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There's More to That Story with Michael Barticel - Part 1

In part 1, it's Michael Barticel of The Good People Effect Podcast who interviews Sylvain. Originally intended to be published only under Michael's podcast, it felt right to exceptionally share this conversation as part of a two-episode series called "There's More to That Story". If you've wanted to get to know me, this is your chance.

Check out the Good People Effect Podcast Website or on YouTube and Instagram!

Podcast Transcription:

Sylvain: Hey, it's Sylvain! And this is the handpan podcast.

Today, I am delighted to bring you not one but two new podcast episodes. We're going to call it a part 1 and a part 2 but these are two different conversations I had with my new friend Michael Barticel.

Michael is the host of The Good People Effect podcast. It's a show about purpose, adventure and creativity—and it's got a whole lot of handpan stories too! Michael kindly invited me on his podcast, and we had such a good time that I asked him if he'd be willing to be on the handpan podcast. I'm so glad he agreed (that's why I'm calling the episode "There's More to that Story") and we are bringing you both conversations right here on the handpan podcast, as well as on the Good People Effect podcast.

This episode, part 1, is Michael interviewing me. So, if you've been curious to hear more of my own story, well, this is your chance. And part 2 is me interviewing Michael whose life, it seems, could be made into a movie some day. Michael is kind, humble and honest and I'm so grateful he reached out. I definitely made a new friend, and I'm excited to share these conversations with you because they were so refreshing and inspiring to me. So, here we go:

Sylvain: Hey, it's Sylvain and this is the handpan podcast

Sylvain: Today. I am delighted to bring you, not one but two new podcast episodes. We're gonna call it a part one and a part two, but these are two different conversations I had with my new friend Michael Barticel. Michael is the host of the good people effect podcast. It's a show about purpose, adventure, and creativity and it's got a whole lot of handpan stories too. Michael kindly invited me on his podcast and we had such a good time that I asked him if he'd be willing to be on the handpan podcast. I'm so glad he agreed. That's kind of why I called this episode. There's more to that story and we're bringing you both conversations right here on the handpan podcast as well as on the good people effect podcast. This episode, part one is Michael interviewing me. So if you've been curious to hear more about my own story, well this is your chance. And part two is me interviewing Michael whose life it seems could be made into a movie someday. Michael is kind, humble and honest and I'm grateful he reached out. I definitely made a new friend and I'm excited to share these conversations with you because they were so refreshing and inspiring to me. So here we go.

Michael: how's it going? How's life? Talk to me.

Sylvain: Good. How are you Michael? It's nice to connect.

Michael: It's great to connect. Um, I was just thinking the same thing today. I was like, here's another podcast there that also has a show that's, you know, has the hand pan as a key element. And it's, it was funny when I came across you, I was like, I really need to reach out to this guy and, and just see if we can, I don't know, have a chat. I just feel like it would be interesting.

Sylvain: Well, I'm so glad you did. Um, because it's not very often that we, uh, take a chance and reach out to someone completely new and, um, you know, whenever I've done that in my life, the outcomes and the new ideas that have come out of that have really changed the trajectory of my life. So I'm glad that you decided to email me out of the blue. I'm glad that you persevered cause uh, the summer was busy and it took me a while to get back to you.

Michael: Yeah, yeah. I totally agree with, with what you said. I mean when you, when you do kind of take those chances and go into these unknown directions and you just go with how you feel, it usually ends up being something great. So, um, yeah, I've been really looking forward to this chat today and I really enjoy your podcast, the handpan podcast. It's been a delight to listen to. Um, but I just, I guess I just wanted to, I wanted to interview you for a change because you speak to a lot of people and it's very different. Um, having like when you're as, as a podcast to be interviewed yourself, it's, it's, it's a very, it just kind of changes things up again. So how did this, I just wanted to know, like how did all this , all this journey began and, and, um, can you take me, I know it's a difficult question in some respect, but can you take me back to the beginning?

Sylvain: sure. And again, just to, I want to reiterate that it's extremely kind of you to, to ask me to be on your show. And you're right, it is kind of funny to be on the opposite side of the podcast.

Michael: Yeah.

Sylvain: Um, but, um, but it's exciting too because you're right, when you do a podcast, you don't necessarily get to share your story as much. Um, but you know, my story, um, started in a pretty unremarkable way. And I don't mean that in any negative sense, but I, I'm from France, I was born in France. My entire family is French. My grandparents, my great grandparents, you know, there was nothing international in my background. I think I never got on a plane until I was 18. I never traveled as a kid. Um, and in 2011, uh, I moved to the United States as an exchange student. And I've lived here ever since, and that's been one of the greatest adventures of my life. Um, one of the things that I'm the most proud of, it's been difficult, but, um, so much meaning has come out of this experience. Um, so that's a little bit about, uh, where I'm from and where I live. Now. You know, I think something that might help your listeners kind of get a sense for who I am because when you press the play button, you hear a new voice, you don't always know who your, who you're hearing from. Um, you know, long before, um, I knew anything about psychology long before I had a notion of, of my, my personality or temperament. You know, I think it's later in life that we develop these psychological frameworks that help understand how we see the world and how we see ourselves in it. Um, you know, I've always operated emotionally. Um, I'm of a, a melancholic temperament, uh, which means that I tend to experience very strong feelings, very high highs of ecstasy, you know, and very low lows. Um, and, and so that kinda helped, helps reframe, um, who I am and what I'm drawn to. I am very sensitive to art and beauty. Um, and one of the things that I, I, I really kind of recognize in retrospect is that I am, um, a contrarian and what this means is I'm, I'm a drawn to the unique, to the special, to the extraordinary. And, um, and as you know, you, you mentioned the handpan and I know you play the hand pan as well. We're within that realm. Right? Um, and so that's played a big, big role in my life.

Michael: So besides the handpan, where else have you, have you been able to find this kind of unique uniqueness in life?

Sylvain: You know, I am drawn to philosophy and faith. Um, I think that this life that we live, um, even though the way that we experience it is ordinary, right? The mundane routine, the daily grind, um, it is still amazing, right? Um, to think that you and I, we were created, we were born without our own permission. You know, from the day you get on this earth. Um, there a countdown not to be, you know, gloomy or anything, but it's almost like we arrived too late by the time we get here, there's already a countdown. Um, and this theme of finitude, um, is very prevalent in, in philosophy. Um, you know, so I'm drawn to these really big concepts that have no really tangible answer, but I think they do provide some value for our day to day. Um, as I said, you know, I'm drawn to the special to the unique. And so when, when life gets boring, when you get stuck, I think these bigger questions can, um, lead you to, um, a, a wellbeing, um, through, you know, primarily thankfulness and gratitude. Because even though we didn't choose this life, you know, you didn't choose where you were born when you were born. Uh, the color of your skin, your gender, your social economic background, you do live and you're here. And, um, that's all, you know, that's all I know. And we can, we can resent it or we can take it as a gift. And so this is where I find meaning in my life as well.

