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Who is PANArt Really Fooling? Poignant and Potent Public YouTube Comments From the Offical PANArt Hang Documentary

The Official PANArt Documentary, ''Hang: A Discreet Revolution'' is still such a highly promoted piece of propaganda 10 years after its release, that even we at KaribPAN cannot get enough of it. The more we revisit this documentary for the purposes of this blog, the more gems we stumble upon concerning proof that PANArt is a colonial organization built on lies and exploitation of the steelpan instrument. In this particular instance however, we will focus on some very insightful and profound public YouTube comments that have been posted underneath the propaganda piece in question. These comments prove that while PANArt can definitely fool some of the people sometimes, they cannot fool all the people all of the time. 

The fools in question either choose to be fools due to willful and knowing ignorance, or plain-old ignorance. The wilfully and knowingly ignorant fools are plentiful in the hang/handpan community and persist in perpetuating the debunked myth that ''The Hang is a musical instrument in the idiophone class created by Felix Rohner and Sabine Schärer in Bern, Switzerland'' (according to wikipedia). Numerous other handpan disinformation dissemination outlets also parrot the same debunked myth on their sites despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary that the hang/handpan is a retro steelpan that was originally created in Trinidad.  Handpan discussion groups like Kelly Hutchinson's fascist driven, group-think oriented ''Handpan Instruments'' group still boldly credits Felix Rohner and Sabine Schärer as being inventors of the Hang, as does Handpan Magazine, handpan.org, and many other handpan related sites. 

However, in spite all of the ignorance, apparently, many of the commenters on YouTube who have weighed in on the PANArt myth to date are not at all confused about the true origin of the hang/handpan. It would not be a stretch to say that some of the more recent commenters have been reading our blog! 

 

Potent and Poignant Public YouTube Comments on the Official PANArt Hang Documentary

