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The World

Published on November 30th, 2015 | by Mark Loquan

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Story Behind “Bass on Fire” for Panorama 2016

Bass on Fire” is the 2nd collaboration between Mark Loquan and Seion Gomez as composers, and Gregory “GB” Ballantyne as lyricist, after their popular piece in 2015, “Outta De Box”, which was performed in the National and International Panorama in Trinidad, and other pan events in Toronto and New York.  For 2016, the vocals have been performed by the son of the late Lord Kitchener, and soca producer, singer and songwriter in his own right, Kernal Roberts.

It was while Harmonites was performing “Outta De Box” in preparation for the National Panorama semifinals in 2015 when Mark observed 12-bass player, Dennis, whose fluid motion inspired the genesis of the song.  Seion worked out interesting bass lines for the song, giving the song a whole new vibes.

“The melodic structure of the song was therefore made deliberately simple with the bass lines featuring infectiously between the chord patterns” says Mark.

The wonderful lyrics, written by Gregory “GB” Ballantyne expanded further to pay tribute to not only the bass players but the bass tuners, including masters Bertrand “Birch” Kelman, Lloyd Gay and several others who are sometimes not mentioned.

The song has taken several months to complete, but it is rewarding to hear the final product from knowing when the idea behind the song was born.  Another exciting collaboration which continues to be go outside the box, but this time to set the bass on fire. To all bass tuners and players, this one is for you.

Seion Gomez Bio

Seion Gomez was born in the beautiful twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. He started playing the steel pan at age nine and continued through the ranks.

While at secondary school, he participated successfully at the junior steel pan competitions and by age eighteen he was arranging for steel bands throughout Trinidad.

After leaving secondary school, Seion attended The University of the West Indies and Northern Illinois University where he achieved his Master’s degree. Seion is a Music Literacy Trust scholar, and has travelled to many countries as a performer, teacher and lecturer. He has also judged numerous steel pan competitions both here in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad.

Presently, Seion works with the NLCB Buccooneers of Tobago and is dedicated to help raise the level of musicianship within the steel pan fraternity of Trinidad and Tobago and promote the steel pan as an instrument throughout the world.

Mark Loquan Bio

2016 represents the 17th year, Mark is composing for Panorama.  Mark is also the Musical Director of the first steelband in Western Australia, Perth Pandemix which started in early 2013, and placed 3rd in the 2nd Australian Steelpan Festival held in Brisbane (Sep 2015).  He has produced/co-produced works such as Passion for Pan album (2000), and the pioneering products of Pan In Education (2004), and Pan in Education 2 (2011).

Mark has produced several popular songs for Panorama, which have been performed in Trinidad, and across the globe in main pan events as well as in schools and universities.  Starting with songs like Glory, Passion for Pan, Fire and Steel, Identity, Frenzy, Colours Again(Pan Song of the Year COTT Awards), he has also collaborated musically with Amrit Samaroo, Edwin Pouchet, Ken “Professor” Philmore, Andy Shaefe, and for 2015 with Seion Gomez to produce songs like Celebration Time, Hooked, Dangerous, Surrender, Calling Meh, Vibes and Outta De Box. At the first International Panorama held in Trinidad in August 2015, Supernovas placed 2nd with his composition, Dr. Samaroo. He has also worked with a multitude of singers, writers, and performers and has enjoyed long term collaborations with Denyse Plummer and Destra Garcia over his musical journey.

 

LYRICS:

“BASS ON FIRE” (for Panorama 2016)

Vocals by Kernal Roberts

Composed by Mark Loquan & Seion Gomez

Lyrics by Gregory “GB” Ballantyne

Produced by Junior “Ibo” Joseph

©COTT All Rights Reserved

VERSE

Dey have a way dey like to boast

‘Bout tenors and all their front line

But leh meh say, put first things first

Respect dem barrels behind

Cause anything yuh trying to build

Foundation must be in place

And in ah steelband, dat is de bass

Whether a 4, or 6 or 9,

Or a 12 spread out like a flower

Tenors and mid go be naked

With no boom Bass Tower

CHORUS

When de Bass Pan grumble, then de crowd does rumble

If your Bass Pan stifle, you can’t move de people

Bass-Man…..send dem crazy on yuh Bass-Pan

Chord and solo like a Champion

Spin yuh stick and show yuh motion

Is only since Scrunter’s “Woman on de bass”

Dem woman get fresh and want to take we place

Ah come back to spread de word in Port of Spain

To tell dem de Bass Pan is a man’s domain

Panorama, ah telling yuh

It go be amazing

Bassman have dey drums blazing

VERSE

Ah know indeed, tenors lively

A spider-web full of small notes

And dey lead de melody

And look nice in Powder-coat

But at de end of any day

To tune Bass Pan is an art

Dey doh need no chrome to look de part

We have a lot of tuners who

Specialise in front and middle

But some of dem doh understand

Dey just guessing like a riddle

CHORUS

BRIDGE

Bassman have dey drums blazing

Bassman have dem grumbling

Bassman have de ground shaking

Bassman have dey drums blazing

VERSE

Ah want to play a “Harragin”

A “Coker” or “Bertrand Kellman”

A “Lloyd Gay”, “Wallace Austin”

Or a “Zuzie” bass pan

If “Guppy Brown” or “Lincoln Noel”

Or “Emily Lemmerman”

“Billy Sheeder”, “Glenn Rowsey” blend yuh pan

And “Gunga Din” from Despers jam

Or Harmonites 12-Bass “Dennis”

Ask “Merlin Gill”, yuh blood go chill

To hear all dem Bass Specialists

CHORUS

 

BASS ON FIRE – LEAD SHEETS:

BASS ON FIRE BASS ON FIRE BASS ON FIRE BASS ON FIRE BASS ON FIRE

BASSMAN ON FIRE – MP3:

 

 


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