About the LUNA - Handpan
Handpans are ideophonic Soundsculpures, made of steel.
They consists of one central note, which is the tonic of a chorus of eight tone fields around the steel-corpus.
Variables, like the form of the tonefields, convex, concave shapes, tension, the material used, the amount of tonefields, the form of the shell, the tuning of the partials... all this has a profound impact on the final sound, and for some issues there are different ways of solution, which offers a wide range for the personal signature of the different Handpan-Builders, wich leads to the next point:
Why a LUNA? What is special about LUNA - Soundsculptures ?
There are five special-points that make Luna-Handpans different from other manufacurers:
1. The choice of material
While most manufacutrers build their Instruments from Pre-manufactured Shells, offered by companys like Shellopan in Staßbourg, or AYASA, I decided to turn away of the use of these.
While it definitly has some pro-points, and the quality of these shells, for e.g. Shellopan, or AYASA are very good, it also is a great loss of personal expression and freedom to only use pre-manufactured shells.
I Produce my own shells only throught manual power and out of stainless steel.
2. Not nitrading
Most Handpan builders work with a material, invented by some swizz people, which don´t want to be mentioned here, which is in fact Cold-forming steel, which is nitridated. This material is saved through patent. It has some special sound qualitys, and while many of them are positive, not all of them are. In testing different materials, I came to the conclusion to not use nitrated steel, for mainly two reasons:
First: it was invented by thoose two people, whom took a lot of research and heartblood into it, and they decided to save it via patent - regardless of what one think about this decision, I think it should be respected as such.
Second: the sounding quality of handpans get more and more unified wich correlates to the usage of pre-manufactured shells, note-field pressing and all the use of the same material, which by it self has a huge impact on the tuning style which is neccesary. I decided to put more veriaty on the handpan-market and to follow my own, unique handpand - sound.
What I found is a sound more cristalline, and with a lot more overtones, then the typical handpan-sound of nitridated steel. While some players may not like this more bell-like sound, I feel totaly in love with it and feel it to be the sound of LUNA.
3. The Tuningstyle - "boarderless tuning"
While most handpans today are tuned with very sharp, distinct boarders I focus on "boarderless" traditional style which is much more difficult and time consuming to
achieve, but its worth the effort, as the sound spreads more softer over the whole pan, as well as the haptic feeling for me is much more compfortable.
It took me some trials and a lot of errors to finaly master this tuning style, which is in harmony with the Steel I use. Generally spoken this tuning stlye is much less focused on compressing tension, but on a relaxed geometry of the tonefield, which merges much softer into the sphere-level ( the place between two tonefields ) than most handpans do.
This enables the whole tonefield to vibrate very long and give a full sustain and brillant overtones, which can be activated without muting the main-pitch.
( Please note that LUNA-Handpans are not a fixed project. As my personal tuning and building skills Develop over time, so do LUNA-Handpans.
Especially on early models you will find hard boarder-tunings also on LUNA-Handpans. But future ones will only feature boarderless - tuning )
4. Laquering - Urushi, an ancient asian technique. For more information about the Laquer, please visit the extra section here.
The Usage of this mystic natural material gives the Luna-Handpan not only a unique beautifull optic, and haptic, for you are not touching metall anymore, but an organic layer, It also gives a lot to the overall-sound of LUNA Handpans.
(To read more about Urushi, please scroll down the page.)
Last, but not least There is another very important unique Point of LUNA-Handpans, which are the LUNA-Tunings they are offered in.
The Way of Art - Luna Soundsculptures
Luna-Pans are handcrafted instruments by a small, one man manufacture. My aim is to keep art as close as possible to nature and simple, which is by far not the same as "easy"!
For this reasons as few machines and technological tools as possible are used in the creation-process of Luna-Pans and the materials used are as natural as possible.
I don´t see this as lack of evolution or progress, but as a dedication to the spirit of the material, and the connection that emerges between the material and my hands as they unite in the process of creation.
For this reason Luna Instruments do not use automatic machines which are often used today and no highly nitrated steel, a product of a very energy consuming and un-ecological toxic process which, in the daoist attitude & sense of Luna, is not favorable.
Every inch of the luna, from forming the shell, to forming tonefields, and tuning is done by manual power only.
Lunas are created with simple tools, hammers, manual hydraulik presses, steel, leather, urushi-laquer, balsamic turpentine, and are fire-hardened.
It keeps myself in contact with the process and forces me to practicing and refining.
It´s quite the same as it is with painting...no matter how far you have come – the goal is one step ahead.
So I am creating, and I love what I do. For „ the laws of music and painting are the same ones...“.
In buying my instruments you are supporting my way, and natural-near handcrafting, for which I am very thankfull.
I believe this attitude will manifest in the material, in the sound and at least in yourself, playing a Luna.
At last, Luna-Pans are considered to be artworks, not instruments in the sense of instruments for the creation of reproducible tones, according to standartised systems.
As artworks, I trie to give every one of them individual personality and quality.