Articles in Category: english blog

12/2017 Newsletter

on Thursday, 07 December 2017. Posted in english blog

English version – summary:

-          Our musical instruments

-          How to get one

-          Handpan charity lottery

-          Links and other info

 

Our musical Instruments:

You can discover here the video of the instruments that we (Delphine and Matthieu) have finished this month:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZBZMR52lbY

Here is our information for each instrument on the video. No audio effects have been added when editing the video so you can listen to the sound as close as possible to the original instrument.

 

Instruments made by Matthieu :

"The end of this year is a time of research for me, new heat treatments, the exploration / invention of new scales based on a principle that I call TripleBass, new visual effects, I invite you to discover my latest works on the videos below! “

 

TripleBass B GoonKali - B E G / B C E F# G B (00:07)

The GoonKali scale refers to an Indian raga sometimes called Gunakali or Gunakri or Gunakari. It is a pentatonic scale composed of a tonic, 2nd minor, fourth, fifth and a sixth minor. It is also the fourth mode in the Ake Bono scale (well known in the Handpan world). The peculiarity of this instrument is the reinforcement of the low register of the scale by adding a tonic, a fifth and a minor sixth an octave below. This scale can also be called "Dark Aegean" by the manufacturer of the Halo. This instrument is of a very low register, it has a softer sound and a delicate playing technic will put it more in value than a game too strong (although I tested the two types of game in the video).

 

TripleBass C# Rider 15 - C# (F#) G# A (B) / C# D E F# G# A (B) C# (D) (E) (01:29)

Second attempt to create an instrument with this scale, this time by adding 5 notes on the bottom of the instrument to experiment some variations around this scale. The notes on the bottom need to be tamed by the player, the movement of the hand is not as natural and the tone of the sound is not as "fine" as that of the notes above. So I consider it as a 10-note instrument with some "bonuses" on the bottom. For this second test, I had the opportunity to work with Olivier, apprentice manufacturer in Belgium, and we shared our different approaches to tuning when it was created.

This scale is sometimes called C# "integral" (according to the name given by PANArt to a well-known range on his Hang but beginning in this case by a La). To make it in a TripleBass version, I once again boosted the bass register by adding a tonic, a fifth and a sixth minor one octave lower. The notes in parentheses are the notes placed on the underside of the instrument.
There are a large number of ranges or modes available in this instrument, Equinox, Integral, Goonkali, AkeBono, Pygmy ... to explore!

 

TripleBass E Hijaz - E A B / E F G# A B C D E (02:39)

Another TripleBass on the same principle as the two previous but this time based on a heptatonic scale (7 notes per octave), the well-known Hijaz. Fifth mode of the minor harmonic scale with its oriental colors that express themselves as soon as I player included the Sol # in the game and disappears when it’s not played. The three basses are here a tonic, a fourth and a fifth, all are an octave below the range Hijaz beginning in E.


An instrument that I class in the category of "magic" instruments, even if the tone of the sound is a bit more metallic (making 11 notes instruments can take some clarity off the sound and this instrument is soldered instead of more classical technique of gluing the two shells). My personal favorite among the last instruments I made.

 

B/F# Hijaz - B / F# G A# B C# D E F# (04:11)

Here is a Hijaz scale with "only one" bass and "only" 8 notes ... but all descended as deep as I can do with my current level to achieve in the end a very low instrument. An instrument with a tone of sound like this one is not made to "impress" (during a game in the street requiring power for example) but I see it show its "captivating" side in an intimate setting and with a delicate approach.

Ps: the Hijaz scale also allows to play the pentatonic scale "GoonKali" to change its atmosphere which is usually very typical.

 

E/A High AkePygNox - E / A B C E F G A B C E (05:34)

My second favorite this month, and suddenly I get a little high during his video demonstration but I suspect it's the instrument that called me to play like that ;)

11-note instrument of the "AkePygNox" family, that is to say comprising the Equinox, Integral, Goonkali, AkeBono and Pygmy scales.

