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Trinidad and Tobago

Published on January 14th, 2017 | by TandT Newsday Newspapers


Mannette launches new pan apps

THE national instrument is about to enter a new phase of the digital age through the effort of steelpan entrepreneur, designer and lawyer Liz Mannette, owner of Liz Mannette LLC – a design studio for steelpan-inspired projects. Mannette who has been designing steelpan-themed jewellery for over 11 years has extended into the media and entertainment world. She spent the last year in development with local and international artists, animators, mobile app developers and futurists to carve a creative space for the evolution of digital content for the pan.  A suite of brand-new, steelpan- themed mobile applications (pan apps) are being launched on the company’s official digital platform: games.lizmannette. com, a media release stated.

As a pan lover deeply invested in the continuation of the global steelpan legacy, Mannette realised that to connect the steelpan and its historical icons with Caribbean millennials and young children, conversations surrounding pan had to be communicated in a way easily understood by the digital and information generation.  “I see two and three-yearold kids swiping and using cell phones and tablet computers with ease,” Mannette said in the release. “I look at my young nieces and nephews and I think, how do I tell them about our Mannette family legacy in a way that they will engage and treasure? We need to create experiences to show the digital generation of Trinbagonian and Caribbean people their cultural heritage in a language they understand and via the channels they readily embrace.” Mannette is a second generation of the Mannette family which is linked to the invention of pan. The patriarch, 90-yearold Ellie Mannette has spent almost 75 years making the world’s best instruments. The pan apps venture is not her first combining the steelpan and technology. In 2000, pre-iTunes, Spotify and Pandora, some of the main online music websites, Mannette built the first website with 24/7 streaming pan music – StrumOn.com, to bring pan music to a global audience, the release said.

“We plan to utilise the newest technologies to produce steelpan media across a variety of platforms including mobile/digital apps, animation, film, gaming and VR,” she stated.  Two games are already available for download on the App Store and Google Play: Catch the steelpans: a matchthree style game where players must match and destroy similar pans, and so learn about the main pans in the steelband family; and Steel Pan Word Search is a word search game with names of steelbands, personalities and musical terms associated with the pan. Three new apps are set to be released this month: PanEmojis (steelpan emojis) will use the popular emojis to express passionate emotions for Carnival and all-year round using pan characters; PanPuzzle Mania is an array of puzzles based on the note layouts of the main pans which will highlight the difference between say, a double second pan and a guitar pan.  The PanCrawl app is an interactive app guiding users along the judging route for Panorama preliminaries from panyard to panyard along with other interactive features for the Panorama semifinals and finals.

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