Rebecca Dancyger began her handpan journey in 2011, when she discovered the
instrument online. She, like most people, immediately put herself on on
a few waitlists and buckled down for some long waits. After about one year she received
her first handpan, a Bali Steel pan, and started to play!
Shortly after receiving her handpan, a local handpan player messaged
Rebecca on the handpan forum. He explained that he lived close by, that he too played
handpan, and that he was even in the process of teaching himself how to build them.
He invited Rebecca to come jam, check out the work he was
doing, and even invited her to swing a sledgehammer and help sink shells. That local
player was the one and only Jon Antzoulis.
Rebecca and Jon finally connected in late 2012 and together, while creating an
everlasting friendship, sank shells by hand. About one year after Rebecca and Jon met,
Aura started to grow and there was a need for a better and faster way to create shells. An
air compressor and a pneumatic hammer were purchased to sink shells more effectively.
Rebecca immediately wanted to get her hands on the pneumatic hammer and discovered
that she was pretty good at using the hammer!
Rebecca sank shells for some time, but by the winter of 2015, she was hungry to
learn more. Jon had gotten to a place where he was producing very fine instruments and
agreed to take her on as an apprentice. Together, Rebecca and Jon jumped right into
learning and teaching. Rebecca learned how to sink smoother shells and how to make
dimples and tonefields. Next Rebecca learned how to tune. Over the next year Rebecca
learned more and more about building handpans and how to develop and refine her skills.
By 2016, Rebecca established a well rounded understanding of the art of building
handpans, grew largely as a handpan player, and gained much more musical knowledge.
She now happily hammers away full time and continues to learn and refine the skills of
building and playing handpan.