Why make healing music with the handpan?
The handpan is particularly useful for healing because many people encounter them for the first time with no historical reference, no cultural context, and no music genre that the instrument can be neatly placed into within the known constructs of their mind. This "alienness" causes people to put themselves in a place where they are curious, slightly confused, and vulnerable because they don't know what this object is or how it's producing the sounds it does. The sound is familiar, yet foreign, accessible, yet intriguing. They look ancient, and also like a UFO. These elements create the perfect space for people to be receptive to the sonic vibrations, rhythmic brainwave activation, and artistic intention while the music transcends cultural and linguistic boundaries.
The handpan is played with the fingers instead of a mallet, providing for a more direct connection between artist and instrument. The artist must be very sensitive and responsive to the handpan for dynamic expression, coherence, and "flow" (improvisation). No two people play handpan the same. The music and people's relationship to their instrument can become a map of their soul or an intimate expression of the self.
The handpan utilizes specific pitches (like singing bowls), as well as metal dissonance and resonance within the entire drum, including it's "untuned" frame (like gongs) allowing for a range of various sounds, pitches, percussive elements, and bass acoustics from a single instrument.
The handpan also utilizes both melody (the sequential patterning of notes), as well as percussion (rhythm and tempo). Notes, melodies, and rhythm all have their own uses in sound healing, and the handpan has the ability to incorporate all of those elements synergistically for an enhanced transformative experience.