As well as,
gongs, guitars, wood flutes and ocarinas, layered vocals and harmonies, shruti box, organs and keys, Himalayan singing bowls, didgeridoo, hand drums, world percussion, cajon, synthesizers, and the sounds of nature.
to create music for
Adventure • Exploration • Discovery
Relaxation • Meditation • Sound Baths
Sacred Ceremonies • Celestial Events • Celebrations • Music Lessons
What is a handpan, you might ask?
To a magical world of "singing steel" and a wild new frontier of acoustic music. Handpans are a new class of instruments unlike any other, and rapidly evolving!
Here's one now...
My name is Josh (Ryan) Workman and I've been in search of beautiful music my whole life, the music in my dreams... In 2013 I finally found it: handpans! I've also been studying and practicing music for meditation and relaxation for over 12 years.
But with the personal discovery of this new class of musical instruments known as the handpan, or pantam, the direction of my path would be forever changed.
These instruments were everything I never knew I needed! They sounded ancient, yet futuristic at the same time. Whatever name you may call them by, most will agree the sound is highly prized for it's flowing and soothing qualities, and it's beauty and magic.
The Dream of Arcadia
The Arcadian Earth is my optimistic vision of balance and harmony for the future of the planet, expressed through sound, music, and vibration. A vehicle for the exploration of consciousness. A portal of sound, created by instruments from around world, some considered to be ancient tools for balancing, rejuvenation, relaxation, healing, meditation, and entering into the Dreamtime and other dimensions.
The Arcadian Earth is also my idealistic dream-land of a simpler way of life, a time of balance and nature and peace, that lives in my head and heart. When the music is playing, that place becomes real for at least a brief moment.
It's a world of magic and adventure, misty mountains, campfires and caravans, and epic journeys across land, air, and sea. And also reaching for the stars and inspired by the future travel to and colonization of space by us Earthlings. Yet at it's core this world of mine still seeks to appreciate and live in the present moment, and go deeper and deeper with the human condition.
There's a joy and familiarity in the music that can only be described as "home". A cozy little home in the woods, I should think! But still always wandering, exploring, seeking the next adventure, reaching for the future and to the stars...
So What Does It Sound Like?
This project is influenced by a huge number of other artists and a lifetime of seeking my own sound and true voice. The music ends up sounding like World Fusion and Folk music to me, with an emphasis on taking the listener into a magical realm of enchantment and wonder (what I would call "Fantasy Music"), like Enya, Karl Jenkins, or something out of Lord of the Rings...
I'm greatly inspired by a lot of different musics from around the world, especially Celtic, Spanish Flamenco, and African music. And of course I'm heavily influenced by the domestic folk, blues, early rock, and americana I grew up with: James Taylor, Paul Simon, Hoyt Axton, Cat Stevens, John Prine, Crosby, Still, Nash & Young, Allman Bros, Roy Orbison, CCR, Beach Boys, Beatles, etc. Then into my teens and beyond I fell in love with bands like Radiohead, Sigur Ros, The Talking Heads, Phish, and My Morning Jacket. I also have a deep love and appreciation of classical music as well as the innovative composers of the 20th century and today, such as George Gershwin, Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, and especially Karl Jenkins. But there is one musician/composer that can really inspire and teleport me to another world like no one else can, Enya! I have always loved her and I never seem to tire of her. She is simply amazing.
The other main influence on my music is the world of sound therapy, ancient systems of sound, tuning, music, and vibration for meditation, relaxation, and even Shamanic practices and exploration of the ethereal realms. I have studied sound and vibrational therapy for about 12 years, completing certificates at The Globe Institute and the Colour of Sound Institute. Some of the most inspirational sound therapists to my journey are Kimba Arem, Richard Rudis, and Kip Mazuy.
So my shows can be pretty eclectic! When playing for yoga studios, relaxation, and meditation, I specifically tailor my music into what I call a Pan Bath℠ sound journey, where the listeners are invited to lay down on a yoga mat or camping pad, close their eyes, and fully relax into the music of the pans, gongs, flutes, singing bowls, didgeridoo, and shruti box. This is one of my favorite ways to share music!
But I also play "regular" old-fashioned shows too. This is where you are more likely to hear my composed songs and singing voice. Pan Baths℠ are more improvisational and you get a spontaneous mix of instruments and music, and probably some vocal toning or singing.