The arrangement of the last 3 notes generates a particular sound timbre for these notes and more particularly the last one which is more "dry" and with less sustain. It was not the ideal, but since I consider that the metal must have the last word, it participates for me in the unique character of this instrument and it took nothing away from my (big) pleasure to play it.

 

E/G La Sirena - E / G B C# D E F# G B E (07:22)

A well-known scale that I made several times but this instrument that I realized for a special order and with a very particular aesthetic shows me that it is the sheet steel that has the last word ... I would have liked to give a little more of sustain to this instrument and despite all my efforts : failure!

I still added to the newsletter to allow to appreciate the different sound timbre of Handpans. It also allows me to explain our sales policy when an instrument does not obtain the desired level of quality: if we agree to sell a "downgraded" instrument, it is because it is in tune and we consider that it will give pleasure to be played. Its owner keeps the possibility to exchange later with the manufacturer to obtain a better quality instrument (with cost difference consideration). If we consider that an instrument will not give pleasure to be played because a defect is too present, it is transformed into lamp or barbecue (other garden ornaments are under study ...).

 

D/A Dorian - D / A B C D E F# G A (15:07)

A minor heptatonic scale, a little unusual and very catchy. It is the presence of a major 6th (the F#) which gives the particular flavor to this scale. An instrument very easy to play intuitively with a beautiful overall resonance, a nice balance between notes and couplings reinforcing the warmth of his timbre.

(I see late that I made a small mistake in the text of the video and it lacks a D in the text, the instrument has 1 central note + 8 notes all around)

 

Instruments made by Delphine :

 

« In this newsletter I have 3 Equinox scale to offer. This hexatonic major scale is somehow becoming my sample scale. It allows me to experiment different settings while tuning and tempering in order to go further through final sound quality. All these instruments are built according the same process but are still different at the end. There are so much things to discover about parameters influencing the sound. »

 

F/Ab EQUINOX (D173646) - F / Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (08:44)
This one is a well-balanced instrument with a sustain and recoupling midway between the two others. There is no saturation in the notes and also a good dynamic range from soft to loud.

F/Ab EQUINOX (D173446) - F / Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (09:34)
Unlike the two others, this one has well separated notes with few recoupling and also homogeneous quality for each.

F/Ab EQUINOX (D173546) - F / Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (11:08)
This one is also a well-balanced instrument with a good dynamic from soft to loud, good sustain and recoupling. The more noticeable is about C5 which is calling the central note into a significant bass recoupling.

 

E/B minor (D173246) - E / B C D E F# G A D (12:54)
This scale is a creation coming from a Kurd scale in which we removed the 8th. It is a well-balanced instrument, strong sound and volume. The highest note is less powerful.


D/F Voyager (D173146) – D / F A C D E F A C (14 :04)
It is a not so easy scale to build due to the proximity of the lowest notes next to each other. These are quite flexible but strong and don’t saturate. There is a strong coupling between the D4 (central note and its octave). The D4 saturation needs a soft playing. I don’t recommended it for a strong and loud playing.

 

How to get one of our sound sculpture:

We publish quite every month a newsletter like this one with a video of each of our latest creations. If you are interested in one of our creations, just contact us by email within 48h (following the newsletter) by mentioning:

-          The desired instrument (it is possible to mention an order of preference up to 3 instruments)

-          If you wish to visit us in Strasbourg (France) with the date where it would be possible for you

-          If you wish to receive it by carrier.


If several people are interested in the same instrument, we will proceed to a random draw before responding to each request individually.


Here are the next dates when we will be able to make appointments at our Strasbourg workshop and where we will have the pleasure of sharing our work:

- Friday 08/12/2017 the afternoon (Matthieu and Delphine)

- Sunday 10/12/2017 the day (Matthew)

- Monday 11/12/2017 the day (Matthew)

- Saturday 16/12/2017 the day (Matthieu and Delphine)


Of course, booking an instrument after publication of the newsletter does not commit you to any purchase. We prefer to use this same procedure for those who just want to visit us to test instruments. We are not yet organized to receive all the visitors who request us, we know that sometimes it can be hard to understand or frustrating, but the quality of our work depends greatly on our ability to focus on achieving it. Our search for the best balance is not over yet!


All information regarding the availability and price of the instruments is noted in the description of the video (see youtube link).


Our pricing is based on the quality of the instruments (level of finish, level of complexity, quality of the tone of the sound, overall balance ...). A soft carrying case is provided with each instrument. It is possible to opt for a higher quality backpack bag for 50 € more. The shipping costs are 75 € for shipments in Europe and quotations for shipments in the world.

 

Win a handpan by supporting "The Dragonfly" NGO


The association "The Dragonfly" carries out projects combining education, ecology, health and food with disadvantaged populations (current projects are carried out in Kenya). Delphine has donated one of her creations to this association which wishes to carry out a fundraising with the received instruments.

This month, until the 20th Dec 2017, by supporting the association, you have the opportunity to participate in a lottery to win handpans including the Shellopan F Equinox made by Delphine.
You can see a demonstration of this instrument played by David Charrier on the following video: https://youtu.be/GgUqgGCRlfA?t=6m14s

There is a link in the description of the video to go on the page of participation in the fundraising and to discover the projects realized by the association.

The draw will take place on December 20th at 8pm during an event on the Facebook page of the association.

 

Links and other info :

How to choose a (good) Handpan ?

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/discover-the-handpan

 

Just a little musical theory.

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/our-creations/shellopan-handpan-scales

 

Frequently Asked Questions... and answers

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/our-creations/faq

 

 


More news next month! Or next year ;)

Matthieu and Delphine - Shellopan

10/2017 Newsletter

on Friday, 27 October 2017. Posted in english blog

Our musical Instruments:

You can discover here the video of the instruments that we (Delphine and Matthieu) have finished this month:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkKBThRzHW0


For this video, we asked Cyrille LECOQ, composer and musician, to perform the demonstration of the instruments with a short improvisation for each one. You can discover Cyrille's compositions on his website: www.osmotic-wave.com. His album Osmotic Wave, mixes the handpan with a unique sound atmosphere that we invite you to discover.

Here is our information for each instrument on the video. No audio effects have been added when editing the video so you can listen to the sound as close as possible to the original instrument.

 

E/A Dorian by Matthieu - E / A B C D E F# G A (00:07)

A minor heptatonic scale that becomes the Dorian mode with its 6th augmented (the F becomes an F #). Easy to play or use as an instrument to start or accompany other players with a lot of scales. This instrument, whose surface has been covered with beeswax, gets a more felted and soft sound than those I usually make.


D/A Dorian 9 by Matthieu - D / A B C D E F# G A C (01:11)

A variant with 9 notes and with a central note down in D. This instrument has more sustain and dynamics but also cons in part a little more granulosity / texture in its sound than the previous one.


G/C Ake Bono by Delphine - G / C D Eb G Ab C D Eb (02:29)

Well known pentatonic range, with Japanese accents, quite airy. This instrument is relatively balanced and with a good dynamic in terms of sound volume but with the particularity of having a strong coupling in D5 (octave of the D4 and fifth of the central note in G3). The saturation resistance is pretty good. Handle all the same with softness so as not to activate the D5 too much. The ideal would be to come and try it on the spot.

 

F# AkePygNox 9 by Matthieu - F# / G# A C# D E F# G# A C# (03:56)

This is an exclusive range with great compositional potential, but perhaps not the best for beginners or those who take non-individual lessons. F # Aeolian hexatonic (-4th) I named F # AkePygNox. This versatile scale includes F # low Akebono (penta), F # low Pygmy (penta), G # locrian hexatonic (-m3), A major hexatonic (-M2), F # Equinox or the C # Phrygian hexatonic (-m7) also called F # / C # Integral. This is the most varied scale of my creations with 10 notes including the tonic in the middle of the instrument.

For me, this quality of instrument represents the high end of my current production.


C# G# A/C# "TripleBass Rider 9" by Matthieu - C# G# A / C# D E F# G# A C# (05:52)

Here is a variation of the F # AkePygNox range, unintentionally invented as a result of a problem on an instrument that I was trying to improve. The middle note normally in F # is here descended in C #. It is thus no longer possible to find all the modes that make the AkePygNox special, but something new to explore appears: the presence of three bass forming interesting chords with a tonic starting at C#4. It is a range that does not exist yet and his name is the first that came to mind ... it will certainly evolve ;)


F/Ab Equinox by Delphine - F / Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (07:09)

Hexatonic range, again rather aerial but the presence of more serious the central note brings a balance. The instrument reacts homogeneously in its dynamics, its resistance to saturation, its sustain. The notes well dissociated from each other make it quite suitable for a percussive game.


Db F/Ab DoubleBass Equinox 9 by Matthieu - Db F/Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (08:38)

This instrument is a prototype to test new scales but the 9 notes was a bit too ambitious. When the space between the notes becomes too weak, the sound of each note is colored by that of neighboring notes, the sound takes texture, becomes more granular and loses part of its crystalline side. I think that this type of instrument is not suitable to be sold without being tested before and compared to instruments of better quality.


C# / G# Celtic minor (or Amara) by Delphine - C# / G# B C# D E F# G# B (10:47)

Hexatonic scale, among the most serious I manufacture to date. This instrument is homogeneous in its reactions, with characteristics similar to F / Ab Equinox. A percussive game with assured strikes will put it best value. "


C# /F# Aeolian by Matthieu - C# / F# G# A B C# D E F# (12:05)

It is a natural heptatonic minor scale (7 notes per octave) and is very easy to play intuitively. The register of the instrument is very low with its 5 notes in 3rd octave. The method used for the assembly of the two shells (welding instead of gluing) means that it must remain equipped with its edge-rubber during playing.

 

 

How to get one of our sound sculpture:

We publish every month a newsletter like this one with a video of each of our latest creations. If you are interested in one of our creations, just contact us by email within 3 days (following the newsletter) by mentioning:

-          The desired instrument (it is possible to mention an order of preference up to 3 instruments)

-          If you wish to visit us in Strasbourg (France) with the date where it would be possible for you

-          If you wish to receive it by carrier.


If several people are interested in the same instrument, we will proceed to a random draw before responding to each request individually.


Here are the next dates where we will have the greatest pleasure to share our work:

- Monday 30/10/2017 in the afternoons

- Friday 03/11/2017 during the day

- Saturday 04/11/2017 during the day

- Friday 10/11/2017 in the afternoon

- Sunday 12/11/2017 during the day


Of course, booking an instrument after publication of the newsletter does not commit you to any purchase. We prefer to use this same procedure for those who just want to visit us to test instruments. We are not yet organized to receive all the visitors who request us, we know that sometimes it can be hard to understand or frustrating, but the quality of our work depends greatly on our ability to focus on achieving it. Our search for the best balance is not over yet!


All information regarding the availability and price of the instruments is noted in the description of the video.


Our pricing is based on the quality of the instruments (level of finish, level of complexity, quality of the tone of the sound, overall balance ...). A soft carrying case is provided with each instrument. It is possible to opt for a higher quality backpack bag for 50 € more. The shipping costs are 75 € for shipments in Europe and quotations for shipments in the world.

 

 

Links and other info :

How to choose a (good) Handpan ?

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/discover-the-handpan

 

Just a little musical theory.

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/our-creations/shellopan-handpan-scales

 

Frequently Asked Questions... and answers

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/our-creations/faq

 

 


More news next month!

