from ""Pan Is We Ting": West Indian Steelbands in Brooklyn." by Gage Averill, pg. 280-310
In The Music of Multicultural America

Edited by Kip Lornell and Anne K. Rasmussen


September, 1994, Brooklyn, New York. Pan Rebels Steelband.

Performed by the Pan Rebels Steelband at the Brooklyn Carnival Panorama Competition, September, 1994.

Fire Coming Down” was conceived as a steelband calypso for the 1994 Panorama in Trinidad and tobago by Robert Greenridge, who also arranged the original steelband version. Greenbridge and calypsonian Austin “Superblue” Lyons wrote lyrics to the tune and Superblue recorded it for radio play in the months before Carnival. It was performed at Panorama in Trinidad and Tobago by the Desparados Steel Orchestra (commonly known as “Despers”) from the neighborhood of Laventille in Port-of-Spain. During the summer of 1994, it was arranged for the Brooklyn-based Pan Rebels.

This example is just an excerpt of the first six minutes of a ten minute performance.

One of the techniques for listening to steelband music such as this is to practice isolating the melody from the texture of the arrangement and to try to recognize the sectional changes. Later in the song, try to identify fragments of the original melodies in the variation section and attempt to discern the nature of the variation–minor instead of major, new accompaniment, incomplete fragments, and so forth. Keep in mind that performances such as this are typically arranged, rehearsed, and performed without musical notation.



00:00:34 First theme (with full repetition at 00:00:51)
00:01:08 Second theme without repetition (”Fire heat in de place”)
00:01:27 Third theme (”Fire Coming Down, Heat-Heat-Heat”)
00:02:03 Modulatory bridge section
00:02:40 "Developmental “or variation section in new key







A line of steel drums.
Steel drums.