Handpans Magazine's Album of the Year - 2016

While there’s no denying that 2016 was a spectacular year for the world of Handpan, in terms of the number of new makers hitting the scene, making a whole range of new instruments available to those who just a few years prior would have found it incredibly difficult to get their hands on a Handpan of their own.  It was also an amazing year for Handpan music.  

And while the ever popular YouTube has offered-up some truly awe-inspiring audio-visual Handpan extravaganzas - the album, in its classic format of a collection of tunes, still remains a popular medium through which Handpan musicians have been able to present and share their extended musical messages and visions, to us, the lovers of the Handpan’s sound.  

Handpans Magazine Album of the Year - 2016

With so many great Handpan albums having been released in 2016 choosing a favourite is a daunting task.  However, for the purposes of this post, and assisting our readers in sniffing out the very finest Handpan music available for your listening pleasure, for us here at HPM, one album has stood out above all others over the year gone, standing up to endless listenings, and never growing tired, or losing any of the magic we felt upon first hearing it.  And that album is, “Panacea”, by Panakos Project.

Recorded by Miguel Angel Amoros Benitez, and Daniel von Borries CardeƱa, Panacea, captures perfectly everything we love about Handpan music.  It is primarily pure Handpan, it intertwines beautifully the two sometimes conflicting elements of Handpan-play, the melodic, and the percussive, and equally blends the line perfectly between being uplifting, and melancholy, to create as divine a soundscape as we have ever heard. - with a continuity running throughout the entire album that we find pleasing.  Earning Panacea, by Panakos Project, the award of Handpans Magazine’s “Album of the Year, 2016”, take a listen below…  

To learn more about Panakos Project you can visit them at their website: HERE.  Or to discover more great Handpan music, check out Bandcamp: HERE where you’ll find the largest (and best) selection to be found on the interwebz.  

How to Protect Your Handpan During Shipping Using Expanding Foam

The following is a great little tip we learned of via the guys behind the RAV Drum.  While hammered out of steel, Handpan can be susceptible to damage from the slightest of knocks and bumps, and over the years, the majority of the horror stories that we’ve heard from Handpan owners whose instruments have suffered accident, have been regarding damage that has occurred during shipping, or other forms of transportation.  And this seems like a great way to help prevent that from happening.

We could have put together a step-by-step guide with photos and all that, but honestly, you’re not going to need it.  While seemingly very effective, this is about as simple as it gets.  And inexpensive too, when compared to any potential ailment that might be caused to a Handpan on the move.  And all you’re going to need is some cling film/Saran wrap, and a can of expanding foam (of the kind often used in the building trade).

Then simply wrap your Handpan in the plastic film, and then once nicely wrapped, proceed to create a nice solid protective shell around your Handpan using the expanding foam.

Want to get some idea of what the finished product might look like - take a peek at the video below…

Living in a Hobbit Hole - With Handpan Musician Dan Price

Having spent some of the Christmas holidays watching YouTube documentaries on “Mobile Living”, and tentatively Googling such things as “Land for sale”.  The following video featuring Handpan musician, Dan Price, and his self-built Hobbit-hole-like home, could not have been better timed - to both inspire, and induce jealousy, in those of us not residing with only our Handpans for company, in quite so pleasant Shire-esque dwellings.  

The Handpan has often been seen by many as being quite a “spiritual” instrument.  Which is a label that we’ve not always felt fully at-home with here at HPM, believing the Handpan to be an instrument that can be enjoyed by anybody, regardless of any particular inclinations.  Which is something that could be equally true of the desire to go off-grid and build yourself a Hobbit-hole in which to live. Because while the idea might be more likely to draw towards it a particular kind of person, likely, there are times, where each of us might yearn for that level of getting away from it all…

For more information on the project, including a full colour e-book for sale titled "My Tiny House" you can visit Dan over at his website: moonlightchronicles.com

The Saraz Harmonic Spider - Turn Your HandPan Into a Speaker

With the New Year barely upon us, it’s clear that 2017 is going to be an interesting year for the Handpan, with Saraz Handpans kicking things off with the unveiling of a new prototype device that they’re calling the “Harmonic Spider” (or the “Saraz Sonic Driver”), that is capable of turning a Handpan, into a speaker.

The results of a collaboration between Saraz, and Paul Vo, of Vo inventions, the Harmonic Spider utilises a programmable magnetic field, to drive sounds into the vibrations of the Handpan's membranes.  And in the words of team Saraz, “We quickly realized that we could drive the device with an enormous array of inputs including other musical instruments, Pro Tools plugins, Ableton Live or even a sound file such as an MP3”.  Explorations that you can hear for yourself in the video below...

Perhaps exhibiting a lack of foresight at time of writing, this appears to be more of an intriguing development, rather than something with obvious practical uses.  Just because you can turn a Handpan into a speaker, is there any real need to do so?  However, Saraz’s choice of final song in the video above, with John Lennon’s, “Imagine”, is not lost on us here at HPM.  And with the Saraz guys promising a wealth of future videos featuring this new device to come as 2017 unfolds - we look forward to hearing more from the Harmonic Spider, and the possibilities it may well bring with it.

Find more information on the Saraz Harmonic Spider over at the Saraz website: HERE

© HandPans Magazine