Came across this review of myself on the Handpans Magazine website. What nice words, made my little day :)
"And while perhaps, complete mastery of the HandPan is something that can never be achieved by anyone in one lifetime, Colin Foulke comes as close as any of the other ‘big names’ in Hang / HandPan music. And his fourteen track self-titled album, featuring tunes such as the majestic ‘Steel Storm’, and the ding-singing dark lullaby ‘Goodbye’, recorded using five different HandPan, and a variety of other worldly instruments, will, and without meaning to sound cliché, 'stir the soul', and at times soothe it too."
Read the full review here:
As the HangoutUK 2011 came to a close, a small group of us decided to make a run for Stonehenge before we all had to go back to our respective corners of the world. Lucky enough we had two Halos (my Aegean and a Golden Gate) that were perfect compliments, not to mention we had the halo creators as well (Kyle Cox and Jim Duson).
Kyle and I decided to share this special moment in time with a 15 minute jam session in front of this Mideveil Wonder of the world!
People from around the world raised funds to send me to Canada. Why you ask? So i could visit and play music with a wonderful 76 year old fan of handpans. Read in detail about my experience here:
It was due time to do a write up as I have been traveling with handpans extensively for the last year (both nationally and internationally). Nothing too formal, just some things I have learned along the way:
- A Halo will fit through security scanners (not at Oakland airport though according to a friend) but will barely fit!
- Hang/BEll will fit through scanners no problem
- If you get a chance, take a look at the scanner when your 'pan goes through, awesome!
- Security might ask you what it is...always out of curiosity (they have never seen one before). My typical answer (albeit inaccurate) so as not to raise eyebrows is that its a steelpan/cymbals/a relative of the gong. Most people will know what those are and wont ask anymore questions.
- Always keep a close eye on it when its in other people hands...you never know. Always say 'fragile/one of a kind/irreplaceable.' This words will resonate with them.
- If you are checking it in a hard case, see if you can watch if security wants to open it up and search it. They wont let you touch it but you can instruct them how to repack it. 9 times out of 10 they will put it in wrong.
- You can ask for fragile stickers when you check your hard case. Can't hurt!
Waiting to board
- You can carry on any handpan but almost all of them technically are 'too big' by airlines' standards
- I always play before boarding if I can. Its good positive attention which can come in handy later (more on that)
- When checking in to board I usually carry the 'pan on the opposite side of the ticket agent, no need to bring extra attention. If I am carrying on 2 I will do the same and put one on my back.
- It is possible with most airlines to pre-board...usually reserved for families of people who need more time to board. I will ask to preboard and explain what I am traveling with and that 'It will make me feel better' if I can get on early. Usually works.
- Some airlines require a small fee to pre-board. I will pay that fee when traveling with 2 pans...worth $9 in my book.
- Once boarding, I immediately tell a flight attendant what I'm traveling with. Again, key words "fragile/one of a kind/irreplaceable" help. Often times they will give me extra/private storage. When in doubt, inflate the price $10K/$20K...
- This is where playing before boarding can come in handy. Often times when I am explaining to flight attendant a fellow passenger will pipe in about how they heard/saw me playing and that its great...blah blah blah...nice to be validated by a stranger.
- I try to get an overhead compartment in front of my seat so it makes it easier to watch my pan.
- If I am traveling with 1 pan, I will look for overhead storage that is already half full. Ill put in the 'pan and then CLOSE the overhead. Most people will assume that if its closed, its full and wont mess with it.
- If I have 2, I will take my own compartment and CLOSE it.
- Sometimes if wont fit in an overhead, just try another one, they are different sizes/depths.
- During the boarding process, watch your 'pan like a HAWK, this is the time that it could get injured.
- I once took two 'pans on a plane where they didnt fit in the overheads...I explained to the flight attendant using those KEYWORDS and they moved people all over the plane. Gave me my own isle (2 seats) and then gave my Hang its own isle (2 seats) where it was tucked under the seat in front of it.
- Once the overheads were full so I found a small bag and asked who it belonged to. Some poor guy rasied his hand, so I gave it to him, politely asked him to place it at his feet and put my 'pan in the overhead. I felt like a jerk but...what can ya do?
- THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ONE...I took a flight and my 'pan didnt fit in the overhead and all the private storage was full. I was in an exit isle so the flight attendant told me that the only seat luggage can be LEGALLY buckled into is an exit isle. So I sacrificed my seat to my 'pan, buckled it in and took a regular seat. GOOD TO KNOW!
- Dan Waples share with me that a weeks worth of clothes can fit inside his Hang. This makes traveling so much easier but it makes explaining your 'pan to security exponentially harder!
- My Halo was severely damaged in transit back to the west coast from Handpangea. I check it in a brand new hardcase and it showed up damaged meaning it was damaged by TSA when they searched it. The zipper of the soft case had blown out, the rubber end had been split, the metal edge was totally bent and 3 notes were out of tune. Because I didnt notice and report it before 4 hours after my flight the airlines would do nothing. Lesson learned, ALWAYS check your pan at the airport as soon as it comes out of luggage!!!!
In conclusion, dont draw too much attention. Give minimal explanation in security. Inflate the price when talking to flight attendants and dont take no for an answer. There is ALWAYS a way!!!! Dont take your eye off your pan if others are handling it or until all passengers are seated!
GOOD LUCK and report in if you have any other tips!
Continue the conversation here!