Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 30th 2014 Contents A36
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Relator starred in Three
Strings alongside Robert
Munro and Stanley
Roach. The show which
took place at the Little
Carib Theatre in late
December was a big hit
for music lovers.
PHOTO: MARIA NUNES
From Page A29
In the last decade music from the western clas-
sical tradition has been emerging from the suspicion
and stigma of anti-colonialism and Black Con-
sciousness. Creole music is by definition the
inescapable meeting of genres and traditions from
Europe, Africa and Asia and there is a long history
of Creole "concert music" throughout the Caribbean
and Latin America.
Efforts by the Classical Music Development
Foundation and the UTT music department are
now returning both art music and some neglected
aspects of our musical heritage to the mainstream.
Opera is no longer a stranger to our stages and in
July 3 Marionettes choirs combined for a stunning
production of the world s most successful musi-
UTT s music department must be congratulated
on its priceless rehabilitation of some of T&T s
earliest recorded carnival music. Two concerts---
Echoes of Carnival---brought those with an ear for
the past the music of Venezuelan style string bands
of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Assistant professor Simon Browne painstakingly
transcribed music from the earliest recordings by
Lovey, Lionel Belasco and others, thereby restoring
a seminal era of our musical heritage to the present.
Hearing this music performed live and having
the scores to hand now provides invaluable data
and source material, allowing musicologists
unprecedented analytical tools to compare devel-
opments in popular, dance and Creole jazz music
with similar developments in the French and His-
panophone Caribbean, along with the Creole music
of New Orleans.
Similarly the UTT international symposium on
Caribbean concert and art music organised by
Composition professor Adam Walters, not only
alerted the national audience to innovations based
on musical traditions but also showcased some of
the best young instrumentalists in the region.
The highlight of the symposium was undoubtedly
the world premiere of Jab Molassie, a music drama
adapted from Stravinsky s Faustian The Soldier s
Tale, with a score by Trinidadian composer
Dominique le Gendre and libretto from UTT double
bass lecturer Kaitlyn Kamminga.
Embracing all our musical traditions from parang
to jouvert, kalenda, bottle, spoon and biscuit tin,
along with echoes of our early string bands and
Martinique s beguine and bele, Jab is probably the
first major piece of modern Creole art music pro-
duced in the eastern Caribbean and a watershed
in terms of how we conceive popular and art music.
Further concerts featuring traditional musics of
T&T, early string band music and recent regional
art compositions from T&T, Puerto Rico, Jamaica
and the Bahamas were as exciting for the maestros
and virtuosos as the many UTT students who had
the invaluable learning experience of performing
to the highest standards.
And last, but never least, wrapping up this music
box of goodies was the recent We Three Strings
concert of Christmas music, featuring violinist
Stanley Roach, Relator and cuatro virtuoso Robert
Munro at the Little Carib.
Bringing back the Old Time days, featuring our
Oldies and Goldies is never a crass exercise in nos-
talgia but a salutary reminder that artistically there
is no innovation without an understanding of our
musical heritages. I wonder if we ll be hearing some
of those old rhythms and melodies in the upcoming
season of madness and mayhem?
Bringing back the old time days
...never a crass exercise in nostalgia
Embracing all our musical traditions from
parang to jouvert, kalenda, bottle, spoon
and biscuit tin, along with echoes of our
early string bands and Martinique's
beguine and bele, Jab is probably the first
major piece of modern Creole art music
produced in the eastern Caribbean and a
watershed in terms of how we conceive
popular and art music.
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