"They didn't care. A steelband man, you have sticks in your pockets; you would be the subject of police harassment." That is the opening line from Panomundo (the promo), a 7-minute video that explores the history of the steelpan. The film uses a series of interviews to give an account of the hardships that the pioneers of the steelpan faced.
Award-winning filmmakers, British director Keith Musaman Morton and American producer Charysse Tia Harper, travelled to Trinidad & Tobago in January 2012 to uncover how the steelpan, which originated from an oil drum, became a highly respected musical instrument.
The founding fathers of the steelpan uncovered they could make different pitches on the oil drum by tuning it in a certain way, which is how the notes on the pan evolved. By how widely it is accepted in communities around the world, no one would suspect that it came from such a tumultuous background.
Panomundo (the word being a combination of 'steelpan' and the Spanish word 'mundo', which means "world") is set to be a feature-length film. Though the promo video gives an insight into the history of the steelpan, it does not explain how it is globally popular. The next step will be to capture the influence that the pan has on various cultures. Thus the duo has set up a campaign on Indiegogo an international crowd funding site to raise $30,000 US to complete the film. More information on the campaign is at: www.indiegogo.com/Panomundo.
The deadline to raise the funds to complete the film is 15th January 2013. Morton and Harper will then shoot in Spring 2013 and edit the project by summer. They have been asked to preview Panomundo ahead of the Notting Hill Carnival in London in August 2013.
Towards the ending of Panomundo (the promo), international pannist Ray Holman sums it up nicely: "Pan has taken over the world....Canada, Africa, Germany and France. I'm very proud...that such a small country as [Trinidad & Tobago] could have music that will be interesting and so loved by people in large metropolitan cities."