A song dedicated to sheet metal sound sculptors and to those who would like to become one – by Felix Rohner, tuner
Text, vocals and Pang Sing: Felix Rohner – Hang Urgu: Sabina Schärer – Invader pan (made by Vernon Mannette): David Rohner
Do you know the man,
do you know the famous pan man,
who can tell us the story of the sweet steel sound,
which you can hear here and there and everywhere around?
If he starts to tell, he won`t stop anymore,
he`ll go back to the times when at Trinidad’s shore
hooligan bands played cans, bottle and spoon!
This 90 year old man – I met 20 years ago in Cancun.
Ellie Mannette, the pope of the world of the steel pan.
And I was a young steel pan tuner from Switzerland.
I got the chance to show him my hidden plan
to get his ok that I change the layout of his Invader pan.
He had a short look at my idea of a new design,
a smile on his face he said: „All right, but it has to be better than mine.“
A moment or two I needed to understand –
Master Ellie was a fighter, a competitive man!
I think I got the point, his answer was clear,
I realized: Create your own shape, use your own ear.
Yesterday I was surfing on the world wide web
and was very surprised to see what it said:
The world needs more of your beautiful Hanghang.
If you don’ t produce more, others will, man!
Take a machine, press the shell, mass production,
copy the shape, and let’s get set for mass consumption.
What have they done with my Hang, ho-hum,
taken as a pan, declared as a drum.
Hands beating on steel, killing the sweet act,
the mystery of the Hang: direct contact.
All these copies – something quite different,
another approach, another trend.
Just hype, it will melt like snow in spring.
Handpans, another call, another ring.
But remember, what Ellie also said to me:
„Listen Felix, it’s hard work, study!“
Steel pan tuning: more than a skill, it is an art!
Hammering from chaos to music: Play your part.
To copy a Stradivarius – it’s wasted energy.
Build your own soundscape, everybody will agree:
You did a great thing, an original sound,
tuned with hammer blows, built from the ground.
Create your own mirror, reflecting more than your face,
something beyond your ego, origin and race.
Listen to the songs of sirens, they are strong.
Study the sound of bells, singing saw, the gong.
Give your own contribution to the sound of life.
Maybe you`ll have to leave even children and wife.
Do what has to be done, follow the call of iron, feel it.
Do your job with dedication, joy and spirit.
Look in the palm of your hand and listen:
You will hear what you are missing.
I send greetings to Master Ellie!
Music from heart to heart, belly to belly.