You ever have one of those moments where you’re certain you’ve accidentally walked into a music video production? Or am I the only one that stumbles into dream-like scenarios while traveling? I’ve walked through billowing white sheets lit up with neon lights (The Delano, Miami), watched a vase shatter against a wall in slow motion (don’t ask me where, I’m sometimes clumsy), and have even had doves fly in from out of nowhere while being seduced by trance-like music outside a medieval cathedral. That last one happened to me recently while getting lost in the winding streets of Girona, Spain. I honestly expected a fog machine to que at any moment and for the entire entourage of Enigma to step out from behind the stone walls of the city.
But this wasn’t the work of an entire band, or even a electric synthesizer. Just the beautiful sound of one man in a zen’d out state, completely in tune with the mystique of this medieval city. Turn up the volume on your computer, close your eyes, and have a listen …
(Read more just below the video)
Even though I grew up in a house full of musicians and have traveled quite a bit, I have never seen or heard anything like this. I dropped 10 Euro into this busker’s hat, grabbed his last cd for sale and did some googling to find out what this cool turtle shell drum thingy was. Turns out it’s called a ‘hang‘ and was developed in Bern, Switzerland as recently as the year 2000. Leave it to Bern to invent something with an out-of-this-world look and sound. I found more information on OddMusic.com that explained the way a hang is made: “The hemispheres are hardened by a process known as gas-nitriding. This is a thermal treatment process in which nascient hydrogen atoms diffuse into the steel and form nitride compounds with many of the alloys in the steel.” Yup. That’s definitely made in Bern.
Though a hang may be made in Switzerland, I’ll still always associate it’s sooth and calming rhythms with Girona. Since I first experienced this complex yet melodic sound in Spain, it’s become a sort of soundtrack to my travels there.
If you would like more information about the musician, you can check out his website at RamonSeijo.com.
My travels to Spain were sponsored by Visit Girona. All the ‘ah, wonder, and opinions’ are my own.