The ''PanArt Hang'' is a novelty instrument that has peaked.
The proof that it is a novelty instrument that lacks legitimate legs upon which to stand lies in the reality of production of the instrument literally being halted to a trickle for some years now. In addition, while it was once considered ''new'' and interesting among those who failed to realize that it was simply a re-packaged regurgitation of the steelpan, as the market becomes saturated with handpan makers, the novelty surrounding the PanArt Hang has significantly diminished.
PanArt may retain its status as the ''Robber-in-Chief'' among handpan makers, but it is safe to say that Felix Röhner realized some time ago that if he was not original enough to come up with a true, unique invention (as he mislead many to claim he did through his modified steelpan regurgitation called the ''Hang''), it was very unlikely that he would have the actual creativity required to push the envelope of the instrument enough that it would have true staying power in the long run.
A brilliant method used by Felix Röhner to save face while increasing the legend surrounding the Hang after undoubtedly realizing the severe limitations of ''his invention'', was his decision to highly limit output and production of the Hang. Subsequent production was strictly slowed down and geared strictly towards individual customers who were personally approved by Mr. Röhner himself on a case-by-case basis. This approval process would include among other things, a personal invitation to the PanArt worshop in Switzerland, where Mr. Röhner would apparently personally decide if that customer was even worthy enough to own one of ''his inventions''.
As this is a Swiss person living in Switzerland we are talking about here, the apparent elitist attitude of Mr. Röhner should come as no surprise! Especially as Switzerland has one of the highest per capita income rates in the world and is undoubtedly a tax haven and shelter for criminal multi-millionaires and billionaires, along with the title it holds of being the most exclusive, snobby country in the world with a highly xenophobic and racist population to boot.
Apparently, there are many eager fools who would jump at the opportunity to visit Mr. Röhner in Switzerland and win his approval and gain the ''privilige'' of owning a Hang.
Mr. Röhner himself recently contacted us through our website and extended an invitation to us to pay him a visit in Switzerland. He as well as offered to send us some books to read about pan, as if Caribbean people like us did not teach him everything he knows about pan, and as if we Caribbean folks did not write the ACTUAL book on pan (despite what some pan vandals in Stockholm, Sweden would like people to believe).
Needless to say, we turned down Mr. Röhner's invitation and offer with a resounding, ''No'', as our values concerning the business of pan and overall socially conscious and ethical business practices are directly opposed to the PanArt business model which is based on theft and exploitation.
Mr: Röhner in fact has a guilty conscience. Without prompting, he went on record in his propaganda-filled documentary on the Hang and stated that, ''I am not a thief.''
Oh yes you are, Mr. Röhner, yes you are!
I will delve into this topic a little more later in another blog post entitled, ''The PanArt Hang Documentary: A Neo-Colonial, Propaganda-Filled Dissemination of Lies''
However, in light of history, this is not the first time we have seen a European attempt to re-write and re-package the history of the negro for the betterrment of the European to the detriment of the negro, steelpan aside. The steelpan may have been invented in T&T, but it was strictly the NEGROES of T&T who invented and developed the steelpan for the most part. I just want to make it perfectly clear that T&T is a republic comprised of many different ethnic groups, but it was the negroes of T&T specifically, who are primarily responsbile for the birth and subsequent development of the steelpan.
Currently, I would have to be blind not to see that Europeans have essentially swooped in and and are lamely attempting to put a Swiss twist on a negro invention (steelpan) while claiming that it is European/ Swiss in origin!
It may be dissatisfiying to many to be reminded of the huge role that race plays in all of this, as many would prefer not to touch the issue with a ten foot pole. But the fact is that the steelpan is an instrument that was born out of slavery, oppression, and colonization of Caribbean Negroes in T&T. Slavery, oppression and coloniazation imposed upon them by European colonial powers. This fact will never change and I imagine it is a point of cognitive dissonance regarding many Europeans who become involved in steelpan who will never truly feel at home within the steelpan world due to this ugly reality. Thus, it is clear that this cognitive dissonance on their part is the impetus which drives European hang/handpan makers like Felix Röhner who come from steelpan backgrounds, to be able to have a steelpan of their own in order to build their own Eurocentric community which allows them to feel at home.
As I mentioned in a previous blog posts, the hang/handpan community is overwhelmingly comprised of Europeans who have a Eurocentric point of view regarding the hang/handpan. In other words, most members of that community have bought into the lies spread by Mr. Röhner, as he is apparently revered as some sort of foward thinking guru in the hang/handpan world. These lies are self-serving to the community on the whole, a community for the most part who is seeking to belong to something steelpan related that is reflective of them (Europeans) and not reflective of their former slaves/current negro neo-colonists.
But like most of the gurus in India past and present however, Mr. Röhner is a patent fraud!
I am afraid I am digressing too much now since I want to save more of these bits about race for the next blog topic that I mentioned above!
Getting back on track now, my rhetorical question which will hopefully bring this whole blog post home is, ''What kind of misinformed, elitist idiots grovel and beg before a thief such as Mr. Röhner with the hope that he will grant them the privilige of overpaying thousands of dollars to own a Hang?''
Sadly, apparently the answer is that mostly wannabe musicians with more money to burn than talent and musical ability are eager for this ''privilege''.