With its distinctive UFO design and its mysterious, magical sound, if ever there was an instrument that had been plucked straight out of dreamland, it would most certainly be the Handpan.
The handpan, also known as the hang drum, hangpan and spacedrum, is a surprisingly modern instrument with an ancient and mystical sound - ideal for meditation and relaxation.
The original instrument - the Hang - was invented by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer of PANArt, in Bern, Switzerland in the year 2000.
However, the small production numbers and the high price of the original instrument made finding an original Hang drum for sale a near impossibility.
Fortunately now, wonderful companies such as Nature Pan Music, have brought the instrument to a wider audience.
The hand pan itself is a perfect tool for experimenting with the ability to practice and explore creativity within the dreamscape.
Firstly, it is a deceptively simple instrument, often with only 8 to 11 notes - depending on the design. This is a very easy musical system for the mind to model within a dream.
Secondly, the instrument is versatile. It allows for complicated and beautiful tunes that rely on dexterity and an understanding of the physics and resonance of the instrument.
This creates an ideal combination between simplicity and complexity - an ideal balance for pushing the learning and modelling abilities of the dreaming brain.
Once you can easily memorise the basic sounds of the instrument, the question then becomes: can we use this fundamental information to practice (and improve) on a dream version of the handpan within a lucid dream?
I've always been somewhat of a hobbyist musician. For the longest time, I'd longed to play on a hangpan.
Late last year I had the pleasure to discover that a new friend of mine was both an owner of the instrument and a talented player.
She was kind enough to allow me the occasional use of her pan.
During this very limited use, I made a concerted effort to memorise the scale and workings of the instrument - with the plan to then create my own duplicate within my lucid dreams.
The plan was a success!
For several months, I had access to the real-world hang drum for perhaps a handful of hours. However, I had set myself the challenge to learn to play it within my dreams.
This I managed to achieve with only minimal effort. I simply set the intention each night to use my lucid dreams as a practice session.
Surprisingly, my dreaming mind had little trouble recreating the instrument - working from my carefully observed waking memories. So, I set about regular dream practice sessions, using any time spent in a lucid dream as a personal music lesson.
As my skills improved, I eventually decided upon the idea of composing a tune within the dreamscape. Something I have done before, but never with an instrument so unfamiliar as this hand pan!
So, on the night of June 6th, 2017, I decided to conjure a favourite musician of mine - Simon Posford of "Shpongle" - into my lucid dream. The plan was to share a "lucid jam session".
The plan was a success and as anyone who follows my YouTube channel will know, upon waking I immediately set to record the music composed within the dream (full dream details can be found in the YouTube video description):
As the video circulated the internet, I was pleasantly surprised to make contact with Juris Zvejnieks, a hand pan creator and the owner of Nature Pan Music.
Juris was so inspired by the concept of combining lucid dreaming creativity with the handpan, that he very kindly decided to sponsor my lucid musical explorations by supplying The Lucid Guide project with one of his own wonderful creations.
As a testament to the kindness of strangers, the power of exploring new ideas and the wonder of the lucid dreaming community, I'm now the proud owner of a Nature Pan Music hand pan!
This is wonderful news and means that I shall now be in a position to research and explore this concept much further, while also creating unique meditative music for the lucid dream community.
So, should you wish to become a lucid handpan player yourself, I highly recommend the work of Nature Pan Music. Juris' company is clearly one based on creativity, kindness and passion. You'd be in very good hands.
As Juris and got to know each other, I decided there was a unique opportunity for an entirely new challenge. For the next few months, I shall be using my increasing knowledge of the Pan to work within my lucid dreams to attempt to develop a "lucid pan" - the first handpan to be designed within a lucid dream!
Who knows. Within a few months, we may have an instrument that sounds like a dream, can be learn't in dreams and was created within a dream. What a testament to the power of lucidity that would be!
If you’re feeling inspired and have decided to look for a handpan for sale, please be sure to check out Nature Pan Music.
Their kindness and generosity towards helping to push lucid dream exploration and creativity further really deserves the support of the community.
So - if you're looking to explore the handpan yourself - then you couldn't ask for a better place to start:
Have you ever seen a tiger in the clouds? How about Jesus in the gnarled bark of a tree - or Richard Dawkins in a coffee stain? This peculiar quirk of human psychology goes by the rather lovely sounding name of Pareidolia (say: pah-ray-doh-lee-a). Many great scientists have pondered the origins of this trait. The simplest explanation is an evolutionary one: being able to detect predatory faces and figures amid background noise gives you a greater chance of surivival.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
Virtual reality is upon us. Shipping of the Oculus Rift began in April 2016. Vive launched in June. And Playstation VR breaks loose in October. These mind-expanding technologies are bringing interactive virtual worlds to gamers everywhere. But did you know that you already possess a far superior form of biological virtual reality? It stretches all the way back to before the discovery of fire. To the the dawn of our species.
Chloe is a natural lucid dreamer. That's to say that all of her dreams are conscious (lucid), highly realistic and incredibly vivid. She can remember these dreams as far back as being a toddler. That level of mindfulness we regular folk strive to achieve in our dreams is always present in her nightly escapades. Her dreams, by default, are highly intense, profound and acutely self aware.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?