In 2006 Philip Maignaut and the Djoliba Music Store began a collaboration and research project that resulted five years later in the birth of the Spacedrum and a new company, SAS Metal Sounds. Metal Sounds, a small company based in Toulouse, France, today manufactures Spacedrums (a type of handpan), Zenkos (tongue drums), as well as now importing Steeldrums (steelpans), and other instruments.
The Metal Sounds Team
“We make and deliver up to 35 instruments each month in our workshop near Avignon, France."
Metal Sounds customers tend to be musicians, therapists, music schools, and ordinary people who enjoy their unique metallic, melodic percussion instruments.
Each instrument has it's story. The Zenko, for example, is a tongue drum (also called a “tank” drum or “hank” drum), originally built from a propane gas tank, which was then improved by Metal Sounds designer Elie Dacenko in collaboration with an industrial subcontractor. This stainless steel melodic percussion instrument spreads sound in smooth, soft waves. Its high harmonics content is the result of perfect tuning that remains stable over the years.
The Steeldrums used to be hand crafted in France until they found a need to make room for the new Spacedrum. The Steeldrums are now imported from Trinidad and Tobago where Metal Sounds partners with some of the best manufacturers and tuners on the island.
"Using specific tools, we offer a full range of Spacedrum designed and assembled with great care from selected stainless steel sheets (special alloy), using some mechanical process. The tuning, it is an art. This know-how acquired along the years is a guarantee of quality that we can now produce reliable and sound instruments."
Spacedrum® - The Handpan according Metal Sounds
SPACEDRUM®, the intuitive handpan, is a metal melodic instrument inspired by the original steel drum (aka the steelpan) and by the Hang® invented by PANArt® in 2000. Metal Sounds' handpans have been designed and handcrafted in France, since 2006. Metal Sounds was the first handpan producer in France and creator of the mutant concept with a 13 note chromatic stainless handpan. Also the handpans are available in different sizes. Constant innovation and developement is Metal Sounds' mission still to this day !
As everybody’s requirements, tastes and desires vary, Metal Sounds offers these 2 lines of handpans:
- The Spacedrum Evolution® is handmade from stainless steel, after our extensive improvements and hours of hammering we now offer the 5th generation of this handpan with its unique reversed note layout, with Ding as the first note on the scale. It is extremely easy to play, strong and powerfull with a sustained resonance. This is the perfect handpan for music-therapy or relaxation.
- The Spacedrum Nitro® is handmade from nitrided steel and gives a totally different sound to the Evolution®. This type of handpan or pantam is designed for musicians, percussionists and everybody who wants to groove to the music. The sound is soft and round, while the tones are precise and offer a choice for all percussive technics, when either played soft or dynamically.
The production quality and fine tuning of our handpans, with the selection of diverse scales (pentatonic, diatonic, harmonized) make the Spacedrum a renowned and respected musical instrument worldwide.