Michael: Like you mentioned philosophy and faith and do you feel like going away as an exchange student in any way kind of connected to that, enhance that?

Sylvain: It's an incredibly powerful and impactful experience to go study abroad or to go travel, you know, you don't have to live there or to study there. Um, what it does is, I don't know if you've ever, ever heard the image of the fish in water. So the fish is swimming in water, water is clear, it's invisible. Um, and really the fish has no idea that there's this thing called water all around him. But if you take the fish out of water, it's gasping for air. It, it doesn't know its new environment and it realizes looking back, Hey, that was water. Um, you know, I think moving abroad or traveling in general, um, or opening yourself to new experiences, trying something new for the first time, um, it does that you look back and you, you realize that what you thought was it, what you thought was, uh, maybe a universal truth. It was just water. It was just one thing and it kind of gives you a new perspective on that. Um, so it truly did that for me. Um, now you know, the whirlwind of, of, of, of emotions and inspirations and insights that you get from experience, uh, traveling or moving abroad at the time you sort of ride it like a wave. You don't interpret that, you don't really make sense of that. Um, but in retrospect you can find those themes and...

Michael: I feel like in some way, my first trip abroad, I'm not sure if it would have been the same as an exchange. I mean, I've never been on an exchange, but just traveling anywhere, it really opens you up. And I found in my own experience, it opened me up a lot towards what you were, what you were mentioning earlier. You know, this, this feeling of connection, this feeling of, you know, a growth. You're pondering these questions that you know, even if you're not, might not know the answer or the answers might seem like they're a bit of a paradox. Then just pondering the question and just kind of thinking in that kind of a way opens you up to different ideas and thoughts. But I feel, I feel like travel has in my own journey has had a real deep responsibility for that or at least has added to it.

Sylvain: Yeah, that makes complete sense. Um, did you start traveling early in your life?

Michael: I was, yeah. I started traveling quite young. I went on a few smaller trips and I was lucky enough to, yeah, get some traveling quite early. And I feel like even though I don't really remember a lot of the experiences and I, I, I know that they've kind of had some that washed over me in a way and I had some kind of residual effect.

Sylvain: Yeah, that makes sense. Cause it opens a door to something new. And I think that as much as there is value exploring what is in our own minds and understand who we are individually, um, a lot of the insights that we get on in this life are through books. So someone else's teachings through, you know, podcasts like yours, uh, you know, asking questions to a new person, getting new insight, uh, traveling, being, um, exposed to something new that questions the way you live and it makes you realize, Hey, it is possible to live another way. It is not necessary, um, to live the way I have lived. Um, so these are deep things. Um, and they're incredibly rich. Hmm.

Michael: How do you feel like your, your trajectory was changed once you encountered a handpan?

Sylvain: yeah. How much time do we have? Um, you know, when I discovered the Hang and the Hang was the first invention, which later, you know, paved the way for this category of instruments called hand pans. Um, but the Hang really, you know, in short was invented in Switzerland, uh, by a company named panart. And it was truly a discreet revolution, which is the name of a documentary that was made about the hang in 2008. Um, the, the hauling. And just to let your listeners know a little bit more. Um, although I'm sure they've heard about the hand pan before on your show, it's this incredibly remarkable instrument. Why? because it's intentional. Um, you know, a piano or guitar, um, has all the different notes in the Western scale. They're chromatic instruments. Uh, they're mechanical, they're incredibly intimidating to learn, um, and they're associated with an institutional path, you know, going to music school or conservatory. Um, the, what the Hang offered was creative freedom, um, because they didn't even call it a musical instrument. They called it a sound sculpture. Um, because I think they knew that putting labels on things can deter certain individuals from even believing they can approach this thing. Um, so the reason why this was remarkable is because by default, this was an instrument that bypassed entirely the status or the, the, the hierarchy of the music world. And it bypassed entirely the fear of doing it wrong. You know, you approach a piano today, you're afraid of doing it wrong with, with the Hang. It's a diatonic instrument. It's in only one scale. So specific only specific keys of your piano are on that instrument, which means that you can't really play a wrong note. It all sounds harmonious and beautiful and rich and layered and um, it very much aligns with this idea that less is more, you have a finite instrument with eight, nine, maybe 10 notes and out of finitude you create infinity.

Michael: Yeah, it's, it's, I've often heard you speak about this when your show, I think you spoke about it in recent episode as well. You were talking about how the simplicity of the pan, it's simple on one hand, but it's infinitely complex on the other and there's so, so many options when you're kind of confined to what you have. Um, and I do find it's quite, it's quite interesting. I've got a strange attraction to strange instruments or unique instruments or instruments that, you know, just produce a sound that I've never heard before and I really enjoy, I find that kind of connection with instruments that are easy to learn. I feel like with the hand pan, it's, it's really easy to learn, but it's obviously difficult to master. And that's something that really attracts me. I feel, I feel as though, um, when you're, when you're playing this instrument, um, your, you're making these beautiful sounds which kind of motivates you to keep going and it's, I feel like it would be a great first instrument because I feel like in some way you learn about the art of learning in a way, uh, builds a sense of discipline I guess if you're, if you're practicing regularly and it shows you the pattern of learning and I think that's one of the many, many great things about, about the hand pan.

Sylvain: Yeah, I think you're absolutely right. It's often described as a gateway instrument. It's allowed countless non musicians a chance to belong, a chance to create, um, a chance to be a part of making art. And you can't do that with any musical instrument. Then you also touched on the art of learning. I think that our world, um, has often got the art of learning or teaching wrong. You know, think about school. Um, you are taught to be competitive. You're taught to, to, you know, pass, uh, tests, you are taught to do it right. Um, you're not really taught to enjoy the process. It's kind of all about the destination. Um, and we all know that we remember very little about what we actually learned in school. But what would be really valuable is to remember and have really assimilated the joy of learning. So in a sense, the hand pan, I think especially in the early days of the Hang, it offered, um, a way for people to create simply. Um, and, and that for some of them, for me it changed my life.

Michael: Hmm. Can you tell me a little bit about how it changed your life and kind of like your first encounters with the instrument? Cause you've been playing for quite a while now. It, it's like something like 13, 13 or 14 years. Right. So that's quite a long time and it's much longer than, you know, I've even known that the hand pan or the Hang existed. Okay. I only heard about it, um, you know, probably four, four years ago. So I'm super curious to know at such an early stage of the instrument's life kind of what, how'd you guys cross paths? That's what I want to know.

