In 2006 Philip Maignaut and the Djoliba Music Store began a collaboration and research project that resulted five years later in the birth of the Spacedrum and a new company, SAS Metal Sounds. Metal Sounds, a small company based in Toulouse, France, today manufactures Spacedrums (a type of handpan), Zenkos (tongue drums), as well as now importing Steeldrums (steelpans), and other instruments.
The Metal Sounds Team
“We make and deliver up to 35 instruments each month in our workshop near Avignon, France."
Metal Sounds customers tend to be musicians, therapists, music schools, and ordinary people who enjoy their unique metallic, melodic percussion instruments.
Each instrument has it's story. The Zenko, for example, is a tongue drum (also called a “tank” drum or “hank” drum), originally built from a propane gas tank, which was then improved by Metal Sounds designer Elie Dacenko in collaboration with an industrial subcontractor. This stainless steel melodic percussion instrument spreads sound in smooth, soft waves. Its high harmonics content is the result of perfect tuning that remains stable over the years.
The Steeldrums used to be hand crafted in France until they found a need to make room for the new Spacedrum. The Steeldrums are now imported from Trinidad and Tobago where Metal Sounds partners with some of the best manufacturers and tuners on the island.
Finally, the Spacedrum was the result of Philip Maignaut's craftsmanship and expertise honed over 20 years of mechanical production of steel drums, and experience by making traditional "pans", and then the research collaboration.
"Using specific tools, we offer a full range of Spacedrum designed and assembled with great care from selected stainless steel sheets (special alloy), using some mechanical process. The tuning, it is an art. This know-how acquired along the years is a guarantee of quality that we can now produce reliable and sound instruments."