Posted by: Waheeda Harris | August 23, 2012

The sound of Port of Spain

Wandering around the island of Trinidad, I was fixated on the people, food and the landscape. From the city to the beaches, I wanted to see as much as possible.

But I didn’t really plan to hear any music – which seems silly, considering I was in the steel plan capitol of the world.

So on my last night on the island, after dinner, I went to explore a couple of clubs – but since it was during the week, I was too late. The bands had finished their sets.

And I thought, well it’s my own fault for not making it a priority and assuming I could find the music. Maybe I could buy a cd? or download some great tunes after getting some local recommendations?

And then my driver said, hey listen to that! We pulled over, and a group was practising outside, and the sounds of the steel pan had flooded the street.

I walked in tentatively, not wanting to distract anyone with my presence, and another person hanging out brought me a chair. I sat and listened, watching the players as they struck the different areas of the steel pan producing a unique sound with each strike.

They continued to practise for another 20 minutes, as I quietly sat and listened, a hard thing to do with the rhythmic sounds that really encourage one to dance.

And then practise was over, and I left to go back to the hotel. I had my taste of the sound of Port of Spain, leaving me wanting more.

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