Travel-Friendly HandPan for Sale - Smaller HandPan for Holidaying With...

I love my Pantheon Steel Halo. - It sounds AWESOME! Carrying my Halo any great distance though... not so much! So that while I’d very much like to do a Rafael Sotomayor and jet off to the Philippines with my pride and joy in tow, to play alone, like a one-man miracle of sound on an all-but deserted tropical island. The idea of dragging the beast all the way there with me, is just so off-putting, that personally, I just don’t think I’d bother.

And while the same could be said of many of the larger HandPan (Caisa, Bali Steel, etc.), there are some HandPan that are somewhat more diminutive in size, and as such, are far more lazy traveller (AKA ‘me’) friendly.
The Baby Caisa HandPan

Built by ‘Bill Brown’ of Kaisos Steel Drums, the same bloke who produces the standard Caisa HandPan, the ‘Baby Caisa’, with a 45cm (just short of 18 inches) diameter, is the Caisa’s travel-friendly little brother.

Known also as the ‘Caisa Bakpak’, this HandPan weighs in at under 3KG. And other than its more slender build, is essentially the same as its larger brethren. Available in three tunings, and two designs (at time of writing), and with nine notes per Baby Caisa, the Baby costs 1100 Euro, and according to the website, takes 10-60 days from time of ordering, for your instrument to be completed, and dispatched.
You can find more information, and/or order a Baby Caisa HandPan: HERE
The Six-Note SpaceDrum

The smallest member of the French-made HandPan family, the ‘Spacedrum’, the 6 note Spacedrum is another option for those looking for a more travel-friendly HandPan. Weighing in at about an inch larger (in diameter) than the Baby Caisa, and a tiny bit weightier, at 3.3KG, the six-note Spacedrum is priced (at time of writing) at 649 Euro. Which while considerably cheaper than the Baby Caisa, as per its name - the ‘6’ note spacedrum features only six notes, in comparison to the Baby Caisa’s standard nine. However, in terms of pros and cons, the six-note Spacedrum does feature the more standard (Hang-style) ‘GU’ type bottom. And for an extra 50-odd Euro, can be purchased with its custom-made protective bakpak.
You can find more info, and/or order a six-note Spacedrum: HERE
The Genesis Symphonette HandPan

Built by ‘Dave Beery’ of Daves Island Instruments, and the smaller brother (or sister) of the standard Genesis HandPan, the ‘Symphonette’, with its 18 inch diameter, is roughly the same size as the Baby Caisa, and the six-note Spacedrum. Making it another (and the last at time of writing) suitable candidate for a ‘mini-me’ style, travel-friendly HandPan.

Believed to be priced around the $1000 mark (at time of posting), the Symphonette, is available in a number of different tunings, and in a number of different finishes, such as in distinctive bronze, and black powder coat. And, on a personal note, is my favorite of the bunch (judging by YouTube videos), and the one that I’m currently considering purchase of for my own travels...

You can find more info, and/or purchase a Genesis Symphonette: HERE

More (I will update this section as I discover them):


* Or alternatively, if you insist on taking a larger HandPan on your travels with you, and you haven't already, you might want to look into getting yourself a protective case of some kind: HERE

Hang Massive - Beats for your Feet

For a long (long) time, typing ‘Hang drum’ into YouTube has always brought up one video in first position, the almost legendary Hang track by Manu Delago, ‘Hang Drum Solo’, with (at time of writing) over four million views. However (and again at time of writing), recently, searching for Hang videos on YouTube now displays a different video in position number one. ‘Once Again’, by the duo known as ‘Hang Massive’. A track that has garnered just short of a million views, in roughly seven short months. Has become one of the most shared Hang tracks online. And, on a personal note, sits high among my own favorite tracks.  No small achievement!

Hang Massive is made up of (‘Hang Playing hedge Monkey’) ‘Danny Cudd’, and ‘Markus Johansson’. And whether Hang Massive represents a permanent split from fellow Hedge Monkey ‘Daniel Waples’, for Danny Cudd.  Or simply time apart doing their own thing for a while (with Daniel currently performing as one half of ‘Hang in Balance’), we’re not too sure. But whatever the reasons. Hang Massive have been putting together, and releasing, some awesome tunes. And while Once Again could rightly be considered to be the jewel in their crown (at time of writing). Their 2011 release ‘Beats For Your Feet’, makes for an enjoyable listen throughout. And is available for donation, at the HangMusic website. Along with Danny Cudd’s solo releases. And all manner of other Hang Massive goodness, such as pics, videos, and details of any upcoming live performances.

