The Bali Steel Pan V’s The PANArt Hang

HandPans aren’t particularly cheap, and for most people they represent a considerable financial investment. Meaning that any information you can find that helps you make the right decision for you, can only ever be a good thing. And if like the many who have fallen in love with the PANArt Hang, but are unable to obtain one, you’re searching around and checking out the alternatives, in a bid to find yourself the very next best thing. A video such as the one uploaded by ‘Kurungui’, that features the PANArt Hang and the Bali Steel Pan, being played side by side, is something that anybody considering buying a Bali as a Hang alternative should watch.

And while our own overly dramatic title ‘Bali Steel Pan V’s the PANArt Hang’, suggests some kind of bare knuckle brawl, with the two HandPans pitted against each other to the death. The truth, as anybody who watches Kurungui’s video will see, is that not only does the Bali seemingly hold its own against the Hang. The two HandPan, like reunited brethren, sing sweetly together. In a complimentary, and pleasing fashion.

So that while you’ll never get to experience all of the nuances of each Handpan simply by watching a YouTube video, It could be enough to help sway your decision. If choosing between the assorted HandPans and PANArt Hang alternatives, is an almost impossible choice for you to make.
Watch the video on YouTube: HERE. Or get more Information on the Bali Steel Pan: HERE.

Visit the Hanghaus - Home of the PANArt Hang

While we’re not expecting an invitation to visit the ‘Hanghaus’ ourselves anytime soon, having referred to the ‘Hang’ as a ‘Drum’ (amongst other crimes), on far too many occasions. If you’re still one day hoping to make the visit to PANArt, to meet the Hang makers ‘Felix Rohner’ , and ‘Sabina Schärer’, yourself, at their home/workshop in Bern, Switzerland.  And hopefully return home with your own Hang.. You may well be interested in reading the following account documenting ‘Maia’s’ visit to the ‘Hanghaus’ (Hang House), to do just that.

The only place in the world where you might at times find more Hanghang than you could ever possibly dream
of, all in one location, the Hanghaus, is the now world famous home of what has in recent years become something of a musical enigma, and a much sought after rare treasure. The PANArt Hang,
[EDIT] The original article was removed by the author - Instead, take a virtual visit to the Hanghaus: HERE.  And/or read about Portico Quartet's visit to the Hanghaus: HERE, and about Familienvater's visit: HERE

How to Make a Hang Drum / HandPan

Firstly, my apologies. For drawing you here with the promise of instruction on how to create a Handpan. Because making one, is not going to be something, that I’m going to be able to teach you. However, in fairness, that’s not information (at this point in time) that you’re going to find anywhere else on the Internet either, in complete form. So instead, I’m going to point you in the direction of several resources, that while not complete in their instruction, are about the best you’ll currently find on the net. And that may be of some use, if you’re serious about constructing your own HandPan, in setting you along the right path.
How to Make a HandPan - Tips
* The following document is probably the most in-depth article regarding the creation of the Hang to be found on the Internet, due to the fact that it was released by PANArt themselves. And is something that anybody considering constructing their own HandPan should have a read of. READ NOW.

* The following was one of the earliest documented attempts / guides to making a Hang drum style instrument online. And while not complete (at time of writing), this guide will certainly be of interest, to anybody seeking to make their own HandPan from scratch. READ NOW.

* If you’re truly serious in your quest to build your own HandPan, you’re definitely going to want to read the following account of ‘Dingaling’ and his ‘DANG’ HandPans. Through which you’ll learn what it really takes to build your own Hang style drum. And probably pick up a few tips and pointers along the way. READ NOW.
* Learn how to tune a steel pan. Easier said than done for sure. But while you’re certainly going to need a few tools and a lot of skill to make your HandPans physical shell. It is said to be the tuning process, that is really the difficult part. And the part which blows the plans of most potential HandPan makers away. By watching the following videos you’ll get some idea of what it takes to tune a steel pan. VIDEO 1VIDEO 2, VIDEO 3.

