Reto Weber - The Spark that Started a HandPan Fire

They say that “there’s no fire, without a spark!”, and while PANArt’s Felix Rohner,and Sabina Schärer are without doubt responsible for the physical creation of the Hang, if one man could be said to be responsible for providing the spark that breathed life into these most sought after of metallic UFOs , and ultimately all of the HandPan that would follow in their path, it would have to be ‘Reto Weber’.

Every Great Invention Starts with a Simple Idea

Born in Switzerland in 1953, Reto Weber, is a master percussionist by trade, who has traveled the world performing on such instruments as the steel pan, gongs, bells, and balaphones (among others). And it was during Reto Weber’s visit to PANArt in November, of 1999, that the seed for the idea of the Hang was first sown.

Having demonstrated his skills on the Ghatam, and having been shown PANArt’s earlier creations known commonly as the ‘PANG drums’, or ‘PANG instruments', that consisted of a mish-mash of resonant steel instruments, including steel pan, bell, gong, gamelan, and cymbal (like) creations. Reto Weber shared a desire for a “sounding pot in steel with some notes to play with the hands”. And from there, with a lot of hard work on PANArt’s part, the Hang was born...

These days Reto Weber can be found performing with his self-titled outfit ‘Reto Weber’s Squeezeband’, an eclectic ensemble who with their 2004 album ‘Squeeze Me’, offer up a diverse seven track release, that in addition to featuring some very nice beat boxing,and some sweet Ghatam, among its other audio treats, also sees the man who is at least partially responsible for bringing Hanghang into the world, performing on the instrument that he'd always dreamt of playing, and the instrument that started a singing steel revolution.
You can find Reto Weber's album 'Squeeze Me' for sale: HERE, or alternatively, you can visit Reto Weber over at his own personal website: HERE.

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