The PANArt Hang ‘Dum’ - A Wooden Accessory for the GU

PANArt Hang Drum with Dum
PANArt Hang Drum with Dum
I recently came across one of these for the first time in person, and decided that as a novelty, the ‘Dum’ is deserving of a short post of its own. A wooden accessory for the PANArt Hang that sits within the ‘Gu’ (bottom opening), the Dum is designed to lower the Helmholtz resonance of the Hang, by narrowing and extending the neck of the Gu, altering the Hang’s sound.

And while the change to the Hang’s voice isn’t earth shattering, I did quite like it, and at the price of an extra 25Euro, back in the day, when PANArt offered such accessories - believed to have been between 2004-2007 (and primarily intended for use with the GUDU Hang variation - though also compatible with any first, or second gen.), the Dum would have made a pretty cool accessory to aid with the milking of every sound possible, from any given Hang, for those who had the option. And being made from turned Pearwood, and sporting the PANArt logo etched/burnt in, the Dum is the kind of cool, rustic looking little thing-a-ma-jig, that will no doubt become something of a collectible in the future (it's believed that there were only around 200 Dum ever made). And perhaps the Dum, as an idea, in days to come, will be taken up, and evolved by other makers. And made readily available to all who crave such things, both for Hang, and for alternative HandPan (possibly).

Or failing that, should you wish to experiment with the Dum, you could always try reading (and possibly resurrecting) the following thread over at Halo Dum. And have a go at making one for yourself.

How to Play the HandPan Lessons on DVD - ‘HandPans and Sound Sculptures’

While Colin Foulke, and David Kuckhermann (the makers of the featured DVD) do their best to avoid this posts title phrases, ‘How to Play’, and ‘Lessons’, due to the intuitive, internally reflective, individual nature of play, that is generally considered to be the ‘way to go’, when playing Hang, or HandPan - that’s essentially what this is. An instructional DVD, designed to improve your play. And as far as we’re concerned, that’s not a bad thing.
Because having already learned a few tips, and tricks from watching Colin, and David’s online YouTube vids in the past, personally, I’m of the opinion that learning technique from those more experienced (or perhaps just with a different style of play), taking it, and making it your own, can only add to your experience, skill, and depth of sound.

Essentially, if you’re the kind of pan player who’s content to lock yourself away in that quiet room and ding-ding-ding the same three notes over and over gently with no rhythm or rhyme, until you reach some kind of repetition-induced spiritual enlightenment (and there really is nothing wrong with that, regardless of how patronizing that sounded), this DVD may not be for you. But if you’re looking to mix-it up a little, learn some new chops, and ultimately, improve your game. ‘HandPan and Sound Sculptures’, is a must add to your wish list.

With three hours (plus) of awesome HandPan tips, and trickery. Starting with the basics, and then guiding you through rhythms, chords, and harmonic progressions (and beyond). In addition to featuring solo performances from both Colin, and David. HandPans and Sound Sculptures can be purchased for the price of $42 (at time of writing) from the website: HERE  Go get some skills!

Halo Helmet - Protection for your Pantheon Steel Halo

Recently finding out that the Halo was not compatible (too big) with the eagerly awaited POLYCASE (from HardcaseTechnologies), was a bit of a blow for those who had been seeking an increased degree of protection for their beloved Halo, than the standard Pantheon Steel soft backpack is able to offer. But, always listening to, and acting upon the needs of their customers, as they do - Pantheon Steel have designed, and made available to their customers, a Halo protection solution of their own, in the form of the ‘Halo Helmet’.

The Halo Helmet consists of upto two protective steel shells that envelope the Pantheon Halo snuggly, forming a near impenetrable layer between your HandPan, and anything that would seek to cause it damage. Available as either just the top-shell, designed to protect the ding, and tone-fields, etc. (arguably the most important side of any HandPan), which comes recommended for all Halo owners. And additionally, a bottom-shell is offered with which the top-shell can be paired to offer complete protection of the Halo. An option that will be of more interest to those who enjoy travelling with their Halo in tow.

Slotting comfortably inside the standard Halo backpack, with Halo inside, the Halo Helmet effectively transforms the Pantheon Steel Soft-bag into an armored flight-case solution that, while not particularly cheap at $149.95 per shell ($300 the set), does, when compared with the cost of attempting to replace a damaged beyond-repair Halo, or the re-tuning/shipping costs (especially for those outside of the States), of repairing a damaged Halo, offer a relatively cost-effective means of avoiding such a nightmare (and the costs that go with it).

For more information, and/or to purchase a Halo Helmet, you can visit the Pantheon Steel web-store: HERE.

The Idiopan Steel Tongue Drum

Long overdue a post on HandPans Magazine, ‘Idiopan’, at time of writing, seems to be the name on the lips of all interested in steel tongue drum. Growing around them a vocal fan-base or admirers as they have, that few other STD’s (such an unfortunate acronym :p ) have (as yet) managed to achieve.

Built by one ‘Bret Hutchinson’, Idiopan, are polished in look. And, word is (though I haven’t yet played one myself), that Bret’s Idiopan are (if you’re looking for such a quality) about as close to a (decent-sounding) HandPan as you’re likely to find, in terms of purity of tone. And offer ‘unlimited’ scale retuning options (if you’re willing to invest the time to manually have a fiddle). With the only known trade-off over other well-known steel tongue drum, being that the Idiopan is said to be somewhat gentler, in terms of volume.

Priced at around the $350-$500 mark. Idiopan, are available in a number of scales (custom, or otherwise). With the Idiopan website stating that ‘Any scale with notes between C3 and C5 can be recreated on the Idiopan’. And while the website appears to be (at time of writing) something of a work-in-progress (maybe due to the fact that word-of-mouth seems to have already earned the Idiopan a growing waiting list) you can still find contact information on the site, should you be interested in purchasing an Idiopan.

The Idiopan Website * The Idiopan YouTube Channel
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