The SPOILER’S RETURN Derek WALCOTT

‘Tell Desperadoes when you reach that hill
I decompose, but I composing still.’ ”
Derek Walcott
A statement so timely on the rot that pervades Trinidad that I had to double check the year it was written because I thought he was talking about our current state. We’ve been doing this nonsense for years.

Fadograph's Weblog

Derek Walcott, “The Spoiler’s Return” (1981)

(for Earl Lovelace)

I sit high on this bridge in Laventille,
watching that city where I left no will
but my own conscience and rum-eaten wit,
and limers passing see me where I sit,
ghost in brown gabardine, bones in a sack,
and bawl: “Ay, Spoiler, boy! When you come back?”
And those who bold don’t feel they out of place
to peel my limeskin back, and see a face
with eyes as cold as a dead macajuel,
and if they still can talk, I answer: “Hell.”
I have a room there where I keep a crown,
and Satan send me to check out this town.
Down there, that Hot Boy have a stereo
where, whole day, he does blast my caiso:
I beg him two weeks’ leave and he send me
back up, not as no bedbug or no flea,
but in this…

View original post 1,393 more words

Carnival Calendars

If you are coming to Trinidad for Carnival bookmark this post because it has the dates of all the must-see, never-been-to-but-want-to, and regional Carnival events for Carnival 2017.

This first is from the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts.culture-carnival-calendar-2017

The Second is from the National Carnival Commission. This one is the one to bookmark for stickfighting and parades of the bands.

ncc-calendar-of-events-2017

Fetes are an important part of the festivities. Bishop’s was last Saturday and I had a ball. So keep following your Trini friends on Facebook and check the fete calendar here . See you at Army Fete

 

Jus Now – Alone

I love this song, and look at that, the video has just been released. Jus Now is the Trini-UK duo of Kashav Chandradath Singh aka LAZABeam and Sam Interface (really Chadburn).

Listen to their catalogue, it’s really good. They’ve done a lot of work with Bunji Garlin. But recent projects has seen them spreading the love quite a bit, and with great results. Take a listen to Laventille. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

Their sample library for Indigisounds should make it easier for producers to use steelpan and the percussive sounds of the Laventille Rhythm Section in their music.

The Alone video is Kiwan Landreth Smith directorial debut. You’ve probably seen him playing guitar for 3Canal’s Cut+Clear band. The video was obviously partially filmed in St. James. Their Facebook page says it was also shot at Villa Being in Tobago, where vocalist Chalmer John is from, Friendship Stables and various beaches.

Enjoy.

A Caribbean Culture Reader

Meagan Sylvester shared this on her page last September 2nd. It popped up in my Facebook reminder and I thought, that this is the best place to post it, because it’s such a great list of papers and essays on our music and Carnival customs etc. So without further adieu:

Mason, Peter. 1998. Bacchanal? The Carnival Culture of Trinidad. London; Philadelphia: Latin American Bureau; Temple University Press.

Liverpool, Hollis Urban. 1998. Origins of rituals and customs in the Trinidad Carnival: African or European?. TDR/The Drama Review 42, no. 3: 24-37.

Liverpool, Hollis. 2001. Rituals of Power and Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad and Tobago, 1763 – 1962. Chicago, Trinidad and Tobago: Research Associates School Times; Frontline Distribution.

Stolzoff, Norman C. 2000. Wake the Town and Tell the People; DanceHall Culture in Jamaica. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Rouse, Marilyn A. 2000. Jamaican Folk Music: A Synthesis of Many Cultures. Studies in the History and Interpretation of Music. Vol. 66. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

Regis, Louis. 1999. The Political Calypso: True Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago, 1962 – 1987. Barbados; Gainesville: Press University of the West Indies; University Press of Florida

Besson, Gerard, and Angostura Bitters Limited. 2001. The Angostura Historical Digest of Trinidad and Tobago. Cascade, Trinidad and Tobago: Paria Pub.: Angostura.

Cowley, John. 1996. Carnival and Calypso: Traditions in the Making. Cambridge; New York, NY: Cambidge University Press.

Dudley, Shannon. 2008.Music from Behind the Bridge: Steelband Spirit and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Dudley, Shannon. 2004. Carnival Music in Trinidad: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. Global Music Series. New York: Oxford University Press.

Elder, J.D. 1972. From Congo Drum to Steelband: A Socio-Historical Account of the Emergence and Evolution of the Trinidad Steel Orchestra. St. Augustine, Trinidad: The University of the West Indies.