I, for one - can’t wait to hear more...

Visit HangMusic.org: HERE

Or visit Hang Massive over at: Facebook * YouTube

Nitriding - PANArt Hang, and HandPan

While, being the uneducated type, I can only begin to half-understand the science behind ‘nitriding’, at the time of writing, the group of HandPan that are often referred to as being ‘the big four’ (Hang, Halo, BElls, and SPB), are all nitrided. Meaning; that while there have been some very nice sounding non-nitrided HandPan released into the wild, the process of nitriding the shells, it would seem, is a crucial step in the construction of producing a ‘top-tier’ HandPan.

As per Wikipedia: Nitriding is a heat treating process that diffuses nitrogen into the surface of a metal to create a case hardened surface. It is predominantly used on steel, but also titanium, aluminum and molybdenum’. (If you haven’t yet read the nitriding Wiki-page in its entirety, should you wish to, you can do so: HERE

So, essentially, as I understand it, nitriding the steel makes for a more stable instrument, both physically, and in terms of strength of tone. Non-nitrided HandPan have been known to go out of tune fairly easily (in cases), while nitrided HandPan, being harder, are believed to better hold their tuning. And while there are various different methods of nitriding, as far as is known, ‘gas nitriding’ appears to be the process of choice, for the makers of the ‘big four’.  And it is one of (if not the only step) in the construction of a HandPan, that is usually outsourced to a third-party.

Need more info?

* The following is an article published some time around 2002, by PANArt, the original maker, titled ‘Hardening Steel by Nitriding’. Which talks about the importance of nitriding with regard to the creation of the Hang. And while technically removed from the internet years ago, the article can still be accessed via the archival website ‘Wayback Machine’: HERE

* HandPan.org is always a great source of information for any, and all things HandPan. And with six pages (and counting) of HandPan-nitriding related discussion to be read. If you’re still hungry for more info, you can pop on over, and find out more: HERE

Cimantone - The Japan-Made Steel Tongue Drum

They say that Japanese is one of the hardest languages in the world to learn. And other than the occasional ‘Moshi-moshi’, I neither speak, nor understand a word of it. Which is going to make it difficult to write anything of any use about the new (at time of writing) steel tongue drum from Cimantone. However, if you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll know that that isnt going to stop me from trying...

If the ‘Whale Drum’, of Jim Doble is by far the largest steel tongue drum we’ve yet to come across, the new ‘Micro6’ drum from Cimantone - is by far the smallest. So that while Cimantone make a variety of drum, in a variety of sizes, for the sake of this post, for pure novelty value, it’s the teeny-tiny Micro6 STD that we’ll be concentrating on.

Palm-sized, and pocket-sized, the Micro6 is a six-note Hank drum that weighs in at a ridiculously small 35mm (Height), 90mm (Diameter), and 210g (Weight). With the notes arranged low-to-high around an almost Ding like central note that when struck resonates all of the surrounding notes in unison. And according to the Cimantone website, the Micro6 also doubles as a Shaker (when filled with iron balls), and possibly a purse-friendly vanity mirror too.

Supplied with bag, and mallets (we’re not sure how well this tiny drum would sound played with the hands - or just how difficult it would be to play it). The Micro6 is priced at 11,000 Yen (around $140 US). And along with its bigger brothers, is available from the Cimantone.jp website: HERE

The Best of HandPan Dancing - Busking Moments Caught on Camera

Every website needs a good-vibes, lol-catz-style, cutesy humour page (as far as we’re concerned) to bring a smile to the faces of its visitors - before they pass on through. And now, for as long as the owners of the following videos don’t disable embedding, we’ve got ours.

For some; HandPan music is meditative, for others it’s perfect to fall asleep to. Some like to chill with a big-fat blunt, and get all introspective. But others, when the pan-man starts playing his beats, well, they can’t help themselves but get up and dance. Especially (but not limited to) the kids.

And so with that in mind, in this post, we bring you the best of HandPan dancing, and dancers. Those unexpected moments caught by HandPan players out and about. Where those listening, led by choirs of Angels, dance impromptu jigs, and twirl like there’s no tomorrow, to the sounds of singing steel. Let the HandPan dance-off commence... Enjoy. :)

Daniel Waples and the Amazing Dancing Boy

Cute Girl Dances to some Halo in the Park

Crazy Guy Busts Some Moves to Buskers

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