Everything starts from a simple sheet of steel. A special quality of steel, however, called ferro dolce in Italian. A particularly low-carbon variety, more similar to the iron that we find in nature in its molecular structure.
First, the bending: the sweet steel takes the form of a couple of twin shells, carefully modeled by a lathe. Then, the Gu is carved, its rim bended and refined by hand with a blowtorch. The basic shapes have emerged.
The two halves are now ready for a transformation by fire. Heated in an air-proof, high temperature chamber saturated with nitrides, the raw elements slowly start to change: to harden. The vaults turn to a smoother, more seric texture. Ten to fifteen hours will pass before they will be fully primed, carefully watched.
Freeing a Handpan's voice,
one mullet stroke at a time.
Then, it is time to rest. The two shells are placed in a lower temperature furnace, where the metal is allowed to settle, and stabilize. This is what Italian craftsmen call rinvenimento, literally: to return to consciousness. Finally, the two shells are left to cool down for good. Transformation by fire is over. The matter is now ready.
Still, no sound. This is where the Handpan voice is created, literally sculpted one stroke of mallet at a time. Craters and valleys appear: the dimples and the Ding. Each note is forged by hand and tuned by ear, many times a day for at least five days, in order to achieve a perfectly harmonic sound balance - just over 40,000 strokes of tuning mallet away. And yet, despite flawless tuning, you will not find a Handpan that sounds exactly like another. Why?
Like a human voice, each Battiloro Handpan is unique.
Freeing its voice is what we call a labor of love.