Updated: Feb 14, 2019
Sylvain introduces the new handpan podcast and the former host, David Galleher, stops by to say hello. A new journey begins...
Take a trip down memory lane: listen to the old handpan podcast by David Galleher on SoundCloud.
Hey, it's Sylvain. And this is the handpan podcast.
Welcome to the first episode of this podcast. My name is Sylvain Paslier, and though this podcast, I want to share a story. Not just one story but many stories of people whose lives have intersected with the handpan, a remarkable musical instrument inspired by the Hang invented in Switzerland in the year 2000. Remarkable because, for nearly twenty years, the handpan has allowed a generation of people to experience creative freedom and to develop a passion.
"Why is the handpan different?" you might ask. I'm guessing you've met a number of people in your life saying things like "I took 6 years of violin as a child and I hated it" or perhaps they might say "my parents had me take piano lessons for years but I don't play anymore". We've all heard these kinds of stories before, it might even be ours, so what happened there? Well, I think they were taught the wrong thing. Sure, they were taught technically how to play the violin or how to play the piano, and they could do that. What they were not taught however is how to develop a passion, how to get pleasure from playing music, and how to enjoy the creative journey not just the destination. We always rush to the technique but we forget about the joy.
So, back to the question: why is the handpan different? I think the handpan is different, because as a new instrument, there's no right or wrong and because as a new instrument, there's no status or comparison trap. With the handpan, you get a blank canvas. You get creative freedom. And the magic begins... That's why our still young handpan community is thriving. You see people who would have otherwise never created, start creating, whether it be playing for their kids before bed or decide to write their own music and to record an album or perhaps even try to build their own handpans and a million other things that happen when people are empowered to start creating.
Obviously, that kind of passion doesn't happen just with the handpan. The handpan is simply the medium. It's the tool. Remember, it didn't exist 20 years ago. So, on the podcast, we'll talk about a lot of things not directly related to the handpan. We'll cover just about anything, really. But for many of us, and certainly for me, the handpan was the catalyst for that passionate, creative and artistic journey. And while there's no shortage of passion outside of the handpan world, I do think this instrument is special.
At this point, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine. Because, first, he actually started the handpan podcast a few years ago, and funny enough he had me on the show back in 2016. But, second, because it is clear when you hear his story, that this person has indeed experienced the simple joy of creating, to the point that, this kind of passion that we're talking about, led him on a journey to building his own handpans. This friend I'm referring to, you guessed it, didn't you? is David Gallaher.
Okay, here we go, I'm gonna say it... David, welcome to the handpan podcast!
David: Hey, thank you so much! It feels really good to be on the opposite side of the interview actually.
Sylvain: Aw man, of course, it's very symbolic to have you on for the first episode because you initially started the handpan podcast a few years ago. So it's a real joy to give it a second life.
David: Well, you know, it's totally my pleasure. And I'm honestly ecstatic that you decided to take it over because a lot of people really liked it, and I feel like it was really informative to a lot of handpan players, and so the fact that it will live on in a different incarnation, it really makes me happy and proud that it still exists.
Sylvain: Well thank you, it's an honor. I know you've been busy, can you tell us a bit about what you're working on these days?
David: Yeah, sure! Since basically the last podcast episode which was maybe a couple of years ago now, I decided to start building instruments myself, handpans, and I started my business Makai Instruments in Hawaii and it really took over my life in a lot of ways as many handpan builders can attest to. It was my turn to shift into a new handpan-related occupation I guess. Things have been going really well, and I really love what I'm doing now. Yeah, that's about what I've been up to.
Sylvain: That's awesome, and really, there's a story here and we will need to take the time to explore it. You and I just hung out in Colorado at a handpan gathering, and it's been just awesome to follow your journey of creative freedom, creativity and entrepreneurship around the handpan. So we'll have to revisit that at length.
David: Well, it would be my pleasure to be back on the podcast, anytime.
Sylvain: We'll make that happen.
Sylvain: But for now, thank you David for stopping by on this first episode of the handpan podcast, and you know, for all your past, present and future contributions to the handpan art form, thank you man.
David: Aw, man. It's my pleasure. It comes back to me just as much as it goes out to everyone else. Thank you Sylvain and thank you for doing the podcast. I really appreciate it and I know that a lot of other people do as well.
Sylvain: Best of luck to you, and hope see you again soon on the handpan podcast. David: Awesome! Sounds good, thanks!
Sylvain: I'm gonna wrap up this first episode with a thought and a couple announcements.
Have you ever walked by a street musician in London or Barcelona? Perhaps, you've even been one yourself playing the handpan. I know many of us have. Well, some people will stop to listen and some others will just keep walking, and that's fine. It's the same with the handpan podcast. If this message resonates with you, man I'm excited for us to embark on this journey together. If however, it's not for you, just like with a street musician, just keep walking, that's fine. No hard feelings.
If you do choose to stop and listen, there 2 more episodes out already with 2 phenomenal guests. You can listen on Apple Podcast, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. I will add show notes and additional content for each episode at thehandpanpodcast.com. And there will be new episodes coming out every couple of weeks, so make sure to subscribe if you want to hear those.
Finally, if you want to be a part of the community around The Handpan Podcast to experience the simple joy of creating, I invite you to join The Handpan Podcast Facebook Group. It's a safe place to share your video and audio recordings, your thoughts and photos about your own creative journey. There's no competition or ego trip, it's just a place for us to connect in a meaningful way. So, if that resonates with you, I hope to see you on the handpan podcast facebook group.
Thanks for listening to this first episode of the handpan podcast and see you in the next one.