Feld, Steven. 1984. Sound Structure as Social structure. Ethnomusicology 28 (3): 383-409.

Frith, Simon. 1996. Performing Rites: On the value of popular music. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Gibbons, Rawle. 1994. No Surrender: A biography of the Growling Tiger. Tunapuna, Pantheon Books.

Guilbault, Jocelyne. 2007. Governing Sound: the cultural politics of Trinidad’s carnival musics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hill, Donald R. 1993. Calypso Callaloo : Early carnival music in Trinidad. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Lipsitz, George. 2007. Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Liverpool, Hollis. 1990. Kaiso and Society. Diego Martin, Trinidad, W.I.: Juba Publications.

Nettleford, Rex M. 1995; 2002. Calypso monograph. Caribbean Quarterly Monograph. Mona, Jamaica: Caribbean Quarterly.

Rausert,Wilifried. 2000. Negotiating Temporal Differences: blues, jazz and Narrativity in African American Culture. Heidelberg, Germany: Heidelberg.

Rohlehr, Gordon. 1990. Calypso & Society in Pre-Independence Trinidad. Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: G. Rohlehr.

Ryan, Selwyn D., Gloria Gordon. 1988. Trinidad and Tobago: The Independence Experience, 1962-1987. The University of the West Indies. Institute of Social and Economic Research St. Augustine, Trinidad: Institute of Social and Economic Research, The University of the West Indies.

Stone, Ruth M., Verlon L. Stone. 1981. Event, Feedback and Analysis: Research Media in the Study of Music Events. Ethnomusicology. Vol 25 (2): 215-225.

Williams, Eric Eustace. 1984. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean, 1492-1969. 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books.

Williams, Eric Eustace. 1964. History of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. New York: Praeger.

Alleyne, Mike. 2009. Globalisation and Commercialisation of Caribbean Music. World Music Roots and Routes. Collegium. Tuulikki Pietila. (ed). Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 6. Helsinki: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. 76–101.

Hope, Donna. 2006. Inna De DanceHall: Popular Culture and the Politics of Identity. Kingston: Jamaica. The University of the West Indies Press.

Howard, Dennis. 2012. Rantin from Inside the Dancehall. Jamaica: Jahmento Publishers

National Awards 2016

On Wednesday at the annual National Awards ceremony the following persons were recognised for their national service in the fields of culture and the arts.

Leston Paul the Musical Arranger/ Producer/Composer/Musician received the Chaconia Medal Silver

 

The Humming Bird Medal (Gold) was awarded to the:

  • St. Margaret’s Boys’ Anglican School/Youth Steel Orchestra (Culture)
  • Mr. Irwin Johnson a.k.a. “Scrunter” – Calypsonian (Culture)
  • Mr. Timothy Watkins a.k.a.“Baron”- Calypsonian (Culture)
  • Mr. Angelo Bissessarsingh – Historian (History and Education)

The late Austin Wilson was awarded the Humming Bird (Silver) for his work as a sound engineer.

A Place for Birdsong Academy

On August 15th the Marshal of the High Court had the authority to return possession of the property on the corner of Connel and St. Vincent Streets in Tunapuna to the landlord. When I visited Birdsong on D-day they were defiant in the face of eviction.

When the Marshal arrived, it was very early on Monday 29th August to remove Birdsong’s belonging from the land, and put up a fence.

The Academy’s directors are now trying to find an alternative space for the school to hold it’s acclaimed after school programme this September. At the Town Hall meeting they held at Friends Recreational Club, mere steps away from their former home and obliquely opposite their proposed new site, Birdsong assured the community that this was not a wake, but a hurdle to cross.

This is a developing story, and I’ll keep you abreast as the news comes to hand.

To help put this story in further context here’s my report from the press conference Birdsong held on the 8th August to make public their plight.

Bird Song Needs a Home

It was a pretty high powered panel that came out on Monday to speak about the eviction notice that was handed out to Birdsong Academy. The owner, Ramdath Maharai will take possession of his property on March 15.

Birdsong say they will not challenge his order but they need 2 years to find a new space.

They already started paying down on this lot of land a short distance from their current location on St. Vincent Street. The land was owned by the Tunupuna Rising Star Friendly Society, but because the friendly society is closing down its assets are under the control of the Registrar of Friendly Societies. There is no Registrar at present so the sale of the land can’t be finalised at this time.

The academy is staying positive, their annual concert takes place this Saturday at Queen’s Hall.

I think the take away from this incident is that we need a national policy on culture, and on pan in particular.