Meet the Team
“Ayasa” आयास – Iron
Based in the heart of the Netherlands, we make instruments popularly known as “handpans” or preferably “pantams”. Pantams are made of sheet steel, which is derived from iron. Fascinated by Eastern philosophy and yogic practices, founder Ralf van den Bor chose the name Ayasa, the root source of the material instrument. He started his journey with steel in 2013, which grew into an 18 month process of research and development in the building of prototypes. This led to the birth of the Adiyuga series.
Founder / Tuner
“I am inspired by the infinite possibilities of creating my own definition of sound. Through combining technology with human intelligence and intuition we strive to craft beautiful sounding instruments efficiently and creatively. As a maker, the connection with the player is very important. You need both the player and the maker for the full symbiosis of sound. A well crafted instrument is nothing without a soulful player to give it a powerful voice, and a skillful player cannot develop without the right foundation. Starting my journey as a player, the ability to create instruments that allowed me to express myself in a way I never imagined being possible, is a gift I want to share.”
“The handpan changed my life completely – my priorities, my goals. When I was first introduced to the handpan in September 2013 I was mesmerised. I wasn’t the best player but I knew I wanted to build. I moved from the States to Portugal and shortly after I met Ralf. The handpan brings a lot of joy to people who are playing it and listening to it. Seeing children dancing and smiling because of the music gives me such a strong feeling of happiness. Being able to build these healing instruments means that I can support others to transmit that joy – the potential is limitless.”
Point of Contact / All-rounder
“I still remember the day that I first heard a handpan in person and what an entrancing and surreal experience it was. I have heard a lot of instruments in my life but none of them ever produced such an amazing sound, and most importantly feeling when hearing it. Ralf and I have been close friends since childhood, and it was several years ago that I first introduced him to the handpan. We were mesmerized by the richness of the sound and the feeling that this instrument can produce.
So when the opportunity arose to work with Ralf on these beautiful instruments I immediately accepted. I feel blessed to be a part of the creation of these wonderful instruments.”
“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful team and learning from such a talented mind as Ralf. Ayasa is ever expanding the boundaries of innovation – this place is a hive mind where ideas are extending the confines of our understanding. Learning to tune handpans has been especially thrilling for me – it poses a new creative puzzle to be solved everyday. Being a part of this process is inspiring- bringing these different musical voices into the world and transfiguring new methods of creation. It is said that music begins where the possibilities of language end. Music is the merger. It is inspiration and it is catharsis. The power of these instruments is in the collective – it’s how it touches you to transform your life. I’m grateful for this opportunity to be a part of this creative process and I look forward to the next chapters for the Ayasa family.”
“Adi” आदि “Yuga” युग – First generation
Adi means “first” or “beginning” and Yuga means “generation”, “era”, “epoch” or “age” in Sanskrit. Therefore Adiyuga could be translated as: “first generation” or “the beginning of a new age”.
In this series of instruments, a consistent base material (deepdrawn steel sheets) allowed Ralf to develop his skills with tuning, shaping and treatments. Each instrument is made with thousands of hammer strikes, each of them influencing the qualities of the instrument. Therefore every instrument is unique and there is always more to discover and improve. A year after Adiyuga, new tools and developments led to:
“Gauna” गौण – Second
Gauna means “secondary”. In Gauna the search for consistency and quality continues, with an emphasis on research and development of specialist tools.
In May 2015, Ralf was introduced to Marius Farcas by mutual friend Kabeção. They developed a strong friendship and working relationship. Marius has been a paramount element in the creation of Ayasa’s since November 2015.