The 'Mother Hang' - The PANArt Hang Prototype

There have been many and varied interesting developments and innovations within the world of HandPan, since the day we first stumbled across the Hang ourselves many years back now.  Yet, while this endless stream of baby steps forward is what has kept us interested across the years, it’s important to look back from time-to-time, to where all of this has come from, and from where everything you’ll find spoken of on this website began.


Shortly prior to the year 2000 (the date given as the birth of the Hang), one, ‘Reto Weber’, visiting PANArt (the Hang makers), expressed a desire to play an instrument that combined the Ghatam (a hand played percussion instrument), with the resonant PANG instruments that PANArt were working on at the time. A dream
shared, that would ultimately lead to the birth of the PANArt Hang, and later, both HandPan, and Hank drum, in turn.

Every new invention though, of course, needs its prototype - and the Hang is no different.  And it is believed that all Hang sprang from womb of the creation that is often referred to as the ‘Mother Hang’.  Like the Alien Queen from the Sci-Fi movies starring Sigourney Weaver, the Mother Hang is somewhat larger, and somewhat more monstrous, but as the instrument that is believed to be the very first functional crossover from PANG to Hang, without it, none of the beautiful UFO-shaped  singing steel ‘sound sculptures’ that we have come to love would exist at all.   

Unfortunately, there is very little media to be found online of the Mother Hang, but you can see an interesting photo of this prototype, surrounded by both later generation Hanghang, and a Ghatam: HERE, in addition to the only short YouTube clip we can find online (also embedded above): HERE

[Update 2015] Hangblog informs us that: 'Sabina Schärer and Felix Rohner call it the "baby", not the "mother". Read more: HERE

HandPans and ElectroMagnetic Hands (Magic Hands)

Just when you start to believe that you’ve seen it all, in the world of HandPan, something comes along and in no unclear terms, shows you that you very much haven’t.  And we love that.  Which is why the video performed by Max, and Manfred (two German peeps with connections to the Innersound/Golden Sound HandPans), titled, ‘Innersound C-Minor and Magic Hands’, really caught our attention.

The ‘Magic Hands’ aspect of the video, as performed by the player on the left (see embedded video) appears to be using some kind of electromagnetic device to extract some pretty haunting tones from the Innersound
HandPan being played duet (you can see the wires coming out of the gloves), which when combined with the standard HandPan style of play performed on the right side of the pan, the effect is really quite beautiful.
Believed to operate in a manner similar to an ‘EBow’, a device commonly employed on stringed instruments such as guitars, ‘Magic Hands’, if that is the name of the device being used in the video (rather than simply the name of the video itself), is believed to cause the tone fields to resonate when stimulated with the devices magnetic field - causing the instrument to sing in a very distinctive fashion.

For D.I.Y’ers, this is probably something that wouldn’t be too difficult to recreate for yourself, however, at this point, should you be considering it, it is worth remembering that the makers of this video have close ties to at least one HandPan tuner, meaning that should this have caused damage, and/or detuned their HandPan (or would with repeated use of this device), getting their pan fixed-up. may be less troublesome, and/or costly, than it might be for you, and yours. So, do be aware that this is not yet a tried and tested technique, regardless of how awesome it sounds...

Hopefully more news to follow.

>> More Magic Hands Experimentation <<

What is a Pantam? - Answered

As the name, ‘Disco Armonico’ (meaning ‘harmonic disc’), was often used in place of the name ‘Hang’, in Italy, by retailers of PANArts earlier instruments (and is another name that went on to be used in a more general way to some degree), the name, ‘Pantam’, was used in a similar fashion, by at least one PANArt retailer, in Israel.  And in Israel at least, the name has stuck.

Now used widely in Israel, as a name for both Hang, and all of the instruments that we here would label ‘HandPan’ (Hang-like, or Hang-inspired instruments), the Pantam label has recently (at time of wriitng) been put forward as a possible global
alternative to the HandPan moniker (which has always had its opponents).


Pantam, is said to be a combination of the words: Pan, and Ghatam.  Two instruments that are noted, as being an influence in the creation of the Hang.

Why do people want to replace the HandPan name?
As we understand it, it is primarily an issue of poetry (for lack of a better term).  And that opponents of the HandPan name do not feel that it does such a beautiful instrument justice.  Whether or not the Pantam label will replace HandPan, or not, only time will tell (though we suspect not, globally).

Other alternatives that have been put forward over the years to replace the less poetic, but functional HandPan title, include: ‘Cupola’, ‘Kupu’, and the rather mouthful’ish, ‘Harmonically Tuned Sheet Steel Instruments’.

For further discussion on the Pantam you might try the following:
http://www.handpan.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=392

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