A very first “steel band” in Agenais

the essential A group of steel drum players, a metallic percussion instrument, is being formed in Agenais. We tell you more …

They bang on cans and it might be number 1, in any case one of the first formations of its kind in the region. The Agen conservatory and the Musiquenvie music school of Bon-Encontre unite to create a “steel band”, by which mean a set of steel drum players, these percussions originally made in cans of steel. ‘gasoline.

The history of this practice is fascinating. When American soldiers leave the small Caribbean island of Trinidad after World War II, they drop thousands of cans of gasoline. “The locals started banging on it and a new practice was born,” says Alban Lapeyre, at the origin of this steel band.

A musical choreography

Transmitted for generations, without any score having ever been written, the practice of this instrument with its very soft and melodious sounds presents a major advantage.

“There is no need to know music theory to play steel drum”, comments Adeline Martin, specialist in the discipline.

Young and old can find real fulfillment there, very quickly. The idea of ​​Alban Lapeyre, Adeline Martin and Jacky Lhiver, director of the Agen music and dance conservatory, is therefore to create an intergenerational collective of steel drum players: a steel band. For this, a morning of discovery is organized on Saturday 23 October, between 10 hours and noon at the Musiquenvie school , at the cultural center of Bon-Encontre, where the instruments were installed.

Ultimately, once the group is formed, the players will meet on Friday from 18 h 15. “There are no soloists and accompanists, each instrument has its own sound, its own gestures, no one dominates the other, you have to listen to yourself,” says Jacky Lhiver. From this perspective, the steel band is an excellent exercise for the ear, but also for the rhythm and for the melody, as explained by Danielle Dégeil-Delpeyré, regular player of the “basses” of the professional steel band who was created. Enthusiastic in the middle of her six cans, she assures us that the steel drum brings “joy, and friends”. And friends of all ages if we are to believe the recruits of Alban Lapeyre and Adeline Martin.

“I have old people, and you have children, it’s perfect,” the first one laughs, particularly impatient to see the synergy operating between all these players. “It’s always great to see the little ones explaining the gestures to the older ones,” he adds. If the Trinidadian transplant takes over, the conservatory could also host an “instrumentarium” with, why not, a dance floor nearby, as Danielle Dégeil-Delpeyré suggests? A way to rediscover the festive and popular origins of this Caribbean street instrument.

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