Did you know there is a metal UFO within the universe of instruments? The so-called "Hang" looks as if it sounded like a regular drum at first. But don't be fooled: already the first gentle hit on its surface will make a magical harmonic tone.
We sat down to talk with Geronyom to quickly realize that being a hang player involves much more than just hitting a steel pan. Let us share with you why it is so special:
Created and developed in the early 2000s in Switzerland, the hang has become a very popular and demanded instrument. It is a bit similar to steel pans from the Caribbean and inspired by the Gatam, a traditional Indian percussion. It is often confused with a handpan, steel pan or any other kind of « musical sculpture ». For Geronyom it is much more than « just percussion » because of the spiritual energy it emits.
"Each hang carries a hidden spirit that has to be discovered by each soul that decides to experience it."
Originally from Porto, Geronyom started his journey with the hang 8 years ago in Finland. He was sick at that time and decided to play the harmonica. He rapidly discovered how much he enjoyed it: « I realized that I was healing through music & sound. I was curious and ended up meeting the hang, handpan and sound sculptures makers from all around the world ».
According to him, what makes it a very unique instrument is that each hang « carries a hidden spirit that has to be discovered by each soul that decides to experience it. The hang was made and designed to be more than a percussion instrument ».
The « spirit of the hang »
On top of having a musical purpose, the hang really has a spiritual aim: « Each hang is a mystery. It is a powerful healing tool that lets you meditate and play your heart beats ». By practicing it, « you transform your personal energy and also become a channel to transform the energy of others around you». Geronyom explains that he played the hang for over 10.000 hours, cried and laughed while practicing and reached a meditation-like ‘non-thinking state of being’. « I played until I couldn’t anymore because of the pain in my wrists ».
The immediate success of the hang also has its downsides. After it became more popular, many people tried to make money with this idea and started manufacturing bad quality handpans with machines, cheap steel and a fast tuning that wouldn’t give any ‘soul’ to the instrument. A few makers can actually handcraft the « spirit of the hang », others are just pure machinery and money making.
Do you want to learn?
From what we understand, there’s no good or bad way to play the hang. What is most important is the feeling you get from it. It can help you to heal, to meditate, it can make you laugh or cry. If you’re considering to start this journey with the hang, be ready to wait a few years for your own instrument: PANArt (the inventors of the hang) are no longer producing it, and the few other high quality manufacturers have very long waiting lists.
We didn't know this little UFO had such a big spiritual meaning and impact. Having this inspiring chat with Geronyom helped us to understand it better. He’s really passionate about it and loves to teach how to play. If you feel like trying it for the first time or if you’re already playing and want to improve, contact us to schedule a workshop with him.