Our crew has been busy this month, we’ve been North, West, East, and South! As you know, we started the month with a trip to California for the NAMM Show. Then it was off to Florida followed by a little hop south the Caribbean where we traveled through Trinidad and Tobago.
We were excited to be back in The Sunshine State, even if only for a moment! We rescheduled an interview with the one and only Squidly Cole. Squidly is said to be the link between old and new reggae. Maybe its his Kingston roots, or maybe it’s his connection to people who have left the earth.
Growing up in Jamaica, Squidly was surrounded by reggae music and rhythms. He worked extensively with the Marley family, and has a keen ear when it comes to blending music. He feels music is universal. The natural progression of his career led him to the production studio.
The flavours of the Caribbean are phenominal, and Trinidad was a testament to this. The smells, the rhythms, and the music are very Caribbean, but in their own unique way.
We spent time at the Exodus Steel Yard and saw a performance by the Exodus Steel Orchestra. The sheer number of pannists in the group was amazing, and the sounds were so complex and up lifting.
The Steelpan originated in Trinidad and Tobago, and is a product of the migration of slaves during the French Revoloution of 1978. The instrument is unique in that it is played in the Pythagorean musical cycle of fourths and fifths. Pannists use two or sometimes four sticks with rubber tips to produce sounds by striking the instruments.
Tobago was something from a dream, cyan waters and warm breezes. Our crew settled right into the Island life and got right to work.
We spent time at Pigeon Point, where we filmed a fantastic group of percussionists who played African folk music. We then visited Fort King George where we spent time with a group of Afro-Toboganian Tamboo Bamboo players.
A Tamboo Bamboo band consists of three instruments, all of which are cut from bamboo. The boom, a long piece of bamboo is struck on the ground for bass. The foulé is made from two pieces of bamboo that are hit together, end to end, to produce a higher pitched sound. Finally a third instrument, the cutter, is a thinner piece of bamboo that is struck with a stick. The ensembles are a product of Canboulay, the parrallel celebration to Carnivale that was started by Slaves in the Caribbean.
The trip south was busy, busy, busy and our calendar is jam packed for the next while. We’re looking forward to sharing all of our experiences with you as we go! Check back here weekly for updates.