Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ridiculously Awesome

Dante Bucci - Fanfare



The instrument he's playing here is called a hang (sometimes a hang drum).  According to Wikipedia, only two people in the world make hangs and they were only developed early this century:
The Hang was developed in 2000 in Berne, Switzerland by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer (PANArt Hangbau AG). It was introduced at the Musikmesse Frankfurt in 2001. Its name comes from the Bernese German word for hand. The two deep drawn steel hemispheres of the Hang are hardened by a process known as gas-nitriding. The side considered the 'bottom' has an opening (Gu) in the center which allows the generation of the bass note through Helmholtz resonance. When it is played in a dampened way it can change in pitch similar to a talking drum. On the 'top' are seven (in the bass version of the Hang) or eight (treble version which is no longer produced) notes arranged in a 'Tone Circle' in zig-zag fashion from low to high. All are tuned harmonically (with fundamental, octave and the fifth above the octave) around a low note (Ding) at the center of the Tone Circle. Each creation is numbered and signed.[2]
  If want to purchase one (and after watching that, who doesn't?), you should know that it's a bit of a process:
In 2006 the Hang Makers stopped shipping instruments directly and halted sales through retailers. With that change PANArt indicated that to obtain a Hang, prospective customers were to mail a letter by post requesting an instrument. In 2007, purchasers were invited to Bern with an appointment time to select an instrument from the different Sound Models offered. With the distribution of the single model Integral Hang beginning in 2008, purchasers could choose between requesting an appointment in Bern and having it shipped. In June 2008 a correspondence was sent by PANArt indicating that the production of Integral Hang instruments for the year had been spoken for, and that after the last Integral Hang was given to an owner (sometime in 2009) PANArt would take a "longer break" to decide how they would proceed in regards to the Hang. Requests received by mail and responded to would not be "thrown away" but the letter writers (at that time) would be placed on a list.[5]

A significant update in what it means to write a letter to PANArt requesting an Integral Hang was written by a visitor to PANArt in late 2009.[citation needed] It was indicated that a request letter should not be considered an order that is entered into a list based on date. PANArt decides whom they invite for a Hang purchase partly by the date of the letter but also based on other factors. A letter sent and the date it was written does not hold a place in line or guarantee that a Hang will be obtained.
Guess it's time to polish up my letter writing skills. And scrounge up about five grand.

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