Sylvain: Yeah. Yeah. And it's interesting if you use a tool like Google trends, which is a fascinating tool. If you just Google Google trends and type any sort of keyword or search term, um, you can look up the global search interests or local search interest over time for specific, um, topics or ideas or, yeah. And so for the hand pan or for the Hang, you can see that there was literally no interest nor no significant, um, interest as a trend before the year 2008. And that's when YouTube blew up. And a few YouTube videos go viral and it's kind of helped spread the word about this Swiss instrument. Um, but I guess back to your question, so, um, I was incredibly fortunate, uh, so privileged to discover the Hang, um, in its infancy when it was totally unknown. Um, and it, the handpan is still relatively unknown, but, um, I have a cousin, um, who is named David Charrier and he's a very prominent, um, hand pan player in the global hand pan community. Um, and in 2005, um, there was a, a little family reunion organized at my parents' house and he brought his Hang. So that's how I got introduced to the instrument. Um, I had a visceral, um, kind of a gut reaction about it the following night. I dreamed of the sound of the Hang all night and the next day I woke up. I was totally obsessed and I haven't had a lot of those kinds of experiences in my life, so I knew that I just had to get one. Um, they were very rare at the time. And so it took me two years to, to be able to, to acquire my Hang. And then really the reason why it changed my life, which I know sounds so cliche and so generic, but what it did is it, it empowered me. It made me believe that I could create. Um, you know, I've, I've mentioned the terms status, I, which you could think the comparison trap comparing yourself to others. I've mentioned the term fear, you know, the fear of doing it wrong. What the Hang provided me with was a, an environment totally free from status because there were no Hang players. I mean, apart from my cousin, I didn't know any other Hong players for a long time. Uh, there were, there was no community at the time. Um, you know, no cool kids and the top players and the, you know, there, there's just none of that. There was no status. And because of the nature of the instrument which I described, which is very forgiving, very intuitive, the ergonomics are, they feel very natural. It feels very natural to play. It's not awkward at all. Um, it means that there was no fear of, of doing it wrong. And so I started creating and I started enjoying the process and I developed pleasure from this, this new thing that I was able to do, which was to create music. Um, and the thing is when you do that, when you create and create some more, no matter where, what your background is or how good you are at music beforehand, or if you're not a musician, you become better. Um, you know, magically duh. Um, you do something a lot and you become better. And if really what you've invested in was the process, the joy of, of playing, then you're almost unstoppable because, um, you have, that's, that's your, your secret ingredient. That's the, the weapon that helps you to go distance.

Michael: Right. I just wanted to know how, like what kind of challenges did you face on this journey with the hand pan? Like if you were to think back, um, what kind of things did you face that kind of, you know, might've been roadblocks since you, since you began with the instrument?

Sylvain: Yeah, that's an incredibly good question. Um, you know, I just described this really high, high, right? This mountain top moment where you get vision and you're so excited. Um, you know, over the years, as I got the chance to travel with my music to put out music and to record music, to meet friends across, you know, countries and continents, and to make new connections, um, you know, I think sometimes you can lose your original spark, you know, what got you into it in the first place. Um, so there was a few things like, you know, one of the incredibly exciting experiences that I got to live is I had a couple of viral videos. Um, my cousin David and I played a lot of hung music together and uh, and in 2008 and 2009, we had a, a couple of videos. One of them is, is called Hang Insomnia Jam. Um, I think it has over 4 million views on, on YouTube. Uh, there's a few others. And so now this was fun, right? It's, it's really fun to experience a measure of success. It's exciting. Um, I remember one of these videos got re shared on Facebook by Ricky Martin modern.

Michael: Ricky Martin, are you serious?

Sylvain: Um, now that I'm into his music, but...

Michael: What do you mean, you don't like Ricky Martin? Are you serious? Cup of Life?

Sylvain: I'm not familiar with, I told you I'm a contrarian.

Michael: Cup of Life is the best karaoke song, group karaoke. Um, but yeah, sorry I didn't mean to interrupt.

Sylvain: I will listen to it after this conversation. Um, I'm sure it's gotta be good. You don't get to the top by making bad music, but.

Michael: so you reached a level of success.

Sylvain: Yeah. And so then the thing is, what got you into it was the freedom, the freedom. If the joy of playing, you know, the, maybe we'll talk about it later, but the, the tagline of my podcast is the simple joy of creating. And I hold onto that dearly because when you lose that, when you lose the simple joy of creating and you start worrying about what is expected of you, because think about it, you have a video that performs well. Well, hold on now w w what are we going to make the next video about? We needed to perform at least as as well, right? So there's these expectations. Um, there's also, um, you know, a certain sense of, of status, um, in spite of, of my own approach. I think in those early years now it's, people have completely forgotten. But I think there are a few people who put me on a pedestal, uh, because of this relative success, which quite frankly, you know, viral videos, there's no science to it. It's being at the right place at the right time. Um, it's not based on merit is what I'm saying, but I think you start infusing status and comparison and you alter with that original spark. You know what, yeah, what lit you up at the beginning. And so that leads to, um, being stuck or bored or disappointed and it brings you to this place of, of maybe cynicism.

Michael: So how did you reconnect from that place to a simple joy of creating

Sylvain: Two words? Rediscover wonder. Talk to me about that. So what got you into this thing? At first it was the beauty. You as the creativity, the freedom. Um, there's, there's an attitude of, a contemplative attitude towards art and beauty. And maybe here's an image. It might be imperfect, but, um, you know, there's a sunrise and sunset every single day for all of us. Um, I miss most sunrises cause I don't wake up early enough. But I try to catch a good amount of sunsets. You can get used to sunsets. Um, and I think that if you apply that same approach to rediscover wonder and you, you contemplate the beauty of a sunset, that by the way is, is worth, is worth remarking on it because so many people take pictures of sunsets. Like you look at a sunset, it's, it's beautiful. It's, it's awesome. But you can disconnect with that.

Michael: That's an amazing way of putting it. I've never heard, uh, that puts it eloquently before and really does draw, you know, it makes an easy connection in our minds because we can all picture that. So thank you. That's, that's all the way you put that.

Sylvain: I'm glad it's helpful. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael: Cause it is, I mean it is an important lesson. It's, we hear it all the time, thrown around in ways that, you know, like leaving the moment for example, or be present. And it sometimes it's very hard to, you know, just remind ourselves, you know, of the beauty around us and just the beauty in everyday life that, you know, has always been there, always will be there. But it's up to us to kind of open up and see that. And it's so interesting how that simple joy, you know, can kind of get lost sometimes. But I find it, I find it so remarkable that you've been able to recognize that and put effort in and get it back.

Sylvain: And I think that it's, it's also something that we have to share. Um, yeah, you know, when, when you, here's another sort of quote or illustration that I love the, the biggest sin in the desert is to find water and not tell anyone about it. So when you've found something that has been so good to you, um, so transformative, um, you have to share it. And so I think that while rediscovering wonder is a very individual process, um, sharing the simple joy of creating has been also a way to appreciate. And, and further this, this thing. Um, and we are meant to, we are relational beings. We are meant to share, um, the good things in our lives. And you know, I think the hand pan has been an incredibly, although amazing art form, it's been an incredibly tense art form and, and dramatic art form. Why? Because from day one, there's been an incredible amount of scarcity. So there were only, there was only one company in the world pan art that produced the Hang between the year 2000 and the year 2009 when they're first hand pan makers arrived. So if you're in, you're really happy. If you're out, you're, you're desperately craving for that thing that these people have in that you don't have. Um, you see the tension there. It was, Now it's a little better because there are a lot more hemp and makers and

Michael: yeah, it's just blown up, hasn't it?

Sylvain: It really has. Yeah.

Michael: And it, like you said, it's still in its infancy, you mentioned earlier. But yeah, it's interesting to see, or even to reflect back on that tension and how it's changed over time. I want to, I want to touch on something before we dive a little bit deeper into your podcast. Um, it's something you mentioned a little bit earlier. I wanted to know how, what was the experience like when you first got your handpan, you got your hands on a handpan and you started playing with your cousin and you guys were like jamming together in the early days. What was that experience like with David?

Sylvain: Looking back it was unbelievably fortunate, um, that I had a buddy to play music with, you know, day and night. Um, we had an amazing chemistry, you know, on top of being relatives. Uh, we just had this chemistry, which I've found over the years, playing with countless other musicians is rare. It's very rare to find that kind of chemistry. So it's, it's a symbiotic, um, thing and, and, and it's entrancing, it's enchanting. Um, these were passionate years, right? The kind of passion that you will skip breakfast and lunch and dinner to record this song, you know,

Sylvain: that's the best.

Michael: So in regards to the podcast, um, how did this come about? Cause this was a fairly recent thing, right? Yup. Yeah. So I started the podcast, um, roughly a year ago, um, in the fall of 2018. Um, I think I did it for two reasons and I'm just thinking out loud here. Um, the first one is I'm a podcast junkie. I love podcasting as an art form. Um, also because it's new and nascent and, and it's kind of on the edges, right. Um, so I'm drawn to the, the special community that's forming around podcasts. So I knew, I, I knew I wanted to do a podcast about anything, but you know, probably about hand ans. Um, the hand pan podcast. It was actually started a couple of years prior by my friend David Gallagher.

Michael: Chef D!

Sylvain: Yeah. Who's now a hand pan maker located in Hawaii.

Michael: They're some nice pans, aren't they?

Sylvain: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, definitely. He's doing amazing work. Yeah.

Michael: My brother got one race on the, actually, I can't wait to, um, just try it out.

Sylvain: Oh, that's great. Yeah. I'm so glad.

Michael: Yeah. So to, so yeah, talk to me.

Sylvain: Yep. So he started the podcast. He did it for one year and um, and then it was time to transition. So I knew that, um, you know, he owned the domain name and he had sort of built the brand around it. Yeah. Um, I wanted to go a completely different direction, but I still messaged him and I asked him, you know, with utmost respect, um, you know, what you've done was foundational. I'm thinking about starting a podcast. Is there any chance that your you're willing to pass this on and to sort give it a second life through through me? And he said yes, in a heartbeat. He's just so kind. Um, you know, and as you know.

Michael: He's a great guy.

Sylvain: Yeah, absolutely. And he had moved on to making handpans. Um, so he was onto bigger and better things. Um, and so that's sort of how, you know, I, I picked up the handpan podcast, all first legacy episodes. All 10 legacy episodes from David are still available, you know, on iTunes and, and, and other places where you can get podcasts,

Michael: I think as well as your podcast. I think if people are into podcasts, you should definitely check out some of the older episodes. You said they're available.

Sylvain: Yeah, I think they're available on iTunes. I don't think that he had submitted them through Spotify. Um, back then. Perhaps Spotify was not into podcasts back then. Um, but yeah, actually if people want a snapshot of the culture of, of the handpan community, um, in 2016, I think it's just a beautiful like, um, way back machine, uh, travel back in time to get a sense for where it was at as opposed to where it's out today. Um, and it's definitely a part of the, just a few, uh, pieces of, of super valuable historical, um, content around the handpan.

Michael: I think there's, there's so many beautiful things about the instrument, like we've touched on a lot today and I feel like it's a deeply personal instrument and um, the community that's been formed around it because it's just got this, this kind of gravitational pull, doesn't it? Because there's something so different and just kind of connects with you on another level. I feel like it, for me, it reconnected me with nature. It got me through hard times and it exposed me to, you know, different people with different ways of thinking. Like we mentioned earlier, when you change your vantage point on things through travel and things like this and through the handpan you really, you really, I don't know, get another perspective on things and you open your mind up to different ways of thinking. And I feel like, uh, your handpan is such a beautiful instrument and just because of that, it brings together a really unique set of people, people that really, it's, it's, it's, it's hard not to get along with these people in this community. Like you really need to try hard because they're, they're really beautiful people and everyone's got their own story as everyone does in life. But within this community, just feel really warm and welcomed from the beginning. And, and it's just around the music as well, the musical element. And it's not just hand pans within the community cause there's jam nights and people get, and I don't know, it's just such a wonderful thing. Um, do you have anything to say more about the community so people might get a better idea of kind of what happens if a hand pan gathering or...

Sylvain: Yeah. Well, I'm so glad you mentioned, you know, this idea that it's impacted people each individually in their own lives and every person has their own story. Um, you know, that's what the handpan podcast is about. It's, it's highlighting, it's telling the story of, of you know, a handpan friend after another. So each episode is dedicated to one person to one story. And the cool thing about stories is, you know, um, the three acts, right? There's a beginning, a middle and an end. Um, in all of our stories, you know, and I listened to a few of your episodes and I actually really, really enjoyed the, the first episode of your podcast where you explain a little bit of the, the purpose and the motive behind starting this project. You know, in your story there's, there's an event that deviates your life and um, and that leads to a transformation. And that's what really I'm interested in, in this community. Um, I think because the handpan is, is fairly niche still, it's not very commercial. Um, actually think we live in the golden age of hand pans, but we can get into that later. Um, I think it does tend to attract very interesting people. Um, and, and it leads to, um, a kind of transformation. Um, and if you, if you pay attention, if you listen to these stories, um, it's often time, uh, oftentimes along the lines of, of healing or maybe, um, opening your heart to being sensitive to the beauty that even you can make, you know, the music that you can make. Um, there are stories of community, obviously, but I think that the handpan is a deeply personal thing. Um, and what I mean by that is it's, it's a transportable instrument that you can bring with you anywhere. You don't need to plug into an amp. You don't need to coordinate, uh, band practice to play. You can play by yourself, um, any where, any time. And, and that has led each of these people who do come together at gatherings, uh, to develop a passion to define their relationship with this instrument.

