How to Write a Letter to PANArt (When Trying to Buy a ‘Hang’ Drum)

Of course I can’t really tell you what you should write in your letter to PANArt, because nobody really knows what the best thing to write is, in order to guarantee the successful procurement of a Hang. But I can tell you this, I have recently had it made very clear to me by somebody (who at least claims to be in the know), that the notoriously long waiting list associated with purchasing a Hang drum doesn’t exist (as such), but instead, it is the initial letter, or ‘application', sent by any wannabe Hang owner, that determines whether an ‘applicant’ will EVER be successful in their quest to get their hands on a Hang.

The ‘Hang’ is not a ‘Drum’

Sure, we call the Hang a drum all the time on this website, even though we know it isn’t one, because the fact is that 90% of people searching the Internet for information on the Hang type ‘Hang drum’ into their search engine, so for right or for wrong, for the the time being we’ll continue to do so, to attract visitors, the life-blood of any website, even if it does upset the ‘true’ Hang trustifarians.

But if you’re writing a letter to PANArt, you’re not looking to attract visitors, you’re looking to purchase a Hang. So rule number one: Never call the Hang a drum. They don’t like it. Technically it’s not a drum, but a resonant steel instrument of the idiophone class, and having invested a lot of love and time in the creation of the Hang, they prefer to refer to it as a ‘Sound Sculpture’. And calling it a drum in your application (it is said) will pretty much ensure from the start that you never hear back from PANArt.

Do you Resonate?

So instead of a long waiting list, what is actually said to exist in its place is a selection process, of sorts. And of course nobody but PANArt themselves (and perhaps some of their closest 'disciples') know exactly what qualities are required by them in order to qualify the applicant as a potential Hang owner. But it is known that PANArt only allow ‘the gift’ of their creation to be bestowed upon musicians who ‘resonate’. Individuals with a respect for the beauty of the Hang, and the work that has gone into its creation and evolution. People who aren’t likely to play it once, and then shove it up in their attic with all their other fads tasted, never to be seen again.

Get your Inner Hippy on...

While we’re not suggesting that faking being a "hippy" (if you’re not the traveller type) is a good idea, because it probably isn't.  Going by the many Hang performances featured on YouTube, Hang owners are often seen sporting: dreadlocks, shaggy beards, Thai style fisherman pants, hemp t-shirts, and the like. Which can mean one of two things: Either it is the ‘traveller’ type individuals who are naturally drawn towards an instrument like the Hang, or it is these type of applicants, who are considered more frequently by PANArt, to be a good match for their instrument. And as such, it is this type of person who is often more successful in their application.  Make of that what you will.

Write your Letter

Job application-esq resume?  Begging letter?  A letter of empathy with PANArt's cause?  An epic poem telling of your love for the Hanghang?  a single beautiful word, carefully iced onto a cupcake, and sent to PANArt through the mail?  Or perhaps, just a simple, short, direct letter.  Giving your name, and a few sentences explaining why you'd like to own a Hang.

Only you can decide.

Send your letter to:

Address:  PANArt Hangbau AG, Engehaldenstr. 131, 3012, Bern/Switzerland

And then wait.  With fingers crossed...

[Update] October 2013, PANArt announced that they will no longer be making ANY Hang.  They will however now be offering their new (and relatively speaking, similar) instrument for sale, named the 'Gubal'.  Watch videos of the new PANArt Gubal: HERE

From time to time PANArt are known to take a hiatus (a break from building) during which people are encouraged not to send letters requesting Hanghang/Gubal.  Additionally, price, and/or the procedure for purchasing instruments direct from PANArt might change a little over time.  Two websites that have close ties with PANArt are 'Hang Blog', and 'Hang Forum', both of which are useful for obtaining the very latest information regarding the current status of production, and the latest guidance for the purchase of Hang/Gubal (!Though do be aware that these two sites are operated by PANArt 'fanboys' - and while they can be very useful for obtaining information on the Hang/Gubal, we would refrain from seeking advice there on any other HandPan, as they have proven historically to be heavily biased, and extremely negative towards anything (and everything) non-PANArt made).
© HandPans Magazine