Going into this talk I knew absolutely nothing about steelpans as an instrument.
The speaker and performer was Khan Cordice, who explained that he was a professional steelpans player, and that he was at the Purcell School due to funding from, and links with, the high commission of Antigua. He then went on to inform us about the history of the instrument, what you could do with it and why he loves it.
I was blown away by the types of sound he could produce from the pans, the complexity of the music he played and the classical nature of some of the music he played to us. I also thought that his talk was highly informative and succinctly presented, with enough humour and knowledge to interest the audience.
However, I thought that he could have played the instrument more live, instead of simply showing videos of ensembles for about 15 minutes of the talk.
Overall, I learnt of the existence of a new instrument with a new and interesting sound palette, and of the history of Caribbean nations’ competitions over who could play it the best.