Michael: Yeah. It's like almost a style with the instrument isn't it? It's like their own, their own way. It's their own individual journey. But it's funny how everyone's got their own individual journey that's so unique and special them, but then it's all kind of connected at the same time.

Sylvain: Yeah. And it's, it's quite beautiful, right. When when you, it's a little bit how it feels to have this conversation with you today. Like we are connected through the handpan. Um, and I think through some umbrella themes as well of creativity and entrepreneurship and um, you know, living with purpose and seeking out adventures. Um, but these people who, who go to these gatherings, I mean, I was just at an event in North Carolina about three weeks ago, put together by the chef D David Galleher and Josh Rivera, who by the way just launched his brand new hand pan brand. He's making his own end pens under the name Veritas.

Michael: Really?! that's so fascinating. I needed a write him a message and just say, you know, congratulations that he's on this, you know, that's, that's so wonderful. He's been an amazing, um, he was tuning hand pans for quite a long time, wasn't it?

Sylvain: Yes. And I think he made it out to Australia, right?

Michael: Yeah. I met him a few times at pan Oz. That's the best, the only hand pan gathering I've actually gone through and I, and I can't wait to go to another one and experience that, but that's actually, yeah, where I first met Josh and his is really a lot of fun having chance with him, but it makes me smile so, so from ear to ear to hear that he's now making hand pans and I can't wait to hear them.

Sylvain: Yeah, they're beautiful instruments. I just played on a number of them and um, he's just an awesome dude and uh, I know he's going to do very well, but you know, at these events or through these connections, you meet for the first time or you chat for the first time, but it feels like you've known each other forever. And so that's, that's the kind of culture that, um, wow, that's powerful. Like where else does this happen in the culture? Um, at least, you know, in the West it doesn't really happen. We're culturally speaking, Westerners are not very good at talking to strangers. Um, and so the community, although I think not central to the passion around the hand pan, uh, it's been just a wonderful fruit of, of this intentional instrument, right? It's been, it's been the outcome, not the reason for, but the outcome of a brilliant idea, an intentional design and just, you know, all in all something pointing back to beauty and wonder.

Michael: Yeah. Yeah. It is such a special thing. Coming back to your podcast for a second and just talking about kind of your journey with that and these amazing stories that are really, you know, you do really touch on some interesting points in the stories and you find out, you know, you dive pretty deep and you find out, you know, the core of things and you asked some really potent questions, in my opinion, where's, where's this all going? And, um, what's, what's your idea of kind of, which direction is it heading in at the moment?

Sylvain: So I view the handpan podcast as a sound journal of, of my own personal connections with folks as I navigate this world around this instrument called the handpan. Um, you know, some of the things I want to watch out for is to go into autopilot mode, right? So I don't want to adhere to a super strict schedule because I'm not monetizing this project. Uh, there's no advertisers, uh, you know, I do have some merch on a site, but it's drop shipping. So if people buy it, um, you know, I, I, I think I get $1 per order because if I'm not...

Michael: You want to keep things natural, right?

Sylvain: Yup. Yeah. So no advertising, no outbound marketing. Uh, it's purely, I guess my, the friends and the network and the community that I've built, um, that are tuning in and anyone who's interested in, in a possible handpan podcast sort of joining in the ride. Um.

Michael: well I think it's a great resource, especially for anyone thinking about getting into the handpan community or people that have seen a video and just a little bit curious about what they are. Yeah. I mean, we've covered a lot of good stuff today, but I mean, you've got a great blog on your website where people can see, you know, what, um, you know, why they're so expensive, for example, or different scales and find out a little bit more about them. And, um, you go, you've got the podcast where you speak to cool people in and you're leaving things not leaving things in a natural way. I think that's, uh, it gives a little bit of, I don't know what the word is "je ne sais quoi".

Sylvain: Very good French, Michael.

Michael: Yeah. That's all I know. Um, it gives us just a little bit of something special, um, that you don't really find a lot in today's world. I mean, um, it's something really unique and I think that's a great thing. So, um, yeah, for anyone that's out there that's interested in a handpan at all, you should definitely check out Sylvain's stuff. Cause I, I, I really, I really appreciate that cause I know how easy it is to, like you said, you know, lose the love of something when it becomes just, you know, there's, there's some kind of a goal that you're working towards and it just becomes like really repetitive and monotonous and something used to love so much or find so much joy in has kind of started to slip away.

Sylvain: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah.

Sylvain: And you know, like as I mentioned at the beginning of the show, I am drawn to the special, to the extra ordinary. And so I'm going to do this thing the only way I know how to, the only way I can do it, which is to help people rediscover wonder and find the beauty in, in that specific sound model or that other scale. Um, I even if I tried, I could not, um, try to dumb this down, um, to say choose option a, B or C or turn the handpan into a commodity. I can't do that because, um, that's just not who I am. Now. I understand that some people, cause we're all so different, some people just wanna a one click purchase on Amazon. And, and right now it's a risky thing to thing, a risky thing to do with handpans because there aren't a ton of really good reputable makers on these platforms. Um, but that's the only way I know how to do it. So the content on my website, um, you know, and I do partner with, um, a number of just amazing handpan makers and so you can actually purchase a handpan through my website, uh, and it's curated and it's meant to be a powerful experience of, of awakening people's senses through, you know, hopefully, really nice music, really beautiful demo videos and just poetic language that will make you, uh, that will give you a sense for what it feels like to play that specific instrument. So that's been super meaningful to do that.

Michael: In regards to, you mentioned earlier as well the golden age of hand pans. And we said, we're going to dive into that and I don't want to let that one go. So can you tell me why you, why you think that? And I mean like we discussed earlier, you've been in the handpan and what you want to call it, um, seen environment for quite awhile and I think your perspective on this would be interesting.

Sylvain: So what I mean by that is up til now, and I'm going to just speak in general, cause there's always exceptions, but generally up till now, every builder, every maker has been in it for the right reasons. Um, so that's the first, the first thing, uh, there was no guarantees in making handpans. Um, it's, it takes an incredible amount of time to learn how to tune steel. So these guys would, would devote several years of their lives before they could even sell, you know, an instrument. Um, so I think first they were in for the right reasons. Second, a lot of the handpan makers up till now. Um, where we're doing 100% of the process and what I mean is today it's easy to buy handpans, shells from a third party. Um, and to, to tune it. Uh, I mean it's not easy, but it's an available resource. Whereas in the early days and really sort of up til now, although that's changing, every handpan builder had to figure out, okay, uh, where am I going to get my steel? Where am I going to do the gas nitriding process? Where am I going to, you know, figuring out the layouts of the scales, uh, which size, which tools, which processes, how long to let it cure it. Um, so there's, there's all these variables that all these guys sort of owned. They, they all had their own special recipe, their own special ingredient. And I think that's incredibly good for, for us handpan players because we, we benefited from the, the diversity, um, of all these guys, uh, of, of all that they made. And as opposed to, you know, maybe in 20, 30 years there may only be a few handpan makers worldwide who, who own that, you know, the majority of the market, uh, who mass produce certain aspects or who outsource certain aspects. And so I think what what it does is it's less meaningful and thus less impactful experience.

