History of Aura:
Aura Handpan began as an experiment in 2011, when Founder and primary tuner Jon Antzoulis began toying with the idea of learning how to tune steel. What follows is the rest of the story...
From Humble Beginnings
The very first thing ever tuned by Jon Antzoulis was, in fact,
a pizza pan. The word "tuned" should be used loosely, as it was not in fact tuned against a tuner of any kind. However, it is still an important milestone in its own right, as the result was a vibrating membrane of steel, an important first step in the path of tuning steel.
Thats a handpan!
The next step after barrel lids was to start using sheet
metal, which Jon began to use in the fall of 2013. Sheet
metal provided a more uniform and higher quality canvas to
shape and tune, and allowed for the development of improved
shaping and tuning styles to truly take shape. There was a learning
curve, but after a few attempts, Aura's first "great" pan was tuned.
The Enigma (tuned in January 2014) was a giant step in the right direction,
and marks a new age in Aura's development.
Things Begin to Take Shape
Having transitioned from pizza pans and other pots and pans found around the house to 55 gallon steel barrel lids, things began to look and sound noticibly more "handpan" like. It was not until the fifth barrel-pan that things began to make sense. There was a long way to go--fifths were not tuned, and borders were not shaped properly--but it was once again a step in the right direction.