When you picture a tropical beach, drinks with speared fruit in them, and comfortable lounge chairs, you probably also hear handpan music playing in the background.
Since its invention in the year 2000 in Switzerland, the instrument has become synonymous with a calm, laid-back setting.
What is a Hang or Handpan?
The instrument is made by hand out of steel with divots the player taps on to create certain notes, depending on how hard the player strikes the body of the instrument and where on the instrument they play, the note will vary.
It is fashioned into a convex, dome-like shape when made and allow the musician to play notes in a diatonic scale.
The original Hang was made in Switzerland by PanArt in 2000 and the design was inspired by the Trinidad steel drum popularized in the 1970s, which was convex instead of concave like the hang.
PanArt no longer make the instruments but there are now many new makers around the world and the generic name for these instruments has now become Handpan.
Bringing the instrument to more ears.
Since the hang hit the scene, people have taken to the instrument to create calming, ethereal music, and a few of them got enough attention to be picked up by mainstream eyes.
One of these bands is a duo called Hang Massive.
Originally from the UK, Danny Cudd and Markus Offbeat met in India, jammed together, and decided to form a band upon their return to the United Kingdom.
They spent time playing the hang on the streets of Bath Spa and working on their music.
In 2011, the music video for their song ‘Once Again’ exploded, and now has over 33 million views on the band’s YouTube page alone.
Cudd and Offbeat have since released four albums, an EP, a single, and are preparing for a massive (no pun intended) tour, according to their website.
When asked about their unique sound, Cudd said in an interview with Rehearsal Magazine:
“We draw inspiration from all of the different genres of music that we have enjoyed and loved throughout our lives. We bring different elements of this into the way that we play the hang. We also draw deep inspiration from a relaxed way of being and from the spontaneous nature of reality.”
The band has just released a new incredible album Luminous Emptiness which is available on all digital platforms!
You can also purchase any of their music on their website: Hangmusic.com
They spent the summer months touring the USA and Canada, and will soon start on a European tour, which will run through May of 2019.
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Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives