I got my "Hang Sound Sculpture" book from PANArt the other day. Apparently even a book has to be picked up at the post office and checked by customs when it's sent through regular mail. I bought the book because I've been so curious about PANArt's new steel resonance medium called the Gubal. It's supposed to be the next level of evolution from their Free Integral Hang.
I haven't read much into the book yet. But so far it's just a story telling of their journey towards the Hang and eventually to the Gubal, rather than specific instructions about how to create similar steel instruments. That's perfectly fine for me since I have no idea how to fashion steel in any shape or form, much less produce something that resonates notes. I'd like to go to the beach one of these days and spend an entire afternoon just reading the book. I actually don't even read much. But the idea of just reading a book about PANArt's journey at a slow pace amongst the water and sand seems very appealing to me at the moment.
The book comes with an audio samples CD of what the Gubal sounds like. I've listened to it and the Gubal does sound fantastic. Ironically, I bought the book so I can read and listen to the Gubal since there was no information online about it. Days before I got my book, PANArt releases a video of them playing the Gubal. It was quite a facepalm moment. But I think the book would serve as good reading anyway. They uploaded the video to Vimeo. But someone uploaded it to YouTube as well. The YouTube video is below.
The first news about the Gubal was a blog post by one of the participants of the Hang's 20th year anniversary celebration. As far as I know, the Hang has only been in existence for 10+ years. But I suppose PANArt counts the years towards the development of the Hang in those 20 years. The blog post was about a small celebration held by PANArt for the few people who have supported them through the years. The blog post describes the Gubal as having a rounder bottom that you can spin like a top. And the sound hole moved from the bottom half of the shell to the top half, replacing the central ding. I could see what it would look like in my imagination. When I watched the video, I got a kick out of the fact that the Gubal is exactly how my mind pictured it to be.
There is no news so far on how PANArt will distribute the Gubal and if they will be continuing to produce the Free Intergral Hang. I sent PANArt a letter a few years back requesting for a Hang. I got rejected because I presented myself as a musician in the letter. I was saddened by it. Once I get news of PANArt opening a crack to their door to let people of the world attempt to get a Hang or a Gubal, I will make sure to be one of the first to send in my request letter.
Here's to hoping for a chance to play a Hang or a Gubal. This sounds clichet. But being able to do so would make my life complete, and would open me up to further steel resonance self-expression.
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