Dingole introduces a virtual pan instrument

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Above: Shawn De Freitas Director and pannist Tevin Shockness as he prepares to perform the National Anthem on PanJam’s Virtual Reality Steelpan. Photo courtesy Dingole.

The worlds of Steel Pan and Virtual Reality converged with the launch of Pan Jam, the revolutionary, fully immersive steel pan music platform brought to life by local design agency, Dingole Ltd.

With a prototype officially unveiled at Soft Box Studios, Alacazar Street, St. Clair on April 5, Pan Jam spellbound the audience when Tevin Shockness, a professional pannist, passionately performed the National Anthem on the Virtual Steel Pan.

Attendees were also treated to a few of the prototype’s key features, including a tenor pan demonstration played against the virtual setting of a Caribbean island, and were given a tour of the Virtual Steel Pan Museum, which contains a comprehensive timeline of the birth and evolution of steel pan in Trinidad and Tobago.

Using the cutting edge HTC vive, hand controllers become virtual pan sticks that, when struck against virtual steel pans, resonate a range of tones synonymous with the real instrument. Taking full advantage of the virtual world’s capabilities, musical notes will appear in 3D space; completely immersing players in a “Carnivalesque” visual sound dance that represents the melodies, rhythms and chords of a particular musical selection.

With the potential to make steel pan culture more accessible to world, once completed, Pan Jam will assume its place among successful game titles like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Dance Central, that transport the gamer into a virtual musical world.

Pan Jam has long been a vision of the Dingole Team, who successfully collaborated with the US Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago to make it happen.

“Around the world, people are fascinated with the unique character of the sound of the steel pan. Yet, very few people have had the opportunity to actually play the instrument and for those that do it is a truly an unforgettable musical experience,” Shawn De Freitas, Director of Dingole said.

“Evoking the spirit of rebellion, modernity and innovation that inspired the birth of the steel pan, Pan Jam takes a step forward fusing the majestic instrument with cutting edge virtual reality and gesture recognition technology to make it the first of its kind.” 

“We aim to create a virtual experience that allows people all over the world to experience what it is like to play and learn steel pan.” 

For more information on Pan Jam, as well as the full range of innovative products and services from Dingole, like and follow their page on Facebook at facebook.com/dingoleltd or contact Deidre Lee Kin via email.