WITH TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED
A PLAYING THE GLOBAL MUSIC IND
Culture is an intrinsic component of the soul of any society and related artefacts must be used as critical elements of trade between countries.
The need for Trinidad and Tobago to diversify its economy by reducing dependency on energy has been well enunciated. Unique niches must be created that would ensure competitiveness and sustainability in the international arena. This need is even more imperative with the impending catastrophic downturn resulting from the recent global financial crisis.
There must be an urgent paradigm shift from manufacturing to services, with emphasis placed on innovation, entrepreneurship and maximum use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). This initiative has to be supported by appropriate legislation to protect and monitor intellectual property rights. Additionally, there should be easy access to venture capital.
The financial future of Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension the entire Caribbean, depends on harnessing, promoting and marketing culture.
It follows, therefore, that we should be aggressively seeking ways of forming strategic business alliances in an effort to establish sustainable markets for our cultural heritage, especially music.
Calypso, chutney, mambo, meringue, parang, reggae, rumba, salsa, shango, soca, son and zouk are indigenous, intoxicating Caribbean rhythms. Yet only one of these, reggae, has managed to carve its own category in the prestigious Grammy Awards. All others have been lumped into the ubiquitous group known as world music, simply because of inadequate mainstream market penetration and the requisite volume of sales. This anomaly needs to be quickly addressed and rectified.
As we chart the way forward, there is need to place emphasis on initiatives that would build awareness for, and ensure universal acceptance of our diverse culture. Our mission, therefore, should be to unearth, develop, nurture and harness entrepreneurial talent, which would eventually become the infrastructure for creation of a sustainable music industry.
The global music industry has been substantially subsumed into the diverse portfolios of entertainment conglomerates EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner. These are collectively
Developing countries should therefore seize the opportunity to enhance and market new cultural products for financial benefit. There is also an obvious need to simultaneously form strategic alliances with one or more of the above groups of companies. Culture has enormous commercial potential since raw material is always available in abundance. Therefore, finished products and services have unlimited potential for earning foreign exchange.
A Strategic Plan for Sustainability
In order to realise this goal, a five-point strategic plan has been conceptualised. Its main elements are summarized, as follows:
New ICT-derived Cultural Products
The Pan in Education Business Model is the first of a series of unique,innovative, feature-packed, costeffective, timeless cultural products, conceptualised by citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. The prime objective is to create a cadre of Caribbean innovators
Over the past five years, a curriculum has been conceptualised that would achieve the above objective. It has been divided into two main components, namely Music Literacy and Entrepreneurial Development. This curriculum is now supported by a National Occupational Standard (NOS), entitled Music Producer, developed in conjunction with The National Training Agency and a lead body of industry professionals.
The NOS contains forty four units covering the areas of Audio Engineering, Music, Business, Technical Writing, Marketing &Public Relations and two generic units on safety and entrepreneurship. The standard has been endorsed by all CARICOM countries and will therefore form an integral part of the syllabus of the Caribbean Examinations Council.
PAN IN EDUCATION
Both curriculum and NOS arecontained on disc 2 of the upgraded CD entitled Pan in Education, produced by Sanch Electronix, originally released in 2005.
The Percussive Harmonic Instrument (P.H.I.) is a MIDI-based electronic instrument that merges the powerful facility of MIDI with an intuitive form inspired by the world’s most significant new acoustic instrument, the Steelpan. The most striking feature of the popular tenor Steelpan is the note arrangement of almost three octaves on one single playing surface.
This physical note arrangement, called the circles of 4th and 5th, exists only in traditional acoustic Steelpans and is strongly rooted in music theory, which makes for a natural form for anyone teaching, learning, composing and performing music. The circles of 4th and 5th are also available on the P.H.I. – the MIDI-based extension of the traditional Steelpan instrument. Thus, the P.H.I. will now allow musicians to explore their creativity in an even more fluid medium.
The scope of the P.H.I. is immense as it allows users to interface with the powerful capabilities of MIDI. Some key facilities include:
“Simply connect a P.H.I. to an existing MIDI network and the musician is ready to perform”.
Patents for P.H.I. are pending and have been filed by Government on behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. The technology to manufacture the instrument has been leased to Panadigm Ltd, a company formed by the Steelpan Development Centre of The University of the West Indies.
By way of a memorandum of understanding, an initiative known asThe PETE, PIE, P.H.I. Panadigm© has been signed between Sanch Electronix and Panadigm Ltd. It will ensure optimisation of the opportunities that will accrue from collective global marketing and distribution of these exciting new cultural products.
For further information, please check
Simeon L. Sandiford
ELLIMAC Production ® (EMP) Limited
Playing The Global Music Industry With Technologically Advanced Cultural Products
Friday, 22 July 2011 00:38