Kabeção taught his grandmother how to play The Astronaut from his album Freedom Expressions. After spending 12 minutes grinning away while watching the video, we decided to ask Kabeção a few questions about his touching experience with Celeste.
How did you feel when teaching your grandma how to play this groove?
It was a dream come true. I felt so happy and amazed to see my 84 year old grandmother completely open to learning with a smile on her face and full of enthusiasm for more.
How long did it take for your grandma to learn this groove?
Pffffff...something like 2 minutes. She was damn fast. Quite surprising.
Did your grandma enjoy learning how to play? What did she say?
Totally! She had so much fun and you could see it in her face, with this huge smile and some laughs. She said it was an incredibly beautiful and magical sound.
Which handpans are you and your grandma playing?
We were playing both Yishama Pantams. It was with a custom scale designed for the Pantam School, called the “Tiny Beach” - a F4 ding minor scale with 19 notes - a little pearl with an amazingly high voice. My Grandma was playing the famous “Astronaut” which is a low F2 pygmy. It’s the same one I used on the video of the Grand Wall of China.
Have you got any fun stories or anecdotes about making this video?
When someone arrives at her home, my Grandma always serves some traditional portuguese cakes and tea from the garden. It's always impossible to run from this meal ceremony, even if you come with a full belly. You gotta eat!!! While we taste these delicious flavours she tells us her beautiful stories around the table.
Why is the handpan a great instrument to learn whatever your musical background?
Well, for me it's because “touching and tapping” is so natural to us as humans. Playing this instrument feels quite easy-going and its construction and scales make it accessible for any non musical person. It’s easy to create magical melodies right from the start. That’s what makes this instrument great for any person who wants to connect with music.
Do you think there’s a perfect age to start learning handpan?
Any age is perfect.
The handpan is for everyone.
You just gotta connect, listen and have fun.