At-TaK of the UFOs - The Handpan and the Rise of the TaK

When we first discovered the Hang a whiles back now, it seemed to be an instrument in a fairly concrete state of form - eight tone-fields (notes) circling a central ding.  Since then though have come the inpex, booty taps, grace notes, and a number of other maker-explorations big and small.  And recently, one thing we’re seeing more and more of, is the “TaK”. A subtle, yet distinctive addition to the sounds of these UFO-shaped steel instruments.

While we weren't entirely sure which maker first employed the TaK, as we noticed them coming into use around the same time by both Swiss-makers Echo Sound Sculptures, and Italian-makers Vision Instruments.  According to Handpan musician, Adrian Portia, in reference to the mutant-esque Handpan “LoDu” instruments of ESS (see video below): “On my signature model i have introduced what i call TaKs. The TaK is a tuned high pitch note/tone that's placed in designated areas around the surface, designed by me and produced by EchoSoundSculpture they add a new percussive element for the player on this very cool and unique sounding instrument.”...



While in definition the TaK sounds to be similar to the "grace notes" employed by Pantheon Steel on some of their Halo instruments.  While grace-notes are essentially just another tone field squeezed in above-and-between, TaK (just about visible in the center in the video below) are more percussive in tone and nature.  Fairly un-pronounced in appearance, but bringing yet another possible dimension to the sounds of the Handpan, TaK, look to be here to stay...

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