Congratulations to Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra on the delivery of a traditional production of “Classical Jewels” which drew on movie theme songs, on Saturday night, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain. It was an experience which the audience, I am certain, consumed with a great deal of national pride.
The programme from the start alerted us to an adventurous musical journey which kept us riveted to a remarkable mix of favourites. You could not help reminding yourself of pan’s amazing versatility: a percussion instrument, the sound range of which is both remarkable and unpredictable.
This orchestra provided music which seemed to surf easily over avalanches of tempo, rhythm, harmony and so on. I sat at the edge of my seat thinking, how do they do it?
Added to that, its accompaniment to the operatic performances of song and dance was delightful.
Unfortunately, fast running on-screen notes and credits, instead of paper in our hands, might not have done well for many to capture the programme’s flow. We missed that piece of paper to enlighten us appropriately and for keeping as a piece of history. Even though some might have guessed, in general we were not sure to whom the outstanding African-styled finale belonged, and that might well have been Our Jewel.
Indeed, All Stars gave us, once more, the grandeur of music in a pleasurable mix of rhythm, harmony and melody. The orchestra’s symphonic collaboration with the National Philharmonic enhanced its capability to produce operatic/classical music.
Yet, whatever happened to the singing of the National Anthem, the usual foreword to a show! It was missed. Just a reminder that the singing of the national anthem is an accepted practice chosen to mark our national identity. However, we had a beautifully articulated sing along with a number of well-known popular songs, as lyrics were on screen.
Our gratitude to pannists, conductors, dance and song performers as well as organisers, for an absolutely exhilarating evening.