One can easily understand why Ray cannot go on like this. His finely structured arrangement of a composition that has perfect Panorama tempo and an engaging melody took him nowhere. Even in the new venue in San Fernando Starlift must have been alarmed at being placed seventh.
Perhaps the tune’s content rubbed someone the wrong way. Perhaps melodies that move your feet aren’t what the judges are looking for. Who knows?
What is clear is that this forum isn’t generous to pan’s most consistent composer and arranger. Nothing about it elicits excellence. Ray remains stoic about this annual affair, of course. But it does depress him that good music and fine arrangements do not end up in the winner’s circle. He abhors the gimmicks and fancy flourishes that adorn much of what wins.
Fortunately, he has fans worldwide who appreciate the quality of both his compositions and the studied approach he brings to pan arrangements. Most advise him to forget Panorama and concentrate on delivering his music where it can find good response.
Ray says often that he will consider this. But more than likely when entreaties come at the end of this year and he has another great idea for a tune he’ll end up in Panorama, again.
It’s not the best place for a composer of his stature. But the draw of the music and his grateful fans could push him into it. Ultimately, he has to do what he knows best. The important thing is that he compose and arrange music that some of us believe will be around as long as a pan is being played somewhere in the universe.