A guest post from Barry Mason who will be running a workshop with Lina on the Bank Gardens on Saturday 1st from 11 am.
The HANG and its offshoots of similar instruments, collectively known as “handpans”, was invented in Switzerland in 2000, and has its genesis in the combination of two instruments, the Carribean steel drum and the clay pot drums called udus in Africa, Ghatams in India and Potes in South America. Both instruments are quite quiet, and are frequently used to create music for yoga and meditation , sound journeying and sound healing.
The techniques for playing both instruments are easily learned, and are accessible to anyone of any age with a love of music, whether or not they have any formal training.
Workshops start with demonstrations of both instruments, and then we learn 3 or 4 simple rhythms on the udus. This forms the “UDU ORCHESTRA”, which provides the accompaniment and support to the handpans.
Next, on a one to one basis, you are invited to play the handpans, guided by ourselves. The small group numbers ensure that everyone can have a few minutes at this, and usually all manage to create some simple but original and beautiful melodies.
The last section of the workshop is a performance which combines the sounds of handpan and clay drum, as “brother and sister” instruments, with other simple percussion tools. Past workshops have achieved surprising and beautiful spontaneous music.
By Barry Mason