MORE:

* 'Steel Pan Tuning' - A free online handbook for steel pan making and tuning.
* Watch an 'SPB' being tuned: HERE (and a 'GU' being formed: HERE).
* Video of Kyle Cox tuning a Pantheon Steel Halo

The Birth of a Russian HandPan (Amazing Video!)
* Handpan fire oxidation and hardening (A video from Live-Metalart).
* Another short tuning video of Victor Levinson
* Making a Shell (Video)
* What Metal is the Hang Made From?
How to Make a Coffee Can Steel Pan (learn the basics of tuning a note)
* A step-by-step photo guide for creating dimples (on Facebook)   * PDF Version *
* Hammering Dimples (video)
* Short documentary on HandPan Maker Nobuya Yamaguchi
* A thread on attempting building from those who have gone before you
* Hammer Time - Another great thread
* Hang drum Dimensions
* Making of a HandPan (cool blog)
* Two Tuning Vids from Hand Steel Pan: Vid 1 * Vid 2
* Building a HandPan Tips for Beginners Video
* Making a Gu (Video)
* 'Exchange of Knowledge' HandPan Facebook group (closed group, contact page admin)
* The Pantheon Steel Web-Store - Makers Section (tools, pre-formed shells, etc.)
* LINOTUNE - HandPan tuning software (as used by Pantheon Steel).
* Steel Pan Tuning DVD for sale from Dave Beery (maker of the Genesis).
* Nitriding
* Sinking a HandPan Shell - Sped Up Video
* How to tune Handpan: Basic tuning (20 min long video):
* Pre-Sunk Blank Shells
* How NOT to make a Hang drum
* Heat Treatments and HandPan Colouration
* Short Making Video from Ayasa
* Fine shaping a Handpan Note (video)
* Felix Rohner building a Handpan (video)
* Handpan Tuning 101 - Short video with Justin Perkins
* Secrets of the Steelpan - a book review by Hang-maker Felix Rohner
* The Shellopan FabLab - Building supplies, etc (France)
* Blank Handpan Shells for Sale - from Isthmus Instruments (U.S.A)
* Jimmy''s House of Hammers (specialist equipment for Handpan makers)
* How to Build a Handpan (page by Saraz Handpan)
* Hydroforming Handpan Shells (with Colin Foulke)
* Tuning Session Videos from db Handpan: Video 1, Video 2
* Google Images (search term "make build handpan").
* The HandPan.org developments, creations, and influences section in its entirety: HERE

Or alternatively, you could start off by making yourself a 'HANK' drum instead: LEARN HOW.

The 'Klangauge' Steel Tongue Drum - A German Made Hank Drum

Like the ‘Caisa’, and the ‘Sphaira’, the ‘Klangauge’, is another Hang-inspired resonant steel instrument, born from the home of: BMW’s, bratwurst, Beethoven, and good strong beer: Germany. A Hank-style drum, the Klangauge (meaning ‘Sound Eye’), is described by its makers as being ‘the younger brother of the HAPI drum’.

Currently into their third generation (at time of writing), Klangauge drum, feature eight notes tuned in a pentatonic scale, making them (like most Hank) intuitive to play, and suitable for all levels of musician, from beginner to those more experienced. And while the earlier Klangauge Hank were favorably received by all who bought them, the third generation comes sporting some nifty
new features. Not least of which is the magnetic tuning system, that allows the playable scale to be switched between f-major pentatonic, and minor pentatonic-e, at will. Giving you twice as much fun for your money.

Great for drum circles, and jams. Meditation. Therapeutic work. And children love them too. These beguiling steel tongue drum, starting at around €380 ($516), are available for sale from the Klangauge website: HERE.

The ‘Vibe Drum’ - The Double-Sided Hank Drum

While ‘DrumVibe LLC’, make several models of Hank-style drum, all of which make up the family known as ‘Vibe Drums’. It is the companies ‘Double-sided’ Vibe drum that really stands out as something groundbreaking, and something not offered (at the time of writing) by any of their competitors. (Update: Since writing double-sided Hank are now offered by other makers too).

