Welcome to Handpan Camp!

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Handpan Camp is a 5-day campout in the Pacific Northwest. Tune in to our group conversation as we revisit its inception, share highlights and anecdotes, and get a feel for the special energy that happens at a small handpan gathering. More at

Handpan Camp Highlights:

Documentary about Dan Price's Home:

Password: pictures

Podcast Transcription:

Sylvain: Hey, it's Sylvain and this is the Handpan Podcast. This episode was recorded at handpan camp, a five-day camp out in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the most beautiful places I've ever experienced. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. There've been multiple high-production documentaries made about this place and its caretaker: my good friend, Dan price, also known by some as Hobo Artist. Remember Dan from an earlier episode of the podcast, he lives in a Hobbit hole. Yep. A hobbit hall. I waited until late afternoon of day four, our last full day at Handpan camp, to record this conversation with our camp host Dan, but also with Bill Davies from Arizona and Dave Jones from Idaho. I always love the energy on that last full day of a vacation. It's a beautiful tension when you're aware it's coming to an end. It's not over yet, but you're already nostalgic. And so you want to make the most of what's left. That's how it felt that afternoon. It was a fun and spontaneous chat with these guys, recorded in a slightly different way compared to my other episodes. It's more immersive. You can hear the room we're in the rain outside. It just feels like you're there. So I'm excited for you to spend a few moments with us at Handpan Camp. Hope you enjoy the episode!

Dan: It's pretty quiet in here. Isn't it?

Bill: Yeah, it's nice.

Sylvain: Let's plug in that magic light.

Dan: Okay. That magic light...

Bill: Ohhhh, atmosphere!

Sylvain: Well, here we are on day four, the last night of handpan camp, 2021. Whew, what a week, huh?

Dan: It's been fun. Yeah.

Sylvain: So, I want to go back to before this week started actually way before over a year ago, Dan and I had a vision for a really small handpan gathering at his place. Dan, what made you want to host a handpan gathering and where are we? Why is this place special

Dan: Well, um, we're sitting in just kind of, uh, a meadow in rural Oregon, and it's a little simple living place. I've lived here for a long time and lived very simply. And it's just beautiful. I've kind of make it like a park here. So when people come here, they really like it. It's very peaceful. There's a river. And um, years ago when I got into handpanning, one of the first videos I watched was, uh, Island memories is, uh, a series of YouTube videos of these guys that went somewhere. I don't know the details, but a bunch of really good players went and on an island, I guess. And they camped out and they set cameras up and they would play and there was wood shopping and activity going on behind them and tents. And I, that, that image that just wouldn't go out of my head. And I thought I'd really like to do that here. And, and I, I never thought I would. Um, for two reasons, my place is a little delicate and you know, can get trampled pretty easy, but I just had to, have had to get over that because I can water and bring grass back. And it's this, it's just the land it's durable. And also myself has been, um, very, uh, not, not into having a bunch of people here. A few family members have camped here before. And I was like, when are you going to go? You know, so I mean, it's fun, but it's just, it's kind of a place for one person. I always thought. And now that we've come up with this idea to have a, uh, a camp here and play handpans, um, I'm just totally jazzed and I've kind of done a 180 entirely and I want it, can we just like do this, like all the time in the summer? I mean, just, just people just show up and yeah, it's an ongoing camp for three months. I mean, that's how I feel today. That's ridiculous, but we're going to try and do some more or maybe even this summer. So, cause it's really easy and I've gotten over all my worries about, oh, we're trampling this place, so I'm really into it.

Sylvain: And we so appreciate you opening your, your place. I could tell when we walked in that you were very protective of it, but you've been so generous and hospitable. Um, so thank you. Yeah. So I want to turn it over to Bill and Dave. Um, what made you want to come to handpan camp? Hmm.

Bill: Uh, handpans. Camping. Sure.

Dan: That's a good combination.

Bill: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Plus I respect everybody. You, I didn't know you, Dave, we've met, you know, we, you know, I do, I developed, you know, a respect. I mean, I consider you a friend now in the handpan world and stuff, but, uh, I, and I didn't know Dan personally, but I've heard of you, you know, and I knew Sylvain, so I just thought, you know, yeah, sure. Why not? You know, I mean, handpan gatherings were great, but smaller is better, you know, it's intimate, it's more, you really do get to know people better. So yeah, I was totally up for It.

Dan: I really agree with Bill, you know, when you're in a room with 120 people, it's hard to, you can talk to this little group and that little group, and it gets really confusing where I think that we've made a really cool friendship with us here and I never felt overwhelmed or thinking, well, I, you know, I've talked to this group enough, I'm seeing some guy over there, you know, that, that anxiety of trying to get around and talk to everybody that's not present here.

Sylvain: Right.

Dave: Yeah. And see, that's a little far I'm new enough that my first, uh, campaign gathering would have been the year that COVID was, came upon us. So whenever that was, feels longer than it was, but.

Sylvain: So this is your first gathering?

Dave: Yeah. So this is my first gathering.

Sylvain: It's the best one.

Dave: So I think for me, I mourned the missing Pantasia last year. I mourned this year that we didn't have it live. And because I had felt like I had done so much virtual stuff and being on screens is already not super fun for my brain. So I think the chance to just be with other people, this was a nice entry for me. You know, it was, I know you guys, that Bill, we just met, but you, I guess there's, there's a pretty common connection with, but people love this instrument and then I'll just play it, but they love it. And I knew that would be true of all of you. So I think the setting, I mean, frankly, yeah. You know, Dan, we met whenever we met, I've owned two of your handpans through Sylvain and Sylvain introduced me to you. And I think having gotten to know your story a little bit, and then, you know, we saw each other in Boise not long ago. And it was just felt like, wow, this, this is, like brothers, right? Like so many times, our paths are crossing and here's more, one more chance. And it really worked in with our summer plans with my family. And it's not that far from my house.

Dan: So would you come again? Or is this the only time you'll come here?

Dave: My family is on their way. We're actually going to live in the meadow, for the next three months. It was nice to hear you saying that, that you were hoping for that. So,

Dan: Okay. Well, we'll see how that goes.

Sylvain: Um, we all came from different parts of the country. Um, I woke up at 2:00 AM on Monday. My flight was a little early, smooth sailing. Not all of us had that privilege. Uh, something really unfortunate happened, Bill, what happened? Well,