Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 17th 2013 Contents B1
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The public has another chance to see
Trinidad Theatre Workshop s successful pro-
duction of A Midsummer Night s Dream.
This unique take on the play by William Shake-
speare play will be held at TTW headquarters at 23
Jerningham Avenue, Belmont over two weekends:
This production of A Midsummer Night s
Dream brings together local accents and intona-
tions and Shakespeare s words, the TTW said in a
release. The production infuses visuals of our cul-
ture of bacchanal and commess, partying, drinking
and dancing seamlessly into the story and the tale
of love, betrayal and intrigue comes to life as never
Tickets are $150 for adults and $50 for student
and on sale at TTW s office.
• For more information call 624-8502, email
email@example.com or check online at
A Midsummer Night's Dream returns to the TTW
"I am a seriously disillusioned optimist,"
said musician Raf Robertson this week.
"And, I have earned the right to say this.
I know and appreciate the true potential
of this country and when I see where we re
at, at present, and where we ought to be,
all you can do is take a double with ice. We
have confused the difference between a
privilege and a right. It is a privilege to
wake on a morning, but, it is not a right."
Robertson, who began playing music at
the age of nine, credits his grandmother for
directing him to the piano and music. The
father of Grammy Award winner Mylz
Robertson is taking the music of his last
album, Majesty, to the stage on May 24, at
Queen s Hall, St Ann s.
Said Robertson: "The concept and inspi-
ration for Majesty came from those calypsoes
of yore that can only be described as majes-
tic , because they succinctly define the society
they were born in. For instance, I think that
Valentino s take on Shakespeare s Life is a
Stage is genius. I also think that although
Marley s Redemption Song is a good song,
Sparrow s Slave is as great. Another song I
did was Endless Vibrations by Shorty. There
are no words to describe what Shorty has
done, in terms of taking the music in a par-
"That Endless Vibrations album was the
beginning of taking our music in a new direc-
tion, out of the jump and wine mode. Anoth-
er super song was Andre Tanker s Forward
Home, a story line that I actually experienced
in Europe and America.
"One of the best calypsoes by Sparrow,
with a lot of relevance today, is Federation.
So, I gave that one a special arrangement.
You can t really do the music of 50 years
ago the same way it was done then, so I ve
changed it. The music however remains the
same today. Another song like this is Sniper s
Portrait of Trinidad, which I tried to do,
remaining true to the composer s work."
Robertson is passionate about passing on
his musical acumen to young people and
has been music director of the birdsong
Academy. He laments the indifference to
young musicians by some quarters of society.
"The demise of Divine Echoes is extremely
tragic," said Robertson, "and reflects very
badly on us, collectively as a people and a
"You don t take away instruments from
people, especially the youth. You take away
guns from gangsters and killers. What the
government did was crush a mosquito with
a backhoe. All these young people had were
some instruments given to them by a pre-
"They were no threat to anyone and what
they were doing was positive. What should
have been done was to allow the musicians
to purchase their own instruments but not
simply smash them into the dust.
"As a musician, I am proud to know that
where a musician can go, a politician can t
go. The New York Philharmonic performed
in North Korea. I don t know of any politician
who can go there.
"Trinidad isn t a stereo town, it is definitely
on mono, in terms of our thinking. We don t
see the bigger picture, or think outside the
box. An example of what celebrates our
uniqueness in the world is that the most
popular television show in T&T is a crime
show, as opposed to a music show."
Robertson said that despite having talent
on every corner of the nation, young artistes
need guidance and to place themselves on
a solid and sound music foundation.
"There are a few lights that are shining
within our music today. It s like this year,
Bunji s Differentology was something special.
It was beautiful how Bunji was able to con-
nect with Nigel (Rojas), a rock guitarist, to
produce a truly beautiful song. Differentology
has legs and I have a feeling that it can go
far down the road," Robertson said.
• Continues on Page B2
--the spirit of calypso
Raf Robertson has put a new spin on what he calls "majestic" calypsoes. PHOTO: COURTESY RAF ROBERTSON
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