12/2017 Newsletter

on Thursday, 07 December 2017. Posted in english blog

English version – summary:

-          Our musical instruments

-          How to get one

-          Handpan charity lottery

-          Links and other info


Our musical Instruments:

You can discover here the video of the instruments that we (Delphine and Matthieu) have finished this month:


Here is our information for each instrument on the video. No audio effects have been added when editing the video so you can listen to the sound as close as possible to the original instrument.


Instruments made by Matthieu :

"The end of this year is a time of research for me, new heat treatments, the exploration / invention of new scales based on a principle that I call TripleBass, new visual effects, I invite you to discover my latest works on the videos below! “


TripleBass B GoonKali - B E G / B C E F# G B (00:07)

The GoonKali scale refers to an Indian raga sometimes called Gunakali or Gunakri or Gunakari. It is a pentatonic scale composed of a tonic, 2nd minor, fourth, fifth and a sixth minor. It is also the fourth mode in the Ake Bono scale (well known in the Handpan world). The peculiarity of this instrument is the reinforcement of the low register of the scale by adding a tonic, a fifth and a minor sixth an octave below. This scale can also be called "Dark Aegean" by the manufacturer of the Halo. This instrument is of a very low register, it has a softer sound and a delicate playing technic will put it more in value than a game too strong (although I tested the two types of game in the video).


TripleBass C# Rider 15 - C# (F#) G# A (B) / C# D E F# G# A (B) C# (D) (E) (01:29)

Second attempt to create an instrument with this scale, this time by adding 5 notes on the bottom of the instrument to experiment some variations around this scale. The notes on the bottom need to be tamed by the player, the movement of the hand is not as natural and the tone of the sound is not as "fine" as that of the notes above. So I consider it as a 10-note instrument with some "bonuses" on the bottom. For this second test, I had the opportunity to work with Olivier, apprentice manufacturer in Belgium, and we shared our different approaches to tuning when it was created.

This scale is sometimes called C# "integral" (according to the name given by PANArt to a well-known range on his Hang but beginning in this case by a La). To make it in a TripleBass version, I once again boosted the bass register by adding a tonic, a fifth and a sixth minor one octave lower. The notes in parentheses are the notes placed on the underside of the instrument.
There are a large number of ranges or modes available in this instrument, Equinox, Integral, Goonkali, AkeBono, Pygmy ... to explore!


TripleBass E Hijaz - E A B / E F G# A B C D E (02:39)

Another TripleBass on the same principle as the two previous but this time based on a heptatonic scale (7 notes per octave), the well-known Hijaz. Fifth mode of the minor harmonic scale with its oriental colors that express themselves as soon as I player included the Sol # in the game and disappears when it’s not played. The three basses are here a tonic, a fourth and a fifth, all are an octave below the range Hijaz beginning in E.

An instrument that I class in the category of "magic" instruments, even if the tone of the sound is a bit more metallic (making 11 notes instruments can take some clarity off the sound and this instrument is soldered instead of more classical technique of gluing the two shells). My personal favorite among the last instruments I made.


B/F# Hijaz - B / F# G A# B C# D E F# (04:11)

Here is a Hijaz scale with "only one" bass and "only" 8 notes ... but all descended as deep as I can do with my current level to achieve in the end a very low instrument. An instrument with a tone of sound like this one is not made to "impress" (during a game in the street requiring power for example) but I see it show its "captivating" side in an intimate setting and with a delicate approach.

Ps: the Hijaz scale also allows to play the pentatonic scale "GoonKali" to change its atmosphere which is usually very typical.


E/A High AkePygNox - E / A B C E F G A B C E (05:34)

My second favorite this month, and suddenly I get a little high during his video demonstration but I suspect it's the instrument that called me to play like that ;)

11-note instrument of the "AkePygNox" family, that is to say comprising the Equinox, Integral, Goonkali, AkeBono and Pygmy scales.

The arrangement of the last 3 notes generates a particular sound timbre for these notes and more particularly the last one which is more "dry" and with less sustain. It was not the ideal, but since I consider that the metal must have the last word, it participates for me in the unique character of this instrument and it took nothing away from my (big) pleasure to play it.


E/G La Sirena - E / G B C# D E F# G B E (07:22)

A well-known scale that I made several times but this instrument that I realized for a special order and with a very particular aesthetic shows me that it is the sheet steel that has the last word ... I would have liked to give a little more of sustain to this instrument and despite all my efforts : failure!

I still added to the newsletter to allow to appreciate the different sound timbre of Handpans. It also allows me to explain our sales policy when an instrument does not obtain the desired level of quality: if we agree to sell a "downgraded" instrument, it is because it is in tune and we consider that it will give pleasure to be played. Its owner keeps the possibility to exchange later with the manufacturer to obtain a better quality instrument (with cost difference consideration). If we consider that an instrument will not give pleasure to be played because a defect is too present, it is transformed into lamp or barbecue (other garden ornaments are under study ...).