Matthieu and Delphine - Shellopan

09/2017 Newsletter

on Sunday, 17 September 2017. Posted in english blog

English version – summary:

-          How to choose a (good) Handpan

-          Just a little musical theory

-          how to learn to play Handpan

-          Our musical instrument

We have chosen to dedicate this newsletter to beginners by giving links to 3 articles that we have written on our website.

 

How to choose a (good) Handpan ?

We often meet people who come to see us with an instrument purchased sometimes very expensive and that does not give them satisfaction. They ask us if we can (re)tune them or make their instruments more pleasant. Unfortunately, the structure of these instruments makes it impossible to make them "pleasant" even if we tune them. These instruments are often sold second hand or on the internet and this creates traps for many beginners. We have therefore drafted an article to try to help the people discovering the Handpan to choose their instrument. You can consult it by following the link below.

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/discover-the-handpan

 

Just a little musical theory.

A second article has been posted on our website and it tries to explain the notation used to designate the different scales of handpan. Indeed some manufacturers use "poetic" names that are easy to remember, others names that reflect traditional musical notation or names referring to the cultural use of the musical mode ... Writing an article to explain all this is not simple and updates will certainly still be necessary (your remarks are welcome!).

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/our-creations/shellopan-handpan-scales

 

How to learn to play Handpan ?

Here is a final article (written in French only) with some tips to learn how to play handpan. Several methods exist and each one is complementary: to find its intuitive music, to meet other players or professional musicians, to follow courses or to take an online course ... At the bottom of the article, there is a discount coupon for those who would like to take an online course with David Charrier. This article is written in French only.

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/fr/decouvrir-le-handpan/comment-apprendre-a-jouer-du-handpan

 

Our musical Instruments:

For those who wish to get a Shellopan, we will publish a monthly newsletter with a video of the instruments available. If someone is interested in an instrument, it will be enough to answer within 3 days mentioning the wish to visit us in Strasbourg (FR) or to receive it by carrier. If more than one person is interested in the same instrument, we will randomize the choice (and double the chance to those who want to visit us).

Our pricing is based on the quality of the instruments (level of finish, level of difficulty of the scale, sound quality, overall balance ...). The shipping costs are 75 € for shipments in Europe and on quotation for shipment in the world. Availability info are updated in the description of the video.

Following our website articles, the videos below show our latest creations and the selection should make possible to better distinguish the type of sound tone you like (or not). All instruments are not for sale and some prototypes are only presented for the comparison.

Here is our list of instruments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM

  • E/A Aeolian #1 (00:07) - E / A B C D E F G A – 1200€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=7s

 

  • E/A Aeolian #2 (01:26) - E / A B C D E F G A – 1200€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=86s

 

  • D/F Voyager #1 (02:47) - D / F A C D E F A C – 1200€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=167s

 

  • D/F Voyager #2 (04:29) - D / F A C D E F A C – 1200€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=269s

 

  • D/A Celtic minor 9 #1 (06:14) - D / A C D E F G A C D – 1300€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=374s

 

  • D/A Celtic minor 9 #2 (08:17) - D / A C D E F G A C D – 1300€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=497s

 

  • E/G La Sirena (10:26) - E / G B C# D E F# G B E – 1300€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=626s

 

  • Db F/Ab Double bass Equinox 9 (12:32) - Db / F Ab C Dd Eb F G Ab C – prototype not available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=752s

 

  • Db/F Deeper Raga Desya Todi (13:13) - Db / F Ab Bb C Db Eb F Ab – not available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=793s

 

  • F# AkePygNox9 (14:13) - F#/G# A C# D E F# G# A C# - 1100€

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=853s

 

  • F AkePygNox 9 (15:09) - F / G Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C – prototype not available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=909s

 

  • D/A Phrygian 9 (15:57) - D/ A Bb C D E F G A C – prototype not available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=957s

 

  • E/ G# Higher Raga Desya Todi 9 (17:10) - E / G# B C# D# E F# G# B C# - not available

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2WwU01XpHM&t=1030s


More news next month!

