The Music of Joan and Kampah - HandPan from the Streets

If you’re one of the five hundred thousand and counting YouTube users to have watched them play Hang on some steps in Spain, or one of the thousand-plus people to have ‘liked’ the video, you may well recognise Husband and Wife HandPan playing duo, ‘Joan and Kampah’.

With thousands of albums sold while performing on the streets of Europe, and South America, Joan and Kampah, have very much paid their dues, with five years-plus of street performances under their belt. And now thanks to the combined magic of BandCamp, and this thing we call the interweb, the music of Joan and Kampah is now available for immediate digital download online too.

From the couples twelve-track 2009 debut album, ‘Camino’, featuring the beautiful, ‘Abrazo’, and the surreal, and a little bit crazy-sounding (reminds me of 'Gogol Bordello' - but with Hang), ‘Gatos’. Through to the couples 2012 release, ‘Aikyo en Vivo’
, with the four-piece outfit, ‘Aikyo’, (whose beautiful YouTube video of them performing in a forest reminds me of ‘that' scene from the movie 'House of the Flying Daggers' - but with less Kung-Fu, and more HandPan), the music of Joan and Kampah, is sure to please, when you're looking for HandPan music with that little something extra. Enchanting in its entirety, and delightfully experimental in places, you can listen to/purchase music from Joan, Kampah, and friends, by visiting their BandCamp page: HERE
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The HandPan Logo / Pictogram

The HandPan Logo
The HandPan Logo
Having coined the name ‘HandPan’, as a means through which to describe their Hang-inspired instruments to the world, without using the ‘H’ word, Kyle Cox of Pantheon Steel, also set about creating an appropriate logo, generic in nature, to accompany the newly coined HandPan moniker.

A HandPan pictogram consisting of black hand-print image, with a red HandPan inset within the palm, this generic HandPan logo is both explanatory, and stylish. And while it shares the same color scheme commonly used by Pantheon Steel for their own ‘Halo’ logo, and associated accessories. As far as is known (though it’s probably worth checking with Pantheon Steel first should you intend to use it for your own purposes), this specific logo was always intended for use within the HandPan community as a whole, for as and when 'HandPan' needed to be expressed graphically.
[Additional] Clothing such as hoodies, and t-shirts, featuring the HandPan logo can be purchased: HERE
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Here and There - The Music of Simon Wood

I have come to believe, having listened to a healthy share of HandPan music in recent years, that playing HandPan tells a man’s (or woman’s) story, like no other instrument I’ve ever heard. The initial ease of play allows beginners to start writing, while the later addition of skills, allows the player to refine their story into a masterpiece. And it never ceases to amaze me, just how many beautiful stories that there are to be told.

Simon Wood

Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, Simon Wood, uses his music to bring a little light into the lives of those most needing, frequently working with, and playing with, children in care, older folk, substance abusers, asylum seekers, and seemingly anybody else, who could use a friend in their corner. That is, when he’s not travelling the world, playing Hang, and HandPan with the likes of Davide Swarup, Spyros Pan, and Colin Foulke.

Here and There

Featuring both PANArt Hang, and BEllArt BElls, ‘Here and There’, Simon Wood’s debut
HandPan album is eight tracks of awesomeness. Eclectic to some degree, but very much keeping pace with itself, in terms of mood, and ambience. Which, if I were forced to some up in only three words, I would describe as being, ‘peaceful’, ‘transcendental’, and a little bit ‘mournful’ in places too. And the mix of solo HandPan tracks, with some of the best HandPan and electronic mash-ups I’ve yet to hear, really works for this album. From the gentleness, and fragility, of tracks such as ‘Three Times’, and ‘Always Searching’, through to the uber-cool, ‘Ten Thousand Suns’ (a track that the ‘repeat’ button on your media player was very much made for). Music to have an epiphany to!


To preview and/or purchase Simon Wood’s album Here and There, you can visit him over at his BandCamp page: HERE, or for more info on the man behind the music, you can visit Simon over at his personal website: HERE

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Other PANArt Hang, and HandPan Forums


If you’re looking to keep up with the latest in all things Hang, and HandPan, there’s no better way than by joining up to, or at the very least regularly reading through, some of the online forums dedicated to the subject matter.

HandPan.org

At the time of writing, HandPan.org is pretty much your number one go to place, to find out what’s going on in the world of HandPan. With discussions covering everything from the latest HandPan news, and developments, through to building tips for D.I.Y. makers, and a ‘swap and sale’ section, where HandPan are regularly sold, or traded. While I’d like to claim the title for my own website, HandPan.org really is the 'home of HandPan' on the internet, for beginners, and accomplished players alike. Visit the Forum

HangForum.com

Dedicated to the PANArt Hang, and the Hang alone - HangForum.com is run by those with close ties to PANArt, and for my tastes, that comes across a little too strongly. HangForum can be a good source of info on the PANArt Hang, and there’s no denying that its members are both knowledgeable, and dedicated to all things Hang. But personally, the overall vibe of the place does little for my palate (though your tastes may differ). Generally seen as one for the Hang purists only. Visit the Forum

Hang-Music.com Forum

The forum at Hang-Music.com is the forum that gave birth to HandPan.org. Problems arose over the discussion of non-Hang HandPan (reportedly, with complaints made by PANArt). And the forum was essentially closed, and moved.

The Hang-Music forum still exists though (at time of writing), and while there has been little activity there in quite some time, the Hang-Music forum is particularly interesting as an historical archive, with threads such as those discussing the coming, and birth of the Pantheon Steel Halo, and other early HandPan, being of particular interest (to me at least). Visit the Forum
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