(feartured image/picture: Daniela Suko – www.danielasuko.com)
When i did the artist booking for the GRIASDI 2016 Handpan Festival, i felt so happy when everything was fixed. I realized, that i have met all my personal ‘booking goals’ – like: booking of high quality musicians, playing different styles and music. booking musicians from all over the world (all continents) & ‘bringing good things together’. With a big smile in my face, i have read the booked lineup – but then, there was this “wtf-moment”:
NOT ONE SINGLE FEMALE PANTAM PLAYER BOOKED ! (ALARM !!! – no smile in my face any more. But you, who was at the GRIASDI know, there was female power on stage at the end 🙂 )
It was kind of a wake up and i started to be aware about, that there are much more men playing the Pantams, then women. At least, it seamed like that. Or is it just, that the female players dont like to be that present in the internet ? They don’t like to upload videos ? Lots of questions came up !
Now, many month later i have talked to many people from the Handpan community, men and women about their point of view about “the females role in Pantam playing”. It seems to me a fact, that the ratio of male to female Pantam players is around three-quarters to one quarter. Thats at least what the Facebook statisic tells about the gender of the 2500+ followers of the PANIVERSE Facebook site – and it matches with my personal impressions i have got at HANDPAN Gatherings.
(picture: female power on the GRIASDI 2016 stage – Emma Mumi & Kate Stone)
On the other hand to me it feels like, that many more women than men are touched and also catched by the sound of Pantams, especially when i think about the busking audience. And also when it comes to Pantam beginners workshops, there are mostly more women taking part than men. But when you start browsing Handpan Videos, then you will find out, that something like 95% of them showing male players. Thats all kind of little confusing, isn’t it ?
Question: So, where are the female Pantam Players ?
Oh, dont worry ! They exist and they are active players, but just a few of them you will find on stages. Many of the female Pantam players i know, are not that interested in playing on stages, even when they play on a high level. Many of them are more into playing just for themself or for family and friends, and/or they are into “Sound Healing”. Maybe it is just, that in a noisy world the more quiet activities are overlooked ? Anyway – i am happy to know many female Pantam players, whose music and stile I really like very much. Less percussive mainly, but lots of feelings and melodies you will find usually in their stiles ! And thats a treasure in this insensitive, crazy and noisy world ! Keep going girls – the world and the PANIVERSE needs much more of your female vibes and power !
Next question: Are there Female HANPAN / PANTAM Makers ?
Sure there are ! I even think, that without Sabina Schärer from PANArt there wouln’t have been the Hang – and so probably also no Pantams ? Thats not a fact, but since i can feel lots of female power, energy and female magic in this instruments, this theory feels very harmonious to me.
As far as i know, there are a few women active in making Pantams today.
Its for sure not a complete listing. If you know some others female makers, please contact me and let me know about. Right now many new makers show up and i am pretty sure, and i am happy about, that also more female Pantam makers will “give birth”to many more beautiful Pantams soon !
Dingadongading, what a blessing 🙂
(video: Mumi Handpan – The Four Seasons: Winter)