As the story goes... In the Spring of 2007, after spending some time teaching yoga in Europe, a man from the United States sold the strange UFO-shaped steel instrument he had bought in Switzerland (and toured Europe with) to a music store in the Southeast of France. That instrument was a rare PANArt Hang, number #1350 to be made.
That man sold his invaluable Hang to Pick-et-Boch, a renowned store in Lyon, France. It had been years since the store had seen one of these Swiss sound sculptures—inspired by the steel drum of Trinidad and Tobago. Between 2001 and 2003, they used to partner with the Hang makers, Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer, and sold only a few instruments to fortunate buyers right there in Lyon, France.
I had discovered the PANArt Hang a year before thanks to my cousin David Charrier. The instrument captivated my every thought but its rarity made it nearly impossible to buy... But in the Spring of 2007, one of my friends walked passed the Pick-et-Boch store and saw a Hang.
A phone call. A ride downtown. I am now at the store, the Hang is on my lap and I am amazed discovering this beautiful sound sculpture for the first time. On that day, in the Spring of 2007, I became the happy owner of #1350. It has been a marvelous journey since.
Pick-et-Boch never saw another Hang for sale. Whenever I visit France, I try to stop by and catch up with the wonderful staff who were there when my journey with the #1350 Hang started.
Photo: Taken at Pick-et-Boch with Sylvain (left) and Richard Pick (right) in January 2014
2018 Edit: A lot has changed since the early years of the Hang. While the Swiss invention is rarer than ever, it has paved the way for a new family of instruments called handpans. If you swing by Pick-et-Boch, who knows, you might stumble upon one of these beautiful instruments. I recommend you pay them a visit!