Michael: It feels like it's almost like a pivotal point at the moment. I've just, I've just seen videos coming out of China where I think they're being mass produced. I'm not, I haven't really looked into it to be honest, but I, I, it just feels like that point in time and that I'm not saying that's wrong or right or anything like that. I'm just kind of thinking back to one of the things that really drew me to the handpan in the beginning. And that was that it was, you know, crafted by hand and it was, there wasn't a, it wasn't all about profit and it was, it was more about creating something and then for that thing to be kind of passed on someone else and then for that person to be able to find those simple joys that we discussed. So it does seem like it's a, a pivotal point at the moment. And I guess, yeah, now I better understand why you're, why you think this is the golden age.

Sylvain: And again, like that's what I say because I am drawn to these, um, extra-ordinary connections. Uh, if, if more, you know, cheap mass produced handpans give more people the opportunity to belong because you know, back to the tension that we talked about earlier, if handpans are rare, if hand pins are very expensive, then they're not very accessible. And you know, we know how it feels to be in and I think to be on the inside to be insiders. And I think if we think back to where we were when we were out, when we were outsiders, we wanted in, you know, and I think that, um, we have to be afraid. We have to be careful of that self preservation instinct, you know, making rules that are impossible to follow or standards that are impossible to meet. We were once given the chance to belong to get in. And so we should also extend that chance.

Michael: Totally agree. And I feel like there is definitely, you know, something positive to be said about more people being able to have the chance to feel like that and to spread the beauty of the instrument as well. It seems, it's just an interesting topic, isn't it? yeah. So, um, what's, what's on the horizon for you at the moment? Cause you've, you've produced music as well and I think you, you mentioned that your, you recently became self employed.

Sylvain: Yup. It's been over a year now of, of being self employed. Um, it's been such an interesting journey. Um, you know, I think where I am at is I see the risk of turning this thing, uh, self-employment, um, into just another rat race. I mean, you leave the corporate world because you want more freedom, but you can turn your, your company, your business into just another, um, trap, you know. So I think my goal is to grow my business better, not bigger. Um, and so it's to have just a selection of hand pans that I feel really, really good about about people I love on my website for folks to check out and purchase if they so choose. Uh, it's to make meaningful podcast episodes that will inspire people and um, invite them, uh, to, to belong, to be a part of this thing that's been so special to me and really overall, um, just be content with, with keeping it small. I have no, no intention to, to, to turn this into something that I might resent at some point. Um, you know, if you think

Michael: yes, sounds like you need a lot of focus for what you're doing, you're really trying to keep your finger on the pulse kind of thing and try to make sure you're keeping track of the way you're doing things so that you do build things the right way.

Sylvain: Yeah. And you know, you talk to a lot of entrepreneurs, um, in entrepreneurship there's this hustle culture. Yeah. And the thing is you can never get enough of what doesn't fulfill you and, you know, more money, more visibility, more satisfying projects, that's all good. But if we all look in our own lives, there are a very few essential things that matter a lot. And typically it's the quality of your relationships, um, and, and your own wellbeing. So through quiet time and contemplative practice and, and just living in the moment, right. This super cliche phrase and so, you know, while growth can be an incredible thing. Um, but I think that, um, it can also distract us from, from the very essential, valuable things in our lives.

Michael: Yeah. I feel like, especially in regard to this, I feel like there's a link between this and like stoic philosophy for example, when they may say, you know, being able to live with a little bit less, uh, just so that you can appreciate kind of where you're at and so that, you know, you can can live like that and you still will survive. And being able to kind of appreciate that you're alive and experience every day to not only to its fullest, but just to have an experience of being alive every day. I think that's such an important thing that when you're inside this hustle, it can easily become overlooked when you're always trying to get bigger, better get more things or whatever it might be, just wherever, if your mind's not in this kind of place where you're able to recognize those simple joys, those small beauties. But yeah, I resonate so strongly with that because I feel like I'm at a very similar point in my journey and I really, uh, I w I remember you launching the podcast at the moment. I'm actually, this is going to be one of the new episodes. So I'm really excited about. That's why I got so excited before I chat today. And I feel, I feel as though I really want to do things right at this time. I found, I found my niche, I guess for lack of a better word, I've found the thing that really, you know, makes me feel good inside. And, and the most important element of that is actually to be able to be of service and to somehow, um, help others, whatever that might mean to me. So I, I feel like it is very important to just keep track of where we are and where we're heading. And, you know, it's not easy, but it definitely, it's worthwhile.

Sylvain: Yeah. I mean, I think that's, that's awesome that you're, you have renewed passion because it is hard. Um, especially with podcasting because podcasting is one of these terms that means everything and it means nothing. You know, there are podcasts produced by NPR and, and, um, this American life and super heavily produced, um, content with, you know, a team of a dozen writers. And, and engineers and producers. And there is one man podcasts, where you do all aspects of the show, especially in a kind of setup where you have interviews and conversations, you know, scheduling those interviews, preparing your questions, um, it can be really draining. Um, and I think through that hustle we can lose the vision. Um, and it sounds like, um, you know, it's a healthy thing to take some breaks and you know, in retrospect, I really wish I took the summer off of my podcast, which I sort of did anyways, but I just didn't make that official. Uh, because I needed space. I needed space to recharge my own creative battery in order to produce meaningful, you know, episodes. Um,

Michael: I feel like there's some, there's a sense of, I don't know what it is, but it builds something not, I'm not sure if hustle is the right way to put what I'm specifically talking about. But I think when it comes to like discipline having like a consistency of episodes, I feel like just the practice of that would build something kind of within myself. And I see the podcast is like, I feel like it's a very nice investment because through conversations you really, I don't know, for me anyways, I feel like I'm really doing something that I love doing and it's, it's just like paying the handpan. So I think, yeah, I don't know. There's, there's like an aspect of discipline and, and personal lessons I guess that you can really draw from any, anything that you do. Like I'm sure there's plenty of lessons within, you know, from playing the hand pan in your journey through that, that correlated to your own life. So that's Interesting.