''also they forget to mention they took loads of money from people saying... if you want your hang you must pay in advance and wait in list but the list have no order so you can be first or last according to their will... they recieved hundred of thousands of dollars per year but they were not able to produce all, so at some point they just gave up... cause they had so much money and fame ... was enough.. and hundreds lost their money for nothing! fukking hippie scam''
''They failed to mention the part where they "borrowed" technology from BlackBells while criticizing them publicly - and then didn't even get it right. These guys are metal workers, not artists.''
''The Hang is different to the steelpan but it is not a new instrument. This documentary, in fact, tells a story of how an evolutionary step in the development of the steelpan was re-invented and taken on its' own journey by these swiss craftsmen. The premise of the narrative that swiss musicians were inspired by the steelpan and an Indian metallic percussion instrument to create the Hang gives the incorrect impression that a never before seen instrument was created. This is wrong. This is an example of cultural appropriation that results from not knowing the history of the steelpan that was created and developed in Trinidad. The thing that drove the development of the steelpan (and still does to this day) was the need to make an instrument on which all the musical notes are available. This is why the true ancestor of the Hang (i.e. the alluded to evolutionary step) was not developed or pursued. So, my objection to this documentary is that it tells a distorted story with huge chunks of contextual and historic information missing.''
''The early versions of the steel pan had a convex playing surface. So it is wrong to think that this instrument they are calling "Hang" was invented by Panart. They have merely done some developments on an old idea from Trinidad. This is what happens when a culture is appropriated without investigating the history of the culture.''
''we could write endless opinions, and sacred truth, but I'd like you to note that these gentlemen have copyright, pending cases, greed like any self-respecting human being bad: they have created a beautiful musical instrument. That said, I congratulate the great idea to make the product (sell) for a few, so keep prices high ... good.''
''The clever idea, and creative was simply put two steel pan on each other, as well as creating a form of religion around the instrument: you can not buy it, you deserve it ... good and clever.''
''The MAJORITY of people that have had the 'privilege' to own one of these instruments is NOT A MUSICIAN. To quote "We are worried about it getting too popular and losing it's magic..." There are 8 notes and people are worried that no one can be innovative enough for it to be popular and also still unique??? Garbage. A REAL musician can make original unique music with anything. A person that plays a hang drum cannot play a wrong note for starters and there is a major advantage with this. Les Paul did not say "The electric guitar is played so well by me (which it is, he is phenomenal/was) that I cannot mass produce this for fear that it will become POPULAR.." These people are greedy, non musicians that have found a way to slip into the music world.... It is like discovering free energy/electricity and deciding that it should not be shared (Remind people of anyone???). This instrument will become shunned almost be people that have tried and are unable to obtain one due to the fact that it's unique quality is now old, and only owned by the rich or prestine few fortunate. I will never give a dollar to a street performer playing a hang, nor my attention, as that person is obviously priviged and has an advantage over others,. SHAME ON YOU 'you artists'.....''
''No I would not shun someone that plays a hand pan as they are and have always been readily available to the public.. Let alone the many VERY GOOD tutorials on how to make one. Though the 'hang drum' is trying to be made into some sort of ethereal instrument (which it is almost)... Though it is real, it CAN be made. These people are choosing not to make more or allow anyone else their blueprints (they play on the supply is too great.. They could easily teach apprentices and hope the instrument makes it into the future of music). Of course the first person in France to play this next to a church has gotten fame and all the attention he was after, though why should any serious musician seeking one of these NOT be able to do the same?... It just does not make sense to me beside the maker wanting to go down in history as some genius one of a kind, when the fact is, he copied it, did NOT patent it properly and now has to deal with people like me and others who will just make one and use the instrument for the intended purpose ie A good sound. Period. I honestly hope these 2 little non musician weirdos get forgotten in the mist after companies start mass producing them for all. (Watch the MAKER try to play the instrument in the clip... He has not even taken the time to learn the thing well..). It all just seems very planned and almost set up to me. I have had the pleasure of playing one of these and as I said it is almost impossible to make a bad sound. I feel the instrument is being made out by the people that own one and also the makers to be something so special and complex that is is only meant for a few, which is not true. They are extremely easy to play.''
''It's always the same old thing,,,Those of us who are old enough to know where the whole Idea came from, Go check the blue prints of Mr. Sterling Betancourt, the 1st to design the steel drum or to have a steel band, This is not even a re-design of Sterlings Drawings,,, a little disenfranchised black man who was the 1st man to welcome Flex and his merry men into the art, If he's alive he would be in his late 90's. None of it's design is original. Newer tools...but nothing new... I Just hope you took care of the old man, how quickly we forget...and can find all kinds of ways to twist the truth of origin and discovery. This recipe is so common, healing tones come from The Bringers of Light for all humanity. Live Long and Prosper. One question, why did you wait so late to leak the Drum??? I have a idea?? Such is History.. Every Black Man must be his own Moses...''
''It's an inverted steel pan based on the Trinidad steel pan.  Saw its early formation in Japan a couple years ago.  The narration is treated it like a first which it is not.  It is the steel pan.  What's unique about the steel pan is that it's considered the only new instrument developed in the twentieth century NOT BASED ON ANOTHER INSTRUMENT! Amazing how this documentary presents the instrument and its manufacture (tuning, tempering etc) as a European process.  Any Trinidadian would find this quite insulting!''
''Yes, a development of the steel pan, surely; turned inside out and with knobs on. This unbearably pompous video is enough to put many people off what seems to be a versatile and great sounding instrument.''
''The steel pan in its original configuration is already high quality and by this farce of a documentary seems to have spawned colonialist imitators, it seems!''
''I thought Mark gave a reasoned critique of an awful promotional film. I find it strange that people feel inclined to defend the quasi-religious, even cultlike marketing approach of the Hang designers. The Hang is a development of the Trinidadian steel pan with a few bells and whistles thrown in for good measure, but this attempt at mythologising the prosaic design process is off-putting and slightly nauseating.''

 

 



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