The design of the Iskra is based upon the PANArt hang for one main reason; simplicity.
Music is a powerful tool for all beings. It allows expression and creativity. However, learning to create music on a piano, a violin, or countless other instruments can take years of practice.
Percussion, luckily, is the most straightforward means of creating music. Coupled with pitched and modal instruments such as handpans, beautiful music can be created with ease, no matter the skill level of the player.
Today, many handpan builders are always trying to cram as many notes as possible onto the instrument. While this may be enticing for the experienced handpan player, it can be quite intimidating to the newer handpan hobbyist.
The simplicity and intuitiveness of the original form is why the handpan is so special in the first place. It’s a proven form, and Symphonic Steel will stick with it.
The biggest barrier for entry into the handpan world is the high cost of the instrument, that’s a fact.
It is no secret that building a handpan is extremely difficult. It takes tens of thousands of hours of practice to become a proficient tuner of handpans. One could liken learning to build and tune handpans to obtaining a high level degree from a university. Building a handpan is not a weekend project!
Over the past several years, the production methods of the Iskra handpan have been painstakingly improved in every way possible. These efforts have resulted in a reduced cost for both materials and labor.
Instead of trying to add value to the instrument by making time-consuming and intricate designs on the handpan, or by adding more notes, we have kept our approach simple and repeatable.
Because of this philosophy, the price of the Iskra handpan has been lowered, while at the same time having a quality that stands above other instruments at the same, or higher, price point.
This continues to be our direction here at Symphonic Steel. We want every person in the world to have access to these amazing instruments, and making them more affordable is the most effective way of achieving that goal.