applicable to people relatively unfamiliar with the steelband , it’s culture , its makeup, and the different tonal qualities among the pans.
With any complex musical arrangement , it is sometimes difficult, even for people immersed in the culture , to distinguish between the different instruments ; unlike the conventional orchestra where parts played by different sections – strings , brass , reed and keyboard – are clearly defined and easily recognized.
This is one of the reasons I see the steelband as an audio- visual musical medium that has to be seen AND heard to be fully appreciated , whereby one can then follow the musical interplay between the different sections by sight as well as sound.
This is also one of the unique attributes of the steelband , and fortunately today’s access to multimedia gives us the ability to do just that , but our audio visual productions have to be of the highest quality if we’re to make a mark outside of ths “steelpan bubble”.
An audio recording of a complex arrangement by a full steelband is almost impossible for someone to fully appreciate if they cannot distinguish between the sound of a tenor pan and a double second.
To them that nuance is lost.
Going forward , we need to display steelband music to the world in its best possible light , and that means multimedia productions (videos)of the highest quality , with particular attention to reproducing the sound of the entire range of pans.
This may not be easy , but it certainly is necessary for progress.
To those who think that we can have some kind of audio musical revolution that takes the steelband to higher heights , I wish that were the case.
However , I’m inclined to disagree.