Matthieu

08/2017 Newsletter

on Sunday, 17 September 2017. Posted in english blog

10/08/2017 NEWSLETTER

summary:

-          News from the Shellopan Cooperative

-          Our musical instruments

-          News for makers

 

Some news from the Shellopan cooperative:

Shellopan is a cooperative making sound sculptures of the handpan family and a manufacturer of the raw material accessible to other instrument makers. It is also the name of the handpan we are making. Two people work full time on this project (Delphine and Matthieu) and we receive visitors using our workshop like a fablab so that they can practice and develop their own project.


The Interest in this instrument inspired by the steelpan from Trinidad and Tobago and the Hang formerly manufactured by PANArt is still growing. The community of enthusiasts meets several times a year during gatherings and people are crossing the continents, new manufacturers start projects in all countries, initiatives are emerging everywhere and we receive more and more requests for which it becomes unfortunately difficult to answer in a personal way.

 

We therefore decided to give some news about all our activities through newsletters. Our website has been updated too and our last post is a long article about the handpan scales we are building :

http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/our-creations


Our musical Instruments:

 

For us the handpan is a means of personal and creative expression. His practice is accessible to all. This notion of accessibility to all leads us to test a new way of selling our creations, so we end the waiting list principle to find more creative capacities and a freer organization of our work.

For those who wish to get a Shellopan, we will publish a monthly newsletter with a video of the instruments available. If someone is interested in an instrument, it will be enough to answer within 3 days mentioning the wish to visit us in Strasbourg (FR) or to receive it by carrier. If more than one person is interested in the same instrument, we will randomize the choice and give a little more chance to those who want to visit us.

Our pricing is based on the quality of the instruments (level of finish, level of difficulty of the scale, sound quality, overall balance ...). Prices ranges from 900 to 1500 € including a soft bag. The shipping costs are 75 € for shipments in Europe and on quotation for shipment in the world.

Here is our list of instruments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx7Svwdb-II

Prices and availability are shown in the description of the video.


News for handpan makers:

 

As with instruments, we receive far more demands on the raw material or the use of fablab that we can humanely handle. The choice of steel is always a delicate step in our work and we are currently trying to improve our knowledge of the links between the physical / chemical characteristics of the steel and the timbre of the sound that will be obtained on a handpan at the end of our work.

This study also allows us to distinguish which characteristics of the sound can be related to the tuning style, the raw material or its treatment to harden it. It is an exciting and complicated study to carry out because of the large number of parameters to be taken into consideration.

Part of this study was carried out during the Griasdi Festival in Austria (July 2017). During 4 days, beginners, passionate amateurs, professional musicians and other manufacturers were able to blindly test 6 instruments constructed using the same method but with six different steels. This test is only one step of the study and you can also participate by making any comments regarding the video visible here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZWUFQyr0lo


More news next month!

Matthieu

makers survey feedback

on Monday, 01 May 2017. Posted in english blog

shellopan deep drawing tools for hanpan shells

Here is a feedback following the survey launched 6 months ago. The idea was to ask the makers and apprentices which future developments in the Shellopan cooperative could be the most interesting for the community.

The availability of different sizes of shells and the possibility of experimenting with a thicker material (1.1mm) collect the most demand. Although I have received a lot of demand for ready-to-use nitrided material, very few have expressed interest in a material prepared with long nitriding recipe (although the PANArt licensed nitriding process seems to have advantages...).

