About seven or eight years ago I saw this video:
I fell in love with the instrument. I spent about a year trying to find out what kind of instrument it was and was really wanting to buy one. I finally found out it’s a form of handpan. And they’re expensive, because each one is handmade, and there are about 100 people in the world who make them.
So I waited, and found a maker in the US, and watched for when he’d have one for sale to see if I had the money at that point, and finally…I was able to order one. And it was lovely, but a little big and harder for me to play with my tendonitis, so I didn’t feel like I was making much progress with it.
Then, this year, he made a new line of them, smaller and lighter–and I just had the feeling it would be easier on my hands. So I ordered a new one. And sold my old one to one of my friends who fell in love with it too. My new handpan came and I can play it so much easier, and I love, love, love it. So I ordered another in a different scale. Now, I’m using them to try and help my MCAS–sound therapy can help a lot of things, and it also just relaxes me and makes me happy to sit and play, and the less stress, the fewer the reactions.
I also knew that one of my characters–Raven in the Wild Hunt–would be playing the handpan in a magickal way. And so she does, and I love writing about her playing it.
There’s no real formal training, though there are tutorials on YouTube, but I love that I can play by ‘feel’ and make music that actually sounds pretty and magickal and that pulls me in. It’s a meditative experience, and I can feel the energy rising when I play. I have visions of playing out in the forest on some cool summer evening, or by the edge of the water.
Here are the two scales/types I have now, and I highly recommend Colin’s handpans if you want one made by someone who truly loves the instrument and who has devoted his life to it.