Alex Bruno disagrees with DSC President on Calypso

Bruno believes Peters should review his statement
Bruno believes Peters should review his statement

Member of the Dominica Calypso Association, Alex Bruno, has disagreed with recent statements made by President of the Dominica State College (DSC) Dr. Donald Peters concerning the nature of Calypso on the island.

Peters had said at a recent function that this year’s Calypsos are actually bothering him since they are too local, too political and ultimately not a source of revenue.

To combat this he announced that very soon the DSC will be launching a course in Calypso writing.

But Bruno has a different view on the matter saying Calypso connects with the pulse of the people at any point in time and Dr. Peters should review his statement.

“What he could have said was in addition to the political Calypsos probably we could have couple of international songs,” Bruno stated. “That I could go with, but to say that calypso should not be as political as they are this year, I think it is a statement that needs a little revision.”

Bruno noted that although he has the utmost respect for the DSC President, “you cannot tell me in this time that Calypso should not be political.”

He stated that Calypso always tackles issues, including political ones.

“This is what calypso does,” he noted. “And anyone who feels that calypso should not hit at politicians, you are wrong.”

Meanwhile, Bruno applauded the move by Dr. Peters to launch a course in calypso writing at the DSC.

“I believe that Mr. Peters has it right and the fact that we are having the writing in the College is amazing,” he said.

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25 Comments

  1. Pedro
    February 14, 2015

    The objective of Mr. Peters and the Skerit connection is to control free thinking and creativity.

  2. TOYOTA MATT
    February 13, 2015

    Birds of a feather flock together; Beware of sheep in wolf clothing…Proverbs…Alex BLUE vex boy!

    • blackeye
      February 13, 2015

      calypso been always political and I disagree with the president statement too. At least someone with sense see it fit to object. on the other hand I applaud the move for calypso writing course.

  3. Just Observing
    February 13, 2015

    I am in Trinidad right now and have just come from a tent..the chief fibre in most of the song there is politics…Kamla and her team getting blows….I am not haering any of Kamla’s sycophant saying Trini’s calypsoes are too political…..and Trini people are not petty like Dominicans re their calypsoes….you cannot tell me you are a calypso lover and you don’t go to this or that tent because the calypsoians there sings about the ills, aleged or not, of the party you support. Growing up….I have always know calypso is the cry of the average man against the system of things that bothers him and political issues are always a major ignorance in society….like Karessah said, “Calypso should expose every one who commits sin,” and that inludes those who the calypsoian or writer perceives as committing poltical sins…..Hence, despite of how conveniently blind we may be, the truth is clear…in Dominica too many poltical illnesses are spreading around and the calypsoian must sing

  4. February 12, 2015

    Let me wade in here. I think the term Bruno and Peters are looking for are ‘Social Commentary’. The calypso artform, since the emancipation from slavery has always been, first and foremost, an outlet for singers to articulate the concerns of society, and at times to poke fun at individuals.

    However, with commercialization and globalisation etc, calypsonians have invested heavily in learning to read and compose music, as well as to acquire state of the art recording equipment and instruments.

    Sadly, gone are the days when the calypsos from Antigua and Trinidad used to grace the airwaves of DBS Radio. There was much our local calypsonians could learn about melody, rhythm, composition, double entendre, satire etc.

    Another aspect that is lacking in our local cslypso recordings is the use of tone. With modern instruments, including electric drums, there are literally hundreds of voice choices that should be deployed in unique combinations that could make live performaces…

  5. out of south city
    February 12, 2015

    As far as I am concerned, calypso is putting into songs the things that affect the nation or rather the issues of life on the island that affect, especially, those who are considered “common;” (a term that I disdain). I believe that it’s a brilliant thing when someone can compose a song and sing about the issues of life that affect us. Be it politics, religion or what have you, being able to sing calypso is a great talent. To me, a calypsonian is singing on the behalf of the people.
    I applaud Mr. Bruno for being candid about Dr. Peters idea. Teaching a course is not a bad idea but if teaching is going to take away that person’s ability of free expression then that’s inconsiderable. Freedom of expression should not be discouraged and if it is, then the calypsonian’s right is being taken away.
    ONE LOVE

  6. Hello
    February 12, 2015

    Thank you very much Alex Bruno. That’s all I will say on that matter.

  7. TOYOTA MATT
    February 12, 2015

    Birds of one feather, flock together…Bear wear of sheep in wolf clothing…proverbs ..Alex boy! You BLUE vex?

  8. hmmmm
    February 12, 2015

    is it the writing that is the problem or the selection of the topics? I think its more about the latter.

    I join Pawol in welcoming a course at the college particularly if it is targeted at young and up-coming writers. I believe the likes of Pat Aaron, Caressa, Pelam?? the Police that wrote for the profesor and others are second to none in the region. We have produced some fantastic calypsos in Dominica over the years however I agree we need some topics with greater international appeal.

    • Ba Yo Bwa
      February 13, 2015

      “We have produced some fantastic calypsos…”

      See, the trouble I have understanding these sentiments is to ask, “What is your yardstick or the criteria for [a]’fantastic calypso?'” What do we look for so as to ascertain and know definitively what a “fantastic calypso” is?

      I listened to Alex Bruno on the Heng yesterday, where he asserts that “We are the only country to have a ‘Calypso House,'” and so that makes us first in the region when it comes to the art form. Maybe that’s one criterion for assessing our calypso supremacy?

