March 22, 2017
The Hang is a musical instrument in the idiophone class created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland. The Hang is sometimes referred to as a hang drum, but the inventors consider this a misnomer and strongly discourage its use.
The instrument is constructed from two half-shells of deep drawn, nitrided steel sheet, glued together at the rim leaving the inside hollow and creating a distinct 'UFO shape'. The top ("Ding") side has a center 'note' hammered into it and seven or eight 'tone fields' hammered around the center. The bottom ("Gu") is a plain surface that has a rolled hole in the center with a tuned note that can be created when the rim is struck.
The Hang uses some of the same basic physical principles as a steelpan, but modified in such a way as to act as a Helmholtz resonator.
Shaped much like a spaceship, its equally ethereal sounds created by Danny Cudd (UK) and Markus Offbeat (Sweden) delighted the audience at Melbourne’s Max Watts, where the due was promoting their latest studio release, Distant Light. Given the sounds the two seasoned travelers produce with their hangs, it is not surprising to learn that their paths first crossed in Goa, India.
While one hang does not produce sufficient notes for a full scale, it works in well in unison with a second one as collectively chords and varying tones can be created, i.e. one hang providing the beat while the other one is in charge of the actual melody.
Cudd and Offbeat, the due comprising Hang Massive, have mastered the art of work the hang from various angles and thereby eliciting an impressively deep and rich sound spectrum reminiscent of a mélange of an array of xylophones, psychedelic electronic sounds and bell sounds and percussion instruments.
With vocals added here and there, courtesy of Victoria Grebezs, it gives the performance the aura of a “regular show” with the enhanced vibe of with outer- and otherworldly sounds.
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