News Releases

UWI Professor breaks new ground with PHI

For Release Upon Receipt - February 12, 2009

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus, hosted the professorial inaugural lecture of Professor Brian Copeland on Thursday 29th January, 2009, Engineering Room 101 at 5:30 p.m. Professor Copeland, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, delivered a presentation on “The Steelpan Initiatives Project - A Strategic Model for the creation of a Culture of Innovation in Trinidad and Tobago. This lecture re-introduced the Percussive Harmonic Instrument (PHI) to the audience which included, Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal Clement K Sankat, famed performer Machel Montano, and former Miss Universe Wendy Fitzwilliam.

This professorial lecture began with remarks from Professors Edwin Ekwue, Clement Sankat and St. Clair King. In his presentation, Professor Copeland tackled the issue of electric and electro-acoustic approached to engineering the PHI. He explained that the PHI is a completely electronic instrument that combines the physical from of a tenor with MIDI technology, essentially making it the pan version of an electronic keyboard. As such, pannists can use the familiar interface of this ingenious device to ‘play’ any musical instrument.

At the close of this lecture, guests were treated to an impromptu performance by Machel Montano. Alongside Jessel Murray and members of the Steel Orchestra on the PHI, Machel performed his 2008 composition entitled ‘Oil and Music’, much to the delight of all present.

For further information on the PHI, please contact the Department of Engineering at (868) 662-2002 Ext. 2064, 2199 or visit .


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