Created by ‘Martin Issac’, the double-sided vibe drum features two playable surfaces, containing a full seventeen tuned metal tongues, and eighteen playable notes, in all. Meaning that you can essentially acquire two differently tuned Vibe drums, in one unit. Needing only to flip the drum over, to open up a whole new world of play. Or flip it on its side, and play both in a complimentary fashion.

Hand-made from custom
produced steel shells, the Vibe drum, undergo a variety of heat treatments, and tuning processes, to help guarantee a steady and dependable tone, is produced by the finished Vibe drum. Before finally undergoing a ‘7-step’ painting process, to furnish the Vibe drum with the quality finish, that makes the Vibe drum a pleasure to look at, as well as a pleasure to play.

You can find Vibe drum for sale over at the DrumVibe website:HERE.
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Laura Inserra - Hang: A Collection of Works

Another highlight from our ever expanding collection of Hang music, is the work of Sicily born, ‘Laura Inserra’. A talented (and beautiful) musician, who demonstrates the beauty of the PANArt Hang, at its purest. A multi-instrumentalist performer, and composer, Laura Inserra, in addtion to the Hang also plays the: bass, soprano sax, classical flute, and a wide variety of ethnic percussion instruments. And for the past 15 years, Laura Inserra, has both written, and performed songs for use within theatre, dance exhibitions, movie soundtracks, and has even founded her own multidisciplinary, internationally performing, arts company, ‘SAMAVESHA’.

And it is Laura Inserra’s beautiful
album, ‘HANG - A Collection of Works’, that currently flows forth from our media player, bringing with it the lullaby soundscapes of ‘One Day’, the faster paced, exotic sounding ‘Sogno’, and the rawer ‘Improv with Two Hang’. Centering, and relaxing me. Meaning that whatever plans I had for the rest of the afternoon are now, not going to happen. As I make myself comfortable, close my eyes, concentrate on the music, and prepare to peacefully drift away for awhile.

You can preview and purchase Laura Inserra’s album: HERE
.
Or alternatively, you can go and find out more about her, over at her own website: HERE.

The ‘Taranga’ Drum - The British Made Steel Tongue Drum

Finally some great news for those from the UK, who’ve been looking to purchase a Hank-style drum, but begrudge paying the often high postage costs required to ship one in from abroad. Meet the ‘Taranga’ drum, a British made steel tongue drum, that combines a top-notch build quality, with a beautiful, and distinctly oriental-sounding, singing voice.

‘Taranga’, means: ‘colorful waves of joy and enthusiasm’, in Sanskrit, the primary ‘Holy’ language of Hinduisim, and Buddhism. And true to its name, the Taranga drum allows the player to create, and ride: ‘colorful, magickal waves of music’. And featuring six precisely tuned metal tongues/notes, the Taranga drum, are tuned to pentatonic scales used by the ‘Fuke’ sect of Zen Buddhism, the Monks of which were famous for their playing of on the ‘Shakuhachi Flute’
, as a form of meditation.  And like most Hank tuned to a pentatonic scale, the Taranga, are an intuitive instrument, that can be picked up and played by beginner and those more experienced alike. With practise to develop the players own unique style being far more important than any conventional tuition.

Made from sixty percent recycled materials, being one-hundred percent recyclable, weighing in at roughly three kilos, and with a diameter of roughly one foot, the Taranga, with their unique tonal color, are currently selling at the price of £150.00 (including stand and mallets), and you can find them for sale at the Taranga website: HERE

Hang Drum Healing and Therapy

More and more, we’re stumbling across drum healing and therapy sessions/workshops being advertised, with the PANArt Hang, Hank drum, and various HandPans, firmly at their center. So with this in mind, we set out to find out whether this was anything more than an interesting marketing gimmick, or whether the Hang, and its various offspring, really could help to heal the ailments, of those who find themselves inflicted.

It is said by some that the beat of the drum resonates with the very essence of the human heart. Beating in harmony with our very own internal percussion. As it pumps our life-force around our bodies. And it is claimed that drums can relax the tense, energize the tired, and heal the emotionally wounded. Something that most anybody who has ever played the drums when feeling at less than their best, would most likely find to hold true. There’s a power in drumming.