D/A Dorian - D / A B C D E F# G A (15:07)

A minor heptatonic scale, a little unusual and very catchy. It is the presence of a major 6th (the F#) which gives the particular flavor to this scale. An instrument very easy to play intuitively with a beautiful overall resonance, a nice balance between notes and couplings reinforcing the warmth of his timbre.

(I see late that I made a small mistake in the text of the video and it lacks a D in the text, the instrument has 1 central note + 8 notes all around)


Instruments made by Delphine :


« In this newsletter I have 3 Equinox scale to offer. This hexatonic major scale is somehow becoming my sample scale. It allows me to experiment different settings while tuning and tempering in order to go further through final sound quality. All these instruments are built according the same process but are still different at the end. There are so much things to discover about parameters influencing the sound. »


F/Ab EQUINOX (D173646) - F / Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (08:44)
This one is a well-balanced instrument with a sustain and recoupling midway between the two others. There is no saturation in the notes and also a good dynamic range from soft to loud.

F/Ab EQUINOX (D173446) - F / Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (09:34)
Unlike the two others, this one has well separated notes with few recoupling and also homogeneous quality for each.

F/Ab EQUINOX (D173546) - F / Ab C Db Eb F G Ab C (11:08)
This one is also a well-balanced instrument with a good dynamic from soft to loud, good sustain and recoupling. The more noticeable is about C5 which is calling the central note into a significant bass recoupling.


E/B minor (D173246) - E / B C D E F# G A D (12:54)
This scale is a creation coming from a Kurd scale in which we removed the 8th. It is a well-balanced instrument, strong sound and volume. The highest note is less powerful.

D/F Voyager (D173146) – D / F A C D E F A C (14 :04)
It is a not so easy scale to build due to the proximity of the lowest notes next to each other. These are quite flexible but strong and don’t saturate. There is a strong coupling between the D4 (central note and its octave). The D4 saturation needs a soft playing. I don’t recommended it for a strong and loud playing.


How to get one of our sound sculpture:

We publish quite every month a newsletter like this one with a video of each of our latest creations. If you are interested in one of our creations, just contact us by email within 48h (following the newsletter) by mentioning:

-          The desired instrument (it is possible to mention an order of preference up to 3 instruments)

-          If you wish to visit us in Strasbourg (France) with the date where it would be possible for you

-          If you wish to receive it by carrier.

If several people are interested in the same instrument, we will proceed to a random draw before responding to each request individually.

Here are the next dates when we will be able to make appointments at our Strasbourg workshop and where we will have the pleasure of sharing our work:

- Friday 08/12/2017 the afternoon (Matthieu and Delphine)

- Sunday 10/12/2017 the day (Matthew)

- Monday 11/12/2017 the day (Matthew)

- Saturday 16/12/2017 the day (Matthieu and Delphine)

Of course, booking an instrument after publication of the newsletter does not commit you to any purchase. We prefer to use this same procedure for those who just want to visit us to test instruments. We are not yet organized to receive all the visitors who request us, we know that sometimes it can be hard to understand or frustrating, but the quality of our work depends greatly on our ability to focus on achieving it. Our search for the best balance is not over yet!

All information regarding the availability and price of the instruments is noted in the description of the video (see youtube link).

Our pricing is based on the quality of the instruments (level of finish, level of complexity, quality of the tone of the sound, overall balance ...). A soft carrying case is provided with each instrument. It is possible to opt for a higher quality backpack bag for 50 € more. The shipping costs are 75 € for shipments in Europe and quotations for shipments in the world.


Win a handpan by supporting "The Dragonfly" NGO

The association "The Dragonfly" carries out projects combining education, ecology, health and food with disadvantaged populations (current projects are carried out in Kenya). Delphine has donated one of her creations to this association which wishes to carry out a fundraising with the received instruments.

This month, until the 20th Dec 2017, by supporting the association, you have the opportunity to participate in a lottery to win handpans including the Shellopan F Equinox made by Delphine.
You can see a demonstration of this instrument played by David Charrier on the following video: https://youtu.be/GgUqgGCRlfA?t=6m14s

There is a link in the description of the video to go on the page of participation in the fundraising and to discover the projects realized by the association.

The draw will take place on December 20th at 8pm during an event on the Facebook page of the association.


Links and other info :

How to choose a (good) Handpan ?



Just a little musical theory.



Frequently Asked Questions... and answers




More news next month! Or next year ;)

Matthieu and Delphine - Shellopan

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