I have received a lot of demand for the supply of shells and this volume can not be supplied with the production that I realize today. The limit does not come from the production tools but comes from the choice of steel, all the steel are not equal (the standard DC04 is not a guarantee of quality, the tolerances of the norm are too wide, it is by example frequent of having a DC04 with DC05 characteristics). The level of knowledge of the links between the physical / chemical characteristics of the steel, the impact of nitriding, the most appropriate tuning technique and the timbre of the final instrument is not yet sufficiently developed.
I am sorry if I could not answer all the requests, I decided not to compromise on the choice of the material because I personally use the same steel as the one I share. The arrival of other manufacturers of shells should make the market more fluid but I can only recommend to any buyer to ask for the real characteristics of the purchased steel or shell (physical, chemical, thickness distribution, depth of nitrided layer...).

I am currently working on the production of the 6th Shellopan shell batch, always with 1mm steel and a deep drawing method optimizing the thickness distribution (you can have more information on the fablab page of the shellopan website : http://www.shellopan.fr/index.php/en/our-fablab ). For the 1.1 mm steel, I will have to produce my own steel (25 tons minimum). Such a volume will only be feasible if I can obtain guarantees concerning the physical and chemical characteristics of the material. This warranty is for the moment impossible to obtain and I would inform you of any progress.

The elements that make a recording, a great one!

on Wednesday, 30 November 2016. Posted in english blog

The elements that make a recording, a great one!

Here is another article from Spyros Pan, well known player in the Handpan community comming from Greece, he wrote an essay argued by his experiences about studio recording of handpan sound (and valuable info for any kind of recording) :

"The first step to a good recording is to identify and know what it is you really need. This is the most important factor that will also determine how many “benjamins” you will need. Studio or home recording? Do you want to make a youtube recording or are you looking into pressing your material into vinyl or cd?  Will you choose analog equipment or go digital?..."

You can read the full article on his blog and discover his musical universe on his website

 

What Makes a Great Sounding Handpan?

on Monday, 28 November 2016. Posted in english blog

What Makes a Great Sounding Handpan?

Here is an article from Lauri Wuolio, well known player in the Handpan community comming from Finland, he wrote an essay about what are the sound caracteristic of the handpan :

 "A good cupola (handpan) sounds amazing. The sound is full, warm and resonates deep inside you. But what is the essence, or the soul, of that sound? What makes a good cupola recording?..."

You can read the full article on his blog

and discover Lauri's work on his website

 

Building a Handpan : what is possible to do in one week ?

on Monday, 25 January 2016. Posted in english blog

Clemens playing his fablab made Shellopan / Handpan

Following the path of (hand)pan


For a long time i was enchanted by the sound of the soundsculptures, but only a little more than a year ago my first instrument found me. A revolution took place inside of me, i was opened up to a new dimension – playing music. It is possibly one of the most fullfilling and blessing experiences a human being can have.

Of course i was intrigued to find out how a lump of steel can turn into something as beautiful as a handpan. These soundsculptures seem to be alive, to have a soul of their own, or at the very last be able to become a mirror of our own soul.

The deeper i dived into the marvelous world of handpan the stronger grew the desire to try and hammer on steel myself. When i met Matthieu from Shellopan at the end of last year and learned about his work, suddenly there was a chance to give in to this desire without investing a lot of money into equipement that i was not sure i could handle and yet still work with proven material (some of the most beautiful instruments i have played came from that very same material).

So finally there i was at the workshop of Shellopan, ready for the next step on the path of (hand)pan. To prepare myself i had spent hours and hours reading in the makers section of handpan.org, reading Panart's early publications, Ulf Kronmann's book on steelpans and of course reading in the „steelpan bible“ (Anthony Achong's „The secrets of the steelpan“).

Matthieu was ready too, he had put a lot of thought into the best way to introduce a greenhorn like myself into the woes and wonders of tuning steel. He decided that a reversed engineering approach would be the best way.

On the first day he handed me an old Shellopan prototype, an already glued instrument which was not in tune anymore and let me have my way with it. So i started with the last step of the process, the fine tuning. After about 8 hours of hammering, the conclusion i came to after my first day was: this is even harder than i thought! (and i didn't expect it to be easy) I had not only not managed to come even close to tuning one note on the instrument but got it way more out of tune than it was before.

