The Subject of the Website
In 1995 the steelpan tuners Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer began building steelpans of deep drawn and nitrided raw forms instead of steel drums. They called their new material Pang and filed a patent for this method. In the second half of the 1990s they dealt with an in-depth examination of the acoustic properties of the Pang sheet. A result of these activities was a new, hand played musical instrument, the Hang®, that was developed in 2000 and attracted worldwide attention in the following years. In 2003 the two tuners renamed their company PANArt Hang Manufacturing Ltd.. For many years they focussed work completely on building and further developing their sound sculpture Hang. This focus changed in 2013. As from then they developed a number of new Pang instruments.
Today PANArt builds the Hang® Bal, the Gubal®, the Hang® Gudu, the Hang® Urgu and various Pang string instruments. The PANArt team, that was extended in the meantime with Basil and David Rohner, also deals with the music played with these instruments – the Pang music .
The History of the Website
At the beginning, in November 2006, this website was a little blog about the Hang. At that time I had owned a Hang for merely a year and was searching for rare information on the Internet as well as contact with other hang players after I had noticed that PANArt’s website had been shut down.
In August 2007 I met Sabina Schärer and Felix Rohner during a visit at PANArt’s workshop in Bern. On that occasion I mentioned that I was publishing a blog about the Hang. I was surprised when I received a request in November 2007, asking if I was interested in publishing two papers from a symposium in Barcelona. From this first spontanous request a cooperation of trust developed. As PANArt was not interested in publishing its own website, hangblog.org became the medium for current publications by PANArt. Besides this I published my own articles and linked to everything published online about the Hang and its history in an Internet directory.
In 2010, I realized that the form of a blog was no longer adequate for the content I was publishing. Therefore I restructured the content of the website. The Hang Library came into being and the former blog was thereby grown into a comprehensive documentation project collecting publications from and about PANArt and its work and making it available to the public.
After a minor design change in 2014 that included the Gubal, I began working on a thorough revision in summer 2016. In 2013 PANArt had launched its own website again for its current publications of which I had become the editor in the meantime. The Hang was no longer built but quite a number of new Pang instruments were instead. The existing structure of the Hang Library was badly prepared to cope with these new developments. On the Internet the desktop computers had been overtaken by smartphones and tablets, while the layout of my website was hardly suitable for these devices.
The Website of Today
After the relaunch in February 2017 hangblog.org again provides a straightforward access to old and new publications about PANArt Hang Manufacturing Ltd. and its work.
- In the directories of the Hang Library all publications are listed together regardless of if they are published on hangblog.org or elsewhere.
- The Hangblog on the start page of the website provides short news and pointers to new publications. An RSS-Feed can be subscibed to.
- The new section For Readers in a Hurry provides easy access to basic information with recommendations for further reading for those who want to dig deeper.
- The new responsive layout with a plain design is nicely readable on desktop computers as well as on smartphones.
The website is bilingual, English and German. However, there are some publications released in English or German only.
As publisher I would like to express my gratitude to a number of persons without whom this website wouldn’t have become what it is now. Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer have opened the internal PANArt archive for me and given me the possibility to follow the history of the Pang instruments and to gain a deeper understanding during countless discussions over the years. Frank Sturm, with whom I ran the Hangforum from 2009 to 2014, supported this documentation project as a Hang player, friend and contributor to background discussions. Christine Studer did a number of English translations for this website, and Pierre Tchaikowski has proofread my English translations for the Relaunch 2017.
Additional Informationen about this website are available in the Site Info.