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The Kid Should See This

Handpan on Water, a river performance by Ethereal In E

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Musician Adam Foote, Ethereal in E, has built a loyal following by playing a handpan percussion instrument out in nature. Sometimes he’s playing in the snow with a flock of geese. Sometimes he’s comparing the sounds of salt and pepper on the ufo-shaped steel drum. Or he might be playing a tongue drum above Crater Lake in Oregon.

In the video above, Foote performs a song on a floating handpan in the calm water of a small river. The video is just one example of his playful online persona, an approach forged from life challenges that connected him to the unusual instrument. From Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Press:

“He began his career toward professional music on the street corner as a busker. Taking the money he earned from this, he recorded his first album, “Up.” Also, going door to door, Adam handed out his CDs to local businesses he thought might hire him to play live music in Coeur d’Alene. He then began performing at restaurants, yoga studios, festivals, lounges and retirement homes. Unfortunately, the quarantine decimated nearly all live music opportunities and it was time to adapt, which prompted Adam to focus on multiplying his Facebook following from 40,000 to more than 200,000 in just a matter of months.”

Adam Foote plays the handpan
The former elementary school counselor also has a massive following on TikTok. Foote shares more about the handpan:

“Perhaps the first-ever instrument to be invented in the new millenium in the year 2000 by a company in Switzerland named PanArt. Prior to this they were making Caribbean steel pans. The idea came to fruition when a hand percussionist from India asked if they could make a steel drum that could be played in the lap with hands vs. on a stand with mallets. This truly is an instrument that can be played by anyone as it does not require any musical sense. Handpans are tuned to a pentatonic scale, which essentially means you can’t play a wrong note as all the notes sound pleasant when played together.”

Watch a few more of his playful videos on Instagram:


Etheral in E is on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.

Watch these related percussion videos next:
• The map of notes on a steel pan drum
• Drum from a barrel, a classic from Sesame Street
• The Waterphone, an inharmonic, otherworldly instrument
Baka Forest People play the river like a drum
• Ice Drumming on Lake Baikal

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