Hand drums are frequently
used in therapy sessions to release: stress, anger, and emotional pain. And have been used with positive results to help with: Autism (and related disorders), post-traumatic stress, corporate stress, ‘at-risk’ adolescents, substance abuse, increasing self-esteem, multiple-personality disorder, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and manic depression (to name but a few). And while HandPans may not technically be drums. They still offer the same benefits of being able to connect an external instrument with the internal spirit, and through rhythm and focus, the player is able to externalize, and potentially master, their issues, and anxieties. Finding a level of control both physical and emotional, that might otherwise be lacking.
To learn more about the healing power of drumming, visit: HERE.

Masood Ali Khan - Hang Drum / The Yoga Sessions

Whether you’re into meditation, yoga, or just chillin’, sometimes exactly what you need  to help get you into the right kind of mindset is, well, something a lot like: ‘The Yoga Sessions’, by ‘Masood Ali Khan’.  Deep, throbbing, resonant, bliss.  Primitive in many respects, yet timeless.  Tribal, yet enlightened.  If the Buddha had owned a Hang, this is possibly how he’d have played it.

Born and raised in London, and currently living in Los Angeles (at time of writing), Masood Ali Khan, has been practising yoga for over twenty years, and was the head of the teaching faculty for ‘Human and Universal Energy’ at the ‘Open International University for Complementary Medicines’, Colombo, Sri Lanka, and (strangely surprising to find), also, a top international fashion model.  Masoon Ali Khan’s music has been described as being a ‘healing stream
of rhythmic magic’, and to me, that seems like a fair assessment.

This is love, life, and infinite harmony.  Disected into their base parts and then transformed into sound.  And you can download it directly onto your MP3 player: HERE
.
Or alternatively, you can visit Masood Ali Khan, over at his website: HERE, or visit him over at Facebook: HERE.

The Echo Sound Sculpture - A Swiss-Made HandPan

(!) This post may now be out of date - but has been left published for archive purposes.  It may still prove to be of interest, but some (or all) details may now be out of date (!).

To say that the ‘Echo Sound Sculpture’, has gone from ‘zero to hero’, over the course of the last few years, might not be entirely fair on the Echo Sound Sculptures early development.  But as one of the first HandPan to appear on YouTube as a D.I.Y Hang-like instrument, with its maker ‘San Zahn’ uploading videos from its earliest days of conception, through to what recent videos show the Echo to have now become (an instrument as sweet sounding as any of the other big names in HandPan - in our opinion).  The zero to hero descriptive, is somewhat fitting.

A Swiss-made HandPan (like the PANArt Hang), we first stumbled
across the Echo Sound Sculpture back in 2011, at a point where this HandPan seemed to have been tentatively titled the ‘AsaChan’.  And at that point, the Echo sounded much like you might expect an early Hang-inspired prototype to sound.  But just a few short years later (at time of updating), the efforts of the Echo maker, have very much reached fruition.  And in many ways the work of San is a lesson in becoming a respected Handpan maker the ‘correct way’.  Because while other makers have been happy to cash in on the Hang-demand, while San has been quietly tinkering away, San has always stated that he would not begin to sell Echo Sound Sculptures commercially, until the sound of his sculpture was able to meet his own high standards.  And rumour is (early 2013 at time of writing), that that time has finally come.  

In addition to the standard HandPan form, San Zahn also produces HandPan in such forms as the ‘Double Ru’, a twin ‘GU’d’ (an open port on either side) double-sided HandPan, that can feature up to fourteen notes.  And the price of an Echo (at time of writing) starts at around the $1600 mark (for the standard model). And as with the majority of the more highly sought after HandPan creations, demand is high (so expect to be patient).

For more information on the Echo Sound Sculpture we recommend visiting (and signing up to) the makers Facebook page: HERE.  Or alternatively, for more video, check out the related YouTube channel: HERE.

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Vimana Drum - JicuriDrum - Mexican Made Hank Drums

Originally mistaken for a potential new Handpan, the ‘Vimana Drum’, is an interesting creation indeed.  Because while haven taken the shape common to the Hang, and handPans in general, the Vimana drum is not actually a HandPan, but is instead, a Hank/Steel Tongue Drum.  And part of a family of Mexican made Hank drums, known as the, ‘JicuriDrum’.

