The Handpan Summer 2023 – of course you can deny climate change, but it happens anyway !


In the hot Handpan Summer 2023, Handpan Workshops, Retreats and Summer Schools are multiplying like jellyfish in a too warm sea. It feels like that the community events like they happend in “Handpan pioneers times” are getting less and less, but also Handpan Festivals have to be afraid if there will be enough visitors to cover the organization costs.
Change is in the air. It crackles everywhere. Right now interesting chapters are being written in the History of the Handpan that will determine its future

Just as the actual lack of water shows even the blind and deaf what climate change means ( and not only if it exists ) – so clearly the changing Handpan universe is now showing.
The constantly expanding handpan market, the incredibly high production and sales figures, the rampant OEM handpan business as well as the disputes about copyright and intellectual property (PANArt vs. HCU) somehow lead to an extreme stagnation regarding the further development of the handpan it seems.

  • in most offered workshops/retreats/schools the same patterns are taught (Handpan unit mush) – which results in an extreme limitation of the Handpan …
  • Handpan prototypes ? New Materials ? Research on sound ? – Not really. Somehow the handpan spirit is in a coma right now ?…
  • Discussions ? Future perspectives ? Direction ? – also missing. The majority of the Handpan players and makers don’t seem to care about the change ….
  • a community that takes the chance and tries to develop a “real culture” from “something fascinating new” ? – maybe. let’s hope for the best ….

The good thing is – there are also counterweights, countercurrents that strive to not let the all-important spark of creativity in the Handpan world burn out.

(SATYA Soundsculpture [2023] – OMANA [2023] – ASA CHAN prototype 1 [2009] – NOBLET Handpan [2022])

There are the few “tryers”. The brave ones who go on the (exhausting) search for new sounds, new systematics, new materials and new approaches – instead of making money with “tried and standardized”.
They are the ones who give hope. They are also the ones who have already developed a real culture. Even if this is still very very young and just learning to walk.

The phase in which the development of the Handpan is currently in can probably best be described as “the end of the beginning“. Nothing will be the same as it was just a few years ago. No matter if you long for it back or not. Complaining will not necessarily make the future better.

What could help however would be, if one would call the 2450 year old realization of Sokrates more often times as affectionate warning and motivation in memory:
<< Stagnation is the beginning of the end! >>


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