The second day was dedicated to the step that comes before glueing and after shaping: the tuning of an open shell in the tuning ring. The shell had already been worked on and an experienced and skilled tuner could have finished this step quite quickly. Not me though ;-) I spent all day hammering on this shell and at the end of the day i had managed to come close to tuning two notes on this shell and ruining a couple more of them. Matthieu and Delphine saw the notes i had ruined as challenges and i learned a lot watching them correct my mistakes, while they explained to me exactly how they were going about it. That day before going to bed (which was inside the workshop, perfect to be fully immersed into the world of handpan production) i decided to try again on one of the notes on the prototype that i had hammered to be more than 300 cents sharp on my first day and, lo and behold, within 15 minutes linotune showed all three bars in green. What a wonderful moment!

The third day was finally the day to start on my own shell, but first Delphine showed me how to work on the interstitial areas and note borders with the airhammers. After that i started to draw the notes of the chosen scale (Amara in C#) on a raw shell. Matthieu pressed the notefields and after that i started to work with the airhammers. This step turned out to be a lot more difficult than it looked when watching Delphine and of course correction work from Matthieu was necessary again. After that the shell was put in the kiln to temper it (trying to go for a pink color as i wanted to build the first pan for my 4 year old daughter who loves all things pink). After that Matthieu showed me how to losen a note and then i started to work on the notes in the circle of this instrument #1.

This kept me busy all of day four and five. I learned how important the preparing steps really are for the tuning process and that attention to detail is key in every step. I managed to get some notes close to the desired frequencies (mostly within 10-20 cents) others were not as close and the lowest note i just couldn't get anywhere close. Matthieu tuned the central note, as i was afraid to mess it up. The central note is the best part of the finished instrument, he did an amazing job on it. Delphine in one turn tuned the circle of notes (the „choir“) in about an hour and then the first instrument i have ever worked on was ready to be glued. It is very hard to put into words how i felt, i hugged Delphine and Matthieu and was very very happy and excited!

The instrument came out surprisingly good, but that is only because every mistake i made was corrected again by Matthieu or Delphine.

This is a little attempt to recapture the experience of my week at Shellopan, but i feel it only scratches the surface. I haven't mentioned the warm and nice people i met and the creative and inspiring atmosphere i felt, the late night jams and conversations, the tasty food and the many beautiful shared memories i will forever cherish.

Thank you so much Matthieu for welcoming me into your home and sharing your knowledge, skills and wisdom with me! I will forever appreciate how much you helped me to get started on this never ending journey of tuning steel and can't wait to return soon.

Clemens

handpan building steps

Tools and Sharing

on Tuesday, 20 January 2015. Posted in english blog

Creating our own tools is certainly exciting but the investment capacity of the amateur / enthusiast are naturally limited. A collective project helped to create deepdrawing tools whose production is shared among several makers apprentices in Europe. The goal: industrial technologies access and getting a stable raw material to focus on tuning learning. Such raw materials with a very basic shape provides a free space allowing everyone to develop their own touch and accents. Its development takes into account unusual quality criteria for the industry.

The success of such a project seems very encouraging and the idea of going further in this direction worth exploring other tools, other members, a Handpan "fablab", makers meetings ... any ideas and opinions are welcome!

Tools

on Sunday, 30 November 2014. Posted in english blog

 
Learning how to tune a HandPan requires some equipment in order to improve. Our first prototypes series allowed us to determine the tools we need for better results in our work. We decided during the year 2014 to focus on the construction of our own workshop and tools.

Essentials are: a shop press (in red), a stamping tool for centering pieces (yellow) and a tuning stand (gray) ... All in our new shop!

 

Below, the marriage of a tire fitter, a truck rim, a conveyor motor, concrete vibrator and a roller wheel to give birth to our first metal spinning tool ;)

A few more tools to build and we will be ready in early 2015 for our second prototypes series!

Site web réalisé par la coopérative Shellopan