I usually play with live musicians when I can.  But I recently got hired to do a series of 5 Christmas gigs with backing tracks at a few malls in my area.  I have a few hours of holiday tracks, but got sick of them after the third show.  So I started improvising on solo unaccompanied steel pan - playing without any tracks.  People seemed to dig it... I even got a couple gigs from passersby.  

Anyone else play solo without tracks?  What reaction do you get?  What are the challenges and how have you met or exceeded your audiences' expectations when you play solo unaccompanied steel pan? 

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I have heard Andy Narell and Ellie Manettte (not at the same time) play solo like that with nothing but the sweet sounds of the pans. It was mesmerizing. They sort of played a tune but it was more like the strumming of a harp - arpeggios and chords put together. 

Yeah.  I should add that I'm playing a lead pan, so I don't have the same range and resonance that they have on a multi-pan set up.  

Bill Willetts said:

I have heard Andy Narell and Ellie Manettte (not at the same time) play solo like that with nothing but the sweet sounds of the pans. It was mesmerizing. They sort of played a tune but it was more like the strumming of a harp - arpeggios and chords put together. 

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