Sylvain: Well, I think that you're right, it is so satisfying to create, to what, right, whether you create a podcast episode or you create a song or you take a photograph for you, you know, do a, um, a film your videography. Um, I, I partly think we're, we are made to create, so, um, it is a worthy cause, you know, even the discipline is a worthy thing to have, um, to intentionally hold yourself to a certain schedule or standard. Um, that's a worthy thing.

Michael: Do you feel like taking the breaks like helps? Like is there kind of like a, not a strategy but like a way to kind of stop things becoming like while losing passion?

Sylvain: So I've heard you speak about Seth Godin in previous episodes, so I'm gonna kind of point to what he says and that has helped me a lot. So the two questions that Seth Godin asks or asks you to ask about your own project is one, what's it for, two, who's it for? So, you know, applied to my own podcast. What's it for? This is not work. This is not a monetized, it's not a business venture. My podcast is a passion project and so if the goal is for it to be meaningful, then I will allow myself to take some, some liberties and to allow myself space to regroup and schedule the conversations that I want to have with the people I want to chat with. Um, now apply that same question. If it was work, if you were employed to produce a podcast, what's it for? Well, you know, that's, there's an expectation, there's a purpose.And so it changes the strategy entirely. And then obviously who is it for? Is it going to tend to be for people who are kinda like us? So, you know, for me, um, I don't care about comparing hand pan brands. I don't care about gathering the latest information about hand pans and handpan gatherings. I just want to hear people's stories. So that's what people are gonna get through the podcast. And that's not for everybody, right? Some people are not going to resonate with the deep conversations and the topics that are explored. Um, but it's because it's specific that it's meaningful. Because if it was general, then anyone could do it.

Michael: Yeah. That's makes total sense to me. And I think allowing things to happen naturally and to do things in a natural way, it really, it becomes more authentic. And it's what, it's something that you're creating that's, uh, it's for you, but you're also serving other people with that, that it's just like this cup over flowing, kind of thought of when everything's over flowing with you and you're doing things for the right reasons and you're aligned with everything and that's happening, happening naturally. And there's no kind of, you're not forcing it. Everything feels kind of right and you're doing, you're following your intuition with it. I think that overflows and other people, you know, that that really affects other people. And I think that's a great thing.

Sylvain: Well, I think you're right. I think humans are very sensitive to authenticity and truthfulness, right? Like we've all, most of us have had the experience of walking up to a car dealership and there's a car salesman approaching us and you can tell within the first three seconds of that interaction whether they're genuine or not. So we have this like, you know, Spiderman like sense, um, we pick up on these things and, um, maybe not all of us, maybe some of us are oblivious to it and, and we all have our own biases. Um, but yeah, the, the way I look at it is, um, that's the only way it can be. Otherwise, you will, um, resent yourself for doing something that's not meaningful for you. Um, like, you know, I'm sure you get just as much from each of your podcast conversations personally as you get from sharing it publicly. There's a lesson there and for everyone listening who's not maybe a podcaster, which I'm assuming is most listeners, there's this anti-climactic thing that happens when you've worked on a podcast episode and you've thought so much about it. You've been so inspired doing the editing and producing this nice little packaged product and then you publish it and it's very anti-climactic. It's, it's, it's very not sensational of an experience. It's released that it's free. Here you go, fly into, you know, like a bird that flies into the sky, but there's not this earth shattering celebratory that happens. Very inconsequential action at the time. Do you relate with that?

Michael: I feel like, yeah, definitely. I like to have little mini celebrations though. So like after this podcast I'll probably like do something to celebrate.

Sylvain: Oh, that's cool.

Michael: Yeah, it's just something small and it's just like, cause I haven't actually relaunched the podcast yet, but I'm looking, um, I don't, I wouldn't say looking forward to, but I think it would be a nice moment when the podcast is released and it's like a little mini celebration cause I feel like those kinds of things help, I don't know, pushed that anticlimax in the other direction a little bit. Cause it is, it is quite full on sometimes when you just send things into the abyss, you know.

Sylvain: I think that's an excellent idea. And if you're okay with it, I'm going to apply it to my own experience with podcasting. It's, it's very healthy too because you do put a lot of work into, you know, doing this and so it's, it's worth celebrating.

Michael: Yeah. I made this, made this decision in my life recently and it was, it's been something that's been troubling me for awhile because it was this kind of back and forth between trying to, you know, come up with, cause I sold all my things and I left and this big journey a couple of years ago and I've been trying to come up with a way to make some money so that I can survive so I can kind of live the life that I want to live. And, um, I recently was faced with this. I found a way to make a lot of money online and, but I knew that it wouldn't really fulfill me and I had these podcasts on the other end, which I'm not sure when I'll be able to kind of have things going to a point where, um, I'm supported. But I, I just feel like it's, it's worth doing anyways because I really just want to make some space, something special and put it out there. So I find it very interesting. Um, but I do believe in not doing something because you need to get something back from it. It needs to be like a genuine thing that you really put out there into the world for its own sake. Um, so I, yeah, I just really resonate with what we were talking about in a lot of ways.

Sylvain: Yeah. There are some economic realities, right, of living in capitalist countries. I mean, you have, you know, food, housing, transportation, utilities, uh, clothes, right? Like we all need those things and, um, money does not grow on trees. So we do have to, um, compromise in our ideals. But also if you've got this thing inside of you that needs to come out, you can try to repress it for awhile, but ultimately, um, it's got to come out. And I think that, you know, the tragedy of, of history sometimes is there are certain books that have become classics, which were published after the death of the author and they thought it wasn't good enough, and yet the world unanimously recognized the genius of their work. And, you know, you kind of wished that you could tell that author during their lifetime. Thank you. That was, that impacted me. Um, so it's a grand comparison and I don't claim to have any where the amount of of um, influence or even goodness to give to the world. But I'm sure you've experienced it too. It's, it's really good to hear from someone that you have blessed them in however smaller way that maybe that you've impacted their lives and that is a worthy pursuit, I think, worth sacrificing on certain other things in our lives.

Michael: yeah, well said. I just want to say thank you so much for having this chat with me today. Sylvain. Um, I wanted to know, I really wanted to know, um, what some of these podcasts work cause you said you're a podcast junkie and what are you into, what would you say would be some interesting stuff to check out in regards to the podcasts or books or anything?

Sylvain: Yeah. Okay. So we'll start with podcasts. Um, the one show that got me into podcasting was over 10 years ago. I was probably 14 years ago. It's a show called stuff you should know. Um, it's one of the good ones, top ranked in podcasts, in podcasts app. And quite frankly, you know, English is, is a second language for me. And I feel like these guys, Josh and Chuck on this show, I've learned so many idioms, so many expressions through them. And the beauty of podcasting is if you listen to someone's voice for so many hours and you feel like they're your best friend, you know, you feel like you know them intimately. Uh, so this podcast stuff you should know is very dear to my heart. Um, you know, there's a few others, uh, more recently the ground up show from Matt D'Avella.