      But Bruno had no rebuttal when the host confronted him with this simple fact: that the Slinger himself came to Dominica not long ago and condemned our version of the art form as “not [authentic] calypso.” On that, Alex was deaf mum.

      So much for these calypso savants. They know too much. They challenge everyone and everything.

      Boy Dominica is something else.

      • real possie
        February 14, 2015

        Ba yo bwa, they not something else is just that de country nice boy. Everyone saying well they singing about the I’ll in the country but no one singing about the people that lie about the country and passing it as the holy truth, like I said before the man is not wrong, for the past ten years you singing the same song on the same man and every year both songs are political. You would think they sing half and half pahla, while you hitting one man you have drug dealers, rapist, murderers, and molesters running rampant, they so bold they even gracing the stage with you to sing about people, but like my boy say de country nice boy, even he should know how nice the country is. Alex mad because he can’t think people would see the light, when the host told him the man did not say what he Alex was saying he say well am saying it then, I just turned my PC off, that is how DA people are argue a point that was not made.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3
  9. Francisco Telemaque
    February 12, 2015

    “bothering him since they are too local, too political and ultimately not a source of revenue.”

    My comments usually offend people, especially when I am critical of their family. The fact is if someone do want people like me to be critical of them, perhaps they should do the right thing and not dictate to people what the perceived to be right according to their standers. Calypso is politics, it religion, it anything humans encounter. I know that some are going get mad: Why should Peters care if Calypso is a source of revenue or not! I wonder id he is talking about revenue for government?

    A song is written, if it is good it sells, if it is no good the composer, and the producer of the song on record, becomes the looser. I knew he had a political motive.

    • Francisco Telemaque
      February 12, 2015

      When they took Peters head to the grinder alleging, what that should read: a few more errors exist, but, oh well!

  10. Doc. Love
    February 12, 2015

    I wish to applaud Alex for coming out in defense of calypsos and calypsonians. He has shown he isn’t as cyclopic as Kelly, in order words, he sees things from all sides, instead of seeing only things in front of him in a black ghostlike manner like Kamala , Peters, Skeritt, Aaron and rest of them political jokers. Kelly’s name was mentioned in the Boople’s Toyota song and this man went crazy. If Dominicans did not know about Boople’s unfortunate situation in St. Marteen, he made sure the world now knows. We all heard the barrage of criticisms that were thrown at Boople on radio. If Kelly is suffering from a form of political insanity because his name was being mentioned in the Toyota song, as far as I am concerned, publicly accusing a Minister of Government as a human propeller, was far more disgusting. :mrgreen:

  11. T-dot
    February 12, 2015

    He maybe want them to write one on him next time….KEEP PETER IN IN MIND NEXT YEAR SOMEBADY!

  12. NKRUMAH KWAME
    February 12, 2015

    Alex, boy, I could not agree more!! And by the way, tell Dr. Peters to be more concerned with the ACCREDITATION STATUS of the Dominica State College – an issue of much more urgency and importance – and “stop playing smart with chupidness.”
    HOTEP.

  13. Citizen Kane
    February 12, 2015

    First Verse on Mr Petahs

    A calypsonian can’t be an orator
    about someone else’s Massa …
    Remember that Mr. Petah
    Not because your own bread butter
    We must all sing for our supper
    And come hell or high water
    When the tide turns Mr. Petah
    For your betrayal you will suffer !!!

  14. Informant
    February 12, 2015

    I guess truth bothers Dr. Peters. Calypso is social commentary and I would be very disappointed in our calypso writers and singers do not highlight the things of concern to us locals on a day to day basis. Dr. Peters need to give advice in areas where he is qualified and think before he speaks.

  15. Yawn
    February 12, 2015

    Merci Alex. We need more balanced views in this country.

  16. Ma Moses
    February 12, 2015

    I agree with mr. Buno but am a bit weary about calypso writing courses at the DSC because of possible influence on the lyrics by stealth. Calypso should always be spontaneous and if it has common people language, it makes it spicier. It should not be stifled. I think a course in carpentry and plumbing would be more useful to us.

  17. Mamizoo
    February 12, 2015

    we have had several programs and courses for calypso writers.Several years ago we had chuck dust coming to Dominica ti do courses and many of the writers today have benifits from these courses. I say this to suggest that Donald Peters is not breaking any ground here

  18. Time
    February 12, 2015

    Thank you Alex for voicing your true and unbiased oppinion. Hope you don’t get whacked for being honest.

  19. Bee
    February 12, 2015

    It was high time that someone in the calypso hierarchy responded to DR. Dunnoh Peters.
    Can you believe that he lectures a course in politics at the DSC? Makes me wonder what his curriculum entails.

  20. TruthonSabbath
    February 12, 2015

    Well said Alex Bruno! Donald Peters is just too biased. Dice song has a lot of positive messages in it and its the truth…..we are indeed living in a fool’s paradise. Donald needs to stop his hypocrisy. He is one of the people that greatly profits under skerro administration so he is ready to say and do anything for him. Calypso is all about the issues that is surrounding us and politics in Dominica is a big issue. More diceyyy!!! #kaiso

  21. FORKIT
    February 12, 2015

    Alex, you are wasting your time, you should not even answer to that asinine comment.

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