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Handpan Maker Spotlight: Djangar Pan

For this week's edition of Handpan Maker Spotlight we're heading all the way to Slovakia to take a look at Djangar Handpans, where modern craftsmanship meets ancient inspiration. Named after a legendary Kalmyk warrior, Djangar, whose image wielding a handpan-shaped shield sparked the creative journey of founder Dušan Martinček. Djangar Handpans is not just any other handpan company but a one-man project fueled by passion and dedication. In this interview, we delve into Dušan's story, his discovery of the handpan, and the ethos driving his craft.

 


 

What is your company name? And what is the meaning/inspiration behind it?


Djangar is the name of a Kalmyk epic warrior who was accompanied by signs from birth. When I first saw a picture of him, he had a handpan-shaped shield in his hand. Therefore the name Djangar Pan.


 

Who is your company run by? Do you work alone or with a team of people?


I work alone. I'm kind of a one man show!

 

Year Founded:


2013


 

Location:


Slovakia


 


 

How did you first discover the handpan?


I saw the handpan on YouTube for the first time. Shortly after that, at an event, I met a boy from Israel who had a Space Drum. There, I had the opportunity to try the handpan live for the first time.


 

What made you decide to start building handpans?


Before making handpans I made various musical instruments such as didgeridoo, shaman drums, flutes, as well as stringed ethnic instruments. It was a hobby in addition to work. After 20 years, I left my job and suddenly I had enough time to experiment. I wanted to make a handpan for myself. When I made my first playable handpan, I showed it to a friend, I made another for this friend, then another for a friend's friend... and I haven't stopped making since then!



 


 

What is your goal as a handpan builder?


Probably the same as most builders I know from the handpan community. To make the best handpans for people, which they will enjoy playing. I try to make this world a better place with my handpans. For me, the handpan is not only a musical instrument, but also an tool that brings people together, and I am so happy about the great community of people that has formed around this instrument all over the world.


 

What are your most and least favorite things about being a handpan builder?


I really like to play handpan and for me, as a handpan builder and player, the biggest benefit is that if I like a scale that I haven't done yet, I can just make it myself, and that is always a great inspiration for personal growth, both as a builder and as a player.


 

What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring handpan makers?

Only the steel can teach you how to work with steel.


 


 

If you could only play one handpan scale for the rest of your life what would it be and why?


I've noticed that most handpan players prefer the scale that they learned to play on in the beginning. If someone started with Kurd, they like Kurd and don't like Celtic, and if they started with Celtic, they don't like Kurd. If I had to choose only one, at the moment D Kurd 17, but I also like Pygmy and Hijaz.


 

What's one interesting fact about you, your company, or your instruments?


I went through the entire handpan production system myself, with only some theoretical information from the Internet. No one ever showed me or said do this this way or that way. My whole teaching system was try and cry. I had to make all the mistakes first to create a path that works. It's probably the hardest way to learn how to make handpans, but I know exactly what I'm doing and why I'm doing it that way.


 

Do you take custom orders?


Yes, if I see the point in it, and physics don't rule it out.


 

Do you have instruments currently available to purchase?


Yes, I mostly have a few instruments in the most common scales ready for direct sale.


 

Do you have a waiting list? If so how long?


No. At the beginning, I had a waitlist and it is a system that does not suit me personally.


 


 

For more information about Djangar handpans:


 

Looking to buy your first handpan? We've got you covered! Planet Handpan partners with the world's best handpan makers to get you an instrument you're sure to love. Every builder, every sound model, and every instrument is individually selected by us to guarantee you end up with a handpan that is truly the best of the best.


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