Aaron Ximm, also known as the Quiet American, is well-known for his One Minute Vacations project and his field recordings. In this casual recording, Ximm continues to be a quiet American as he experiments with a hang with calm, unearthly results.
"With the Hang, Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in
2000 invented a new instrument type, one with unique and, to my ear and hand, almost magical properties.
"From cold, gas-hardened steel they summon a blossoming, warm, eerily harp- or guitar-like tone. When the entire instrument is well-balanced, and especially when it is tuned evolved to suit the structure and properties of the instrument, it can truly sing like what Rohner calls a 'chorus of angels.'
"For many the sound is a revelation, even life changing. Words like 'mystical,' 'haunting,' 'otherworldly,' and the like appear regularly in people's reaction on first encountering it. Recordings do not do the instrument justice.
"The Hang has changed over the years, going through several generations as PANArt pursues that in it that they feel are its greatest strengths. As of 2011, its makers continues to innovate, refining and evolving the Hang not to be a musical instrument, but what they term a sound sculpture, in a sense different from that that we sound artists usually mean by that. They use this term, I believe, to emphasize that the Hang is not made to be 'performed upon' or with, but approached in a different way: as a reactive, mercurial and subtle sculptural form with which one engages in personal exploration and sonic dialog, ideally in isolation and without preconception of what is to emerge."
To learn the history of this modern instrument and more about Ximm's work with it, see his website from which the above was excerpted and where this allbum was originally released.
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