The HandPan SKILLZ of Adrian J Portia

If we were forced to name just one HandPan musician who has really blown us away in 2014, it would have to be, “Adrian J Portia”. And I’m pretty sure that we’re not alone in this.  His HandPan performances over at YouTube are both intensely inspiring, forcing you to reach for your own Pan in a bid to let loose the pure HandPan-Ninja energies that you know you must have absorbed while watching him in action, and then sorrowfully shame-inducing, when within minutes you realise having done so, that by comparison, you play like a bumbling-idiot.  Or maybe that’s just us. :)

We don’t know much about Adrian J Portia, other than that he rocks the HandPan like a badass, often sports a mohawk, and has his hometown listed as being: “AUSTRALIA”, on his facebook profile.

So, as we find it’s often best for us to do, we’re going to let the music of Adrian J Portia, speak for itself...

Adrian J Portia Playing BELLArt BElls:

Adrian Playing the Symphonette (from Dave's Island Instruments): 

Adrian Playing an AsaChan (from Echo Sound Sculpture):

To listen to more you can check out Adrian's YouTube channel: HERE, or go check out his Facebook page: HERE.

GuSkin - A Skinned Percussion Adaptation for HandPan

Here’s an interesting thing dreamed up, and designed by popular HandPan musician, ‘Kabeção Rodrigues’, called the ‘GuSkin’.  A device, that like the ‘Dum’ (a device originally sold by PANArt - the Hang makers), slots inside the ‘Gu’* to open up new sonic possibilities, for Hang, and HandPan.

However, while the Dum was intended to lower the Helmholtz resonance of the Hang, the GuSkin, once inserted, is designed to combine the qualities of more traditional skinned drums, with those of UFO-shaped singing steel - potentially opening up a whole new world of play - and/or certainly convenience, for traveller types, who could now transform their HandPan into an instrument with a more conventional percussive sound (eliminating the need to travel with multiple instruments).

A device like the GuSkin seems perfectly designed for enhancing vertical HandPan play.  And HandPan musician, Jacob Cole, has shown that this is so (see video).  And with more and more HandPan appearing now with notes on the bottom shell too, the promises of a device like the GuSkin are many and varied.  

One argument that was raised against the device when it was first demo’d over at Facebook was concern that the GuSkin would limit the Hang / HandPan's natural sonic qualities, blocking the sounds from the instruments internal resonance chamber.  Which seems likely, but is obviously a temporary trade-off, and a choice that each player can make depending upon the mood, and situation.  

At time of posting, the GuSkin is noted as being in prototype phase, and as such, is not available commercially for purchase.  But if you’re interested (and like us, don’t have the D.I.Y skills to try and knock one up yourself), you can follow Kabeção Rodrigues over at YouTube: HERE.  And await further development, and/or future release. 

* ‘Gu’ is the name given to the hole/port on the bottom of Hang, and while technically specific to only PANArt Hang, it has to a more or lesser degree been adopted for all HandPan makes, Some makers do though have their own names for the bottom port, Pantheon Steel (the makers of the Halo), for example, call this opening the, ‘Oculus’.

Hang Massive's: 'Once Again' - 51 Remixes and Counting...

Type, ‘Hang drum’, into YouTube, and (at time of posting) the video you’ll most likely find in first position is, ‘Once Again’, by the Hang-playiing duo named, ‘Hang Massive’.  And with well over seven million views as I write this, Once Again, is arguably the single most popular Hang/HandPan track as yet recorded.  

If by some miracle, you have yet to hear it, you can take a listen below…

Seven million views and counting, is of course, highly impressive (and well deserved) - but another interesting measurement in terms of this particular tracks popularity, can be found over at SoundCloud (an online audio distribution platform that enables its users to upload, record, promote and share their sounds), where, as recently reported by Hang Massive’s, Danny Cudd, there is an ever-increasing number of remixes of this legendary Hang track being made, and uploaded (51 and counting at time of posting).

“Amazing that so many have felt moved to make these tracks!” - Danny Cudd stated over at Facebook.

And we agree.  Because as much as we love the original - there is always new inspiration to be found when others take something beautiful, and make it their own...

Listen to all of the Hang Massive remixes as a playlist over at SoundCloud: HERE, or find Hang Massive over at Facebook: HERE

© HandPans Magazine