In the last few weeks and months, a lot has ‘happened’ in the ‘Handpan Universe’. As someone who runs the blog “PANIVERSE.ORG” and has organized the ‘GRIASDI Handpan Festival‘ the last years, and as someone who has been asked about the current ‘PANart vs. HCU‘ situation over and over again lately, I now publish my very personal thoughts on the situation, with this open letter.
What is important for the reader is to be aware that everything you get to read here is just my very personal opinion. So it is an individual’s opinion! I speak exclusively for myself and nobody else!
It is probably pretty well known to everyone in the ‘scene’ that in recent years there have been conflicts between PANart (the undisputed inventor of the Hang®) and some handpan manufacturers. There are endless interpretations, rumors, stories and projections about the ‘History of Hanghang and Handpans’. The “story of the Hang” is told from many different perspectives and is far from being told to the end !
What I appreciate about PANart is, that they have never made the ‘magic of the Hang®’ a pure business model. All the profits that some really windy handpan manufacturers and dealers have made the last years, and that they have imagined for the future – PANart could have secured all these profits many years ago. But they did not – and I am now convinced that this was a conscious decision by PANart that impresses me!
Now, in times of a new conflict between PANart and a Handpan-Dealer i see, how people declare themself als the speakers of a Handpan Community. But just as there is no such thing as THE handpan community, there is also no such thing as THE handpan makers. Just like in the community, also the makers have different views on the topic. The really sad thing about this precarious situation is imo, that there is no open dialogue. Neither in ‘the community’ nor among the makers.
I am very grateful that PANart invented the Hang®. I am also very grateful for those in the handpan scene who are not satisfied with a superficial fascination. It is so beautiful, that i have met many wonderful people in the vicinity of handpan lovers. That some of them are now really good and close friends is like a present. i am grateful for all the hours that I have been able to spend so far with Handpans and Hanghang and my ‘Panhead friends’ … and i will spend in future !
Yes, these UFOs are good for me. They have become valuable to me!
I simply do not allow the HCU, PANart or anyone else to let my love for the tuned steel be stolen from me, by running an ugly conflict.
At the end i am very happy about, that there is a 3rd force in this very important conflict, setup and maintained by people who go deeper and are really interested in developement, discussion and respect. Their voices are not the loudest, but their work on the further development of the topics of steel tuning, sound sculptures, handpans and the honest processing of the ‘history of tuned steel and handpans’ gives me great hope that things will find their order and peace again! But this will take time. “All this” is only the beginning of a needed process…..
HCU (Handpan Community United) – https://hcu.global
PANart – https://panart.ch