Michael: I like that one a lot.

Sylvain: So I like that a lot. Um, 99% invisible as both a totally fascinating to me, but also I can't listen too much because it makes me feel bad about my own podcasts. You know, it's the kind of podcast that's so well-produced. It could be a radio show. I think there's, you know, a big budget and incredible amount of talent in storytelling and crafting, um, soundscapes and, uh, just a powerful experience. Um, man, if anyone out there has not listened to serial, just go, go down season one and next time you're on an international flight instead of having your eyes hurt at this low resolution, a screen in front of you, just close your eyes, listen to like 10 hours of cereal. Um, it's kind of true crime podcasts and that 10 hour flight will go in the blink of an eye.

Michael: you said you were into philosophy earlier. Have you heard of that? Philosophize, these podcasts?

Sylvain: No. Tell me about it.

Michael: It's amazing. It's, it's, it's really well put together and this guy goes over different philosophies throughout the ages, I guess. And he just speaks, he just speaks about them in a really a way that's easily digestible, I guess in this, in this world where there's some real crazy things going on and a lot of things are, you know, very flashy. This is a very simple podcast and it just gives you a deeper understanding into like philosophy. I really like it. You should check it out.

Sylvain: I will.

Michael: And what about books? Are there any, anything you've read recently that you've really enjoyed, um, something that's stood out or is there, is there anything that you would give to someone else or is there a particular book that you have given quite a lot?

Sylvain: Um, let's see. So what I'm reading right now is a book called the sacred Enneagram. Um, I don't know if the Enneagram concept has, um, popped up in Australia yet. Um, it's, it's a niche interest, but it's kind of a, the way I understand it. It's an ancient wisdom around personalities, human personalities, and it helps us to find our true self, um, and what the best version of ourselves could be. So there's nine types. It, there's a diagram called the Enneagram with nine different points. Um, and it's a book that goes into that. Now the value of this is we interact with people day in and day out. And the reality is we each see the world very differently from one another. And also how we see ourselves in the world is different. So how do we, how do we kind of connect with other people? Um, this book has helped me to better understand my wife and the way she looks at the world and to better empathize with her.

Michael: That sounds great. And it's going well? It's a good one.

Sylvain: Yeah, it's, I'm, this is one that I'm going to have to reread it a few times to sort of really digest.

Michael: sounds like. Yeah.

Sylvain: But, uh, yeah, I'm really enjoying it.

Michael: Cool. Definitely check them out. Uh, well just wanted to say thanks again for coming on the show. So vain. I wanted to know if I'd be able to, and you feel free to say no as well. I wanted to know if I'd be able to use a couple of tracks from one of your albums to play during the episode just so maybe people got a deeper understanding of, of you three are playing in some weird way.

Sylvain: Yes, absolutely.

Michael: Okay. Thank you. Well, thank you. Thank you so much. It's been, it's been really cool to have this chat and I think we touched on some amazing things. Uh, and um, I'm really looking forward to throwing it out into the abyss.

Sylvain: Yeah. Well thank you, Michael.

Michael: And celebrating.

Sylvain: Yes. Oh, thank you for that tidbit of, of just lifestyle design. I think that's gonna enhance podcasting for me.

Michael: Lifestyle design. I wouldn't go that far.

Sylvain: Well celebrating after you've done something you feel good about. I liked that. Yeah. But yeah, man, thank you for reaching out. I mean, I can't emphasize enough how beneficial what you're doing is, um, you know, for the rest of us, like I've listened to a couple of your episodes, but I'm, I'm really dying to like listen to them all because I think there's actually a few guests of yours that I know personally.

Michael: Really?

Sylvain: Well, I think there's a few handpan players and handpan related people. Ah, cool. Um, I've just seen their, their names in the kind of browsing through that list and um, it's been really invigorating, um, to, you know, to, to meet you cause we, we've never met and um, to have a chat. So thank you for being brave enough to, to reach out to a stranger and, and orchestrating this. And last but not least, I would be honored to have you on my podcast sometime soon, if you're willing.

Michael: That sounds amazing and I'd love to join you on this show and yeah, I just feel like giving you a hug now, but I'll give you a digital hug and yes, I'll let you go, but we'll, we'll stay in touch and that sounds like, yeah, another chat. Why not?

Sylvain: That's, I'm very glad we can look forward to our next conversation then. Thanks for everything Michael.

Sylvain: Well, I hope you enjoyed this different kind of episode. If you did, I encourage you to subscribe to the good people effect podcast where Michael interviews super interesting people beyond just the world of hand pans. I thought he was a very thoughtful interviewer and I think you'll really enjoy the pace and the style of his show. Okay, so how did this feel? A bit different from usual? Huh? This conversation was not originally intended to be published under the handpan podcast, but I'm glad I get to pull the curtain and show you the behind the scenes because there's more to that story. I had been wondering how to share this for awhile and then this came up so it felt like it was an organic way to make it happen. So thank you for allowing me. Now that we're done with part one, I invite you the checkout part two, which is me interviewing Michael. So back to the normal format of this show. You already heard Michael as the interviewer in this episode, so you know what a great conversationalist he is and also how charming his accent is. I think you'll find that next episode particularly impactful not only because of the amazing adventures he's been on, but because of how vulnerable he is opening up and sharing personal lessons. He's had to learn the hard way. Again, there's more to that story. That's in part two. So I will see you there. As always, show notes and more goodies as you heard on this podcast are at Thanks for listening to this episode and talk to you in the next one.

Sylvain: Well, I hope you enjoyed this different kind of episode. If you did, I encourage you to subscribe to the Good People Effect podcast where Michael interviews super interesting people beyond just the world of handpans. I thought he was a very thoughtful interviewer and I think you will really enjoy the pace and the style of his show.

Okay, how did this feel? A bit different from usual, huh? This conversation was not originally intended to be published under The Handpan Podcast but I'm glad I get to pull the curtain and show you the behind the scenes, because there's more to that story. I had been wondering how to share this for a while and then this came up so I felt like it was an organic way to make it happen. Thank you for allowing me.

Now that we're done with part 1. I invite you to check out part 2 which is me interviewing Michael. So, back to the normal format of this show. You already heard Michael as the interviewer in this episode. So you know what a great conversationalist he is, and also how charming his accent is! I think you'll find that next episode particularly impactful, not only because of the amazing adventures he's been on, but because of how vulnerable he is, opening up and sharing personal lessons he's learned the hard way. There's more to that story. That's in part 2, so I will see you there! As always, show notes and more goodies (as you heard on this podcast) are at Thanks for listening to this episode and talk to you in the next one.

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