Back in the summer of 2013 with the announcement of PANArt’s new instrument, the Gubal, we were understandably excited. Like others we caught a sneak-preview at what the Gubal might look like, when PANArt-submitted registered-design photos appeared online, and we swiftly purchased PANArt’s book, published shortly after, that promised via its accompanying CD, the only way to get a first-listen to the sounds of their newest creation.
With the CD listened to however, and over the following months a string of Gubal-video performances consumed, the excitement faded - with the Gubal leaving us feeling somewhat underwhelmed. Despite the Gubal being relatively Hang-like in appearance (though with considerably more junk in its trunk), the sound of the Gubal failed to enchant us, in any manner close to that which its older sibling the Hang had.
We lamented a little, and then moved on to take joy in the ever increasing number of new Handpan makers that were popping-up near-daily. But even as we pushed the Gubal to the back of our thoughts, a part of us considered that perhaps all that the Gubal was really missing, was its own coming Manu Delago(s). Players who would pick up this new instrument, bulbous-globe straddled between their thighs, make it their own, and deliver performances to reignite some of that lost PANArt-lustre. And inspire us, with the Gubal in mind, to reach for ink and paper, with thoughts of penning a good old-fashioned Bern-addressed begging-letter...-->