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’.

© HandPans Magazine