Bjork : Biophilia - Manu Delago Brings the Hang Like a Virus

If you didn’t know, over the past few months (at time of writing) Hang-virtuoso Manu Delago, teamed up with world-famous Icelandic singer-songwriter ‘Bjork’, performing alongiside the pixie-Esq performer during a number of shows to promote her new album, ‘Biophilia’.  And in addition to teaming up with Bjork for her recent tour, Manu Delago, lays down some lullaby beats on the Biophilia album track ‘Virus’, a track that while (to my ears) is a little chime-heavy at times, is overall a strange, and beautiful song.

And what’s more, and this is what sets Bjorks new album apart from others, with some even calling it ‘groundbreaking’, and hailing it a return to the days when buying (and subsequently listening to) an album was something of an immersive experience, that seems lacking in these days of nondescript digital downloads. Each track on Biophilia, comes encased within an app, ten of which (one for each track) sit within a mother app, each of which opens into an interactive ‘game’, that allows the user/listener to interact with the song. With the overall theme tying the entire album together being ‘the bond between humans and other living systems’. 
The Bjork/Manu Delago track, Virus, emulates a cell coming under attack from disease. An attack that for awhile, you can defend the dying cell from, before giving into the inevitability of it all, in order to allow your experience to continue. With the ‘message’ of the song being summed up as, ‘the virus loves the cell so much, it ultimately destroys it...’

You can find, Biophilia: Virus, for sale over at iTunes: HERE

Or read an interview with Manu Delago discussing the Bjork tour: HERE.icon


Buy 55 Gallon Steel Drums for Sale - Learning to Tune a Steel Pan

Dave Beery Making a Bass Pan:

If you’ve been thinking of trying your hand at making your own Hang-inspired instrument, or HandPan, before you even begin thinking of investing huge wads of cash into research, and development, one of the few things that most involved in the creation of these instruments seem to agree upon, is that the first thing you need to do, is first learn how to tune steel, the old-school way. Because without first mastering this very specific skill, all of your later efforts will be in vain.

The drums (or barrels) used in the creation of traditional steel pan are 208 litres as standard (55 U.S. Gallons), and can either be new, or used. However, before you go buying the first 55 Gallon Barrel you stumble across, there are a few other factors to take into consideration. All of which you can learn about: HERE.
In fact, if you're serious about going down this road, before doing anything else, if you want to teach yourself how to make a steel pan, you're going to want to read the entire online version of "Steel Pan Tuning: A Handbook for Steel Pan Tuning and Making", from start to finish. As there really is no better resource to be found, either free, or paid for. And you can even download the entire thing in PDF format, and print it out for more casual reading offline.
Additionally, Dave Beery offers some great instructional DVDs over at his website:HERE.
* For tips and advice more specific to creating a HandPan, rather than a steel pan, after you've learnt how to tune steel like a pro, you may find the following post of some use: Learn to Make a HandPan.

PANArt Hang V’s iPad “Hang Drum” App

Recorded at the Redwood Nights Festival, 2011, this great little video demonstrates the potential of some of the now numerous “Hang Drum” apps, available for devices such as the iPhone, and the iPad (and there are a few Android compatible apps out there now too). Performing in a duet with a first generation C minor pentatonic PANArt Hang, the iPad Hang app, connected to a small speaker, actually mixes with, and holds its own against the Hang pretty well (in our opinion). Watch the video (above) and decide for yourself.

So that while you’d expect Hang drum simulating apps to be little more than a novelty, as we’ve reported before, some of them ‘surprisingly’, sound pretty decent. And while they’ll never be fully on-par with playing a genuine PANArt Hang, when mixed with the touch-screen capabilities of many modern devices, such as the iPad, they can actually do a pretty good job of mimicking the Hang, in the right hands. Providing a relatively cheap (assuming you already own the technology) means through which the Hang hungry can sate their hungers, before continuing their search, if desired (and probable long wait), for the genuine article.

PANArt Hang and HandPan Scams - Avoid Getting Burnt

While you might think that such scams would be rare. With the astronomical prices that Hang can reach within the secondhand market, due to their rarity, and the huge demand for those that are made available, it was only ever a matter of time before those looking to purchase a used Hang, or Handpan, became the targets of unscrupulous types, looking to cash in on the almost insatiable desire of some, to buy the very first ‘instrument’ they come across listed for sale online, without first doing their homework.

Craigslist (and similar classifieds sites).

Last week (at time of wriitng) I was surprised to find that there were six PANArt Hang, and a Halo, listed for sale on the UK Craigslist alone. Which seemed quite a lot considering the rarity of these instruments. Additionally, you can only list an item on Craigslist for a period of thirty days, before it gets removed. So six people in the UK alone were selling their Hanghang via Craigslist within the last month? It didn’t seem likely. And it isn’t.

Craigslist is scammer central. And with people having willingly payed over ten thousand dollars on ebay for a used PANArt Hang, it’s not surprising that the scammers have caught onto this, and are giving it their best shot. I contacted all six Hang ‘sellers’ on Craigslist, and the lister of the Halo, and out of all seven, only one was willing to meet, and make the transaction in person (and even this one later turned out to be a fraud). The others, as I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, all wanted the money wired to them, before ‘shipping’ their Hang ‘securely’ onto me.

There is no protection when trading via Craigslist. And Craigslist themselves warn that “99% of scam attempts via Craigslist can be avoided by only dealing locally with those you can meet in person”. Heed this advice, or risk getting burnt.


Barely a week goes by without a Hang scam attempt or two appearing on ebay. And if you’ve been watching the ebay Hang market for as long as we have, you’ll have recognised the same old pictures, descriptions, etc. showing up time, and time again, in a bid by the scammers to rob folks like you of your hard earned cash.

But if you haven’t been watching the ebay Hang market as long as we have, and have decided that now’s the time to make your bid on a Hang listed for auction online, you may want to take a minute out and keep reading first, to avoid at best, having to deal with the people at Paypal in a bid to get your money back from a ‘bad’ listing, or at worst, losing your money altogether.

Short Listings. Hang/HandPan listed with short auction durations, usually of only a single day, are almost always attempts by scammers to get in, and out again, before being noticed by, or reported to, ebay. If you see a Hang for sale, but aren’t sure of when it was listed, you can find out by clicking on the link next to ‘bid history’ that lists the number of bids. Which will take you to a screen that amongst other things, lists the auctions duration. If it was only for a single day, buyer beware!

* "e-mail me outside of ebay before bidding". Nine times out of ten when an ebay listing for a Hang requires you to e-mail the seller outside of the ebay platform, it’s an attempt by the scammer to draw you outside of the protection that buying via ebay offers. The seller will almost always offer to sell it to you at a fixed price, using some unsecured payment platform (while most likely offering to sell it to several others at the same time too) via a private sale. And should you take them up on this ‘generous’ offer, you’ll most likely never see your Hang, or your money, ever again.

Classic eBay scam (has appeared hundreds of times):

You can find more tips and advice on avoiding getting scammed when looking to buy a Hang, or a HandPan: HERE.

© HandPans Magazine