Born from the Hands of Mexican researcher and musician, ‘Abraham Castro’, the JicuriDrum were the result of years of long study with Tibetan Bells, Alchemecial metals, and Hand drums.  And they make up one of the most beautiful, eclectic, and colorful collections of Hank drum yet discovered.

Available in a nice selection of scales, and available in four
different models: The Jicuridrum Tank/Hank drum in small, medium, and large.  Plus the Hang reminiscent, Vimana drum.  And starting at only $120, for a small Jicuri, and with the larger Vimana drum costing $385.  The JicuriDrum are a fairly reasonably priced collection of drums.  And while with its more metallic Hank style singing voice, the Vimana, should not be confused with a HandPan, despite its appearance. Its sound is far from unpleasant.  And like all well-made Hank, it boasts its own beauty, and charm.

For more information you can visit the JicuriDrum website: HERE.

HandPans of the World

While browsing the web earlier this evening I stumbled across an excellent little resource of infinite usefulness, for anybody with an interest in all things Hang, and HandPan. A Google map called ‘HandPans of the World’, which describes itself as being, ‘an ever growing map of where in the world you might find a HandPan’.  And this is one Google map that certainly lives up to its title and description, both.
[EDIT] Unfortunately the useful version of this map as described within the remainder of this post seems to have been taken down, and has been replaced with a far less useful version that is now only available on the Zen Tambour site :( Should you still wish to, and for what it's worth, you can check it out: HERE.
Listed at the top of the map are all the main HandPan makers, from the Hang, to the Spacedrum. And clicking on each link will then move you to the country of origin/best known address, and then provide you with such things as YouTube videos, and links to the relevant websites. Lower down are listed HandPan specific events, such as the Hangout UK, the UK based festival of the Hang and general HandPan get-together held at Mellow Farm.
And then finally, in case you’re looking for someone to jam with, or just to have a natter about HandPans over a few beers with at your local, you can search the map for fellow HandPan players in your country. And while you can’t message your fellow HandPan players directly via the map (as far as I can tell), at this point in time. I’m guessing that this little beauty was put together by the ever knowledgeable peeps over at HandPans.org (as I recognise some of the names), by far the best HandPans resource (and community) on the net.  So you can probably find them all hanging out over: HERE, if you'd like to pop over and introduce yourself.
So in summary, 'HandPans of the World' Google Map = A great resource. And one that will most likely grow even more useful with time as/if new additions are made to it (so it's definitely one worth bookmarking for future reference).

Dante Bucci: Reminiscence and the Hang Drum

If you’ve watched any amount of Hang videos online, you’ve probably come across at least a few by seasoned Hang musician ‘Dante Bucci’. And with his most viewed YouTube performance having received well over a million views (at time of writing), Dante Bucci, stands alongside the likes of: ‘Manu Delago’, and ‘Davide Swarup’, as one of the most recognisable, and one of the most talented Hang musicians around at the moment, sharing this beautiful new instrument with the world, in all its resonant splendour.

Holland born, Dante Bucci, is a regular within the Philly music scene. And while lesser Hang players coax only the ambient/meditative beats from the Hang that come natural to it, Dante Bucci, is a little more progressive, composing complete, solid, and structured songs, that make his music stand out from the rest. And whether playing solo or with a band, Dante Bucci’s compositions often blaze with an Indie-Rock twist, that really shines through on the tracks like ‘Hang Funk’ from his EP ‘Reminiscence’. While the title track from the EP is more drifting and dreamy, a euphoric soul soother, that has left over eight-hundred-thousand viewers wishing that they too could play the Hang, and play it with the same skill that Dante Bucci demonstrates with his playing. Arguably pushing the capabilities of the Hang further than any other musician (to date).
You can preview and purchase Dante Bucci's EP 'Reminiscence' : HERE.
Or alternatively, you can visit his website: HERE, or you can check out his music over at last.fm: HERE

[Update] Read our interview with Dante Bucci (by Colin Foulke): HERE

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