Show #49: The Hang

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Shaped like a UFO with a beautiful sound (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

Some instruments when you see them don’t look like what you had thought. The steel pan from Trinidad and Tobago is one. The Jew’s harp is another. And then there is the hang.

It was invented a decade or so ago by a Swiss pair, Felix Rohner and Sabina Scharer in Bern. The hang is made of two pieces of metal, then tuned by heating and hammering much like the steel pans of the Caribbean.  The hang comes in two models, the smaller tuned in the key of G, the larger one in B flat.

A few years ago, I was asked to play flute at a close friend’s wedding. I was to play with another close friend of the bride and groom, a guy who played the hang. I went to his place to rehearse. It was so easy: the alto flute is in G and so is the small hang. It was really fun playing the wedding.

The hang is played with both hands and there isn’t a wrong note. Anybody can do it. It has a wonderful sound as well. Unfortunately, I heard these were not being made anymore and there were cheap knockoffs circulating around. Caveat emptor: buyer beware! Today’s show contains 100% high end hang music from Ravid Goldschmidt who is an Israeli ex-pat living in Barcelona. He has recorded several albums. I like his solo project, Ravid Hang, but also really enjoy the album, Llama, with the wonderful Spanish singer Silvia Perez Cruz.


Rhythm Planet Playlist: 4/4/14

  1. Ravid Goldschmidt / Loca / Ravid Hang / M A Recordings
  2. Silvia Perez Cruz & Ravid Goldschmidt / Vestida De Nit  / Llama / M A Recordings
  3. Ravid Goldschmidt / Abaraka / Ravid Hang / M A Recordings
  4. Silvia Perez Cruz & Ravid Goldschmidt / Gitana / Llama / M A Recordings
  5. Ravid Goldschmidt / Waving Angels / Ravid Hang / M A Recordings
  6. Silvia Perez Cruz & Ravid Goldschmidt / Afrika / Llama / M A Recordings

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Here is Ravid in the process of recording a song:

Here is Ravid performing with Silvia Perez Cruz: