I am one to always support innovation in the Caribbean… We all know Trinidad Carnival is in full swing and Mr Machel Montano is singing about some “Magic Drum”. I knew it was a steel pan tune but little did i know it was not an ordinary steel pan, Machel was singing about. It is actually the P.H.I.
Yeah that is right P.H.I. – Percussive Harmonic Instrument or PHI (pronounced “Fie”). It was developed in the Steel Pan Research Laboratory of the UWI St. Augustine Campus.
“P.H.I. merges the powerful facility of MIDI with a physical form inspired by the traditional steelpan. MIDI is an acronym for Musical Instrument Device Interface; MIDI facilitates the communication of electronic music synthesizers over a network.”
Basically, the P.H.I. allows the steel pannist to play his music as usual. However he can now make the output sound like anything he likes. A piano? Guitar?
Yup, that’s it. The Magic Drum. The P.H.I. is now here. and ready for shipping! There is no price on the website but I am sure its going to cost a pretty penny!
I must also commend them on their 2.0 marketing. Its early days yet and they have a Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Augustine/PHI-PercussiveHarmonicInstrument/52268949383
Along with a website of course – http://www.panadigm.com
Innovation in the Caribbean. I am all for it! And to top it off. There are some of the videos of Machel Performing with the P.H.I.