I am Daniel, builder and tuner of Soma Sound Sculptures. Not so long ago, I could not have imagined that I would be tuning steel. The sweet sound of the handpan found me unexpectedly, at a time
when I did not know where my life was headed.
As I graduated from university in 2005 I had no clue where my passion was. I enjoyed mountaineering and the outdoors but the lure of status and money was more powerful to a young economist. So I ended up in finance advising ultra-high-net-worth clients of one of the world’s biggest banks. After about 5 years of wearing suits and ties, being glued to Excel-spreadsheets and stuck in conference calls, I had a life-changing experience of complete clarity which made me quit my job and sell almost all my belongings.
Just two weeks before I left home for an undefined time, however, I got a first batch Halo. It accompanied me (in a softbag!) for almost three years backpacking and soul-seeking around the globe. I took it to the streets for busking, to the beaches for jamming, to bonfires for rituals, to retreat centers for meditation and to yoga classes for relaxation. I lived simply but happily in forests, beaches, camper buses, mountains, monasteries and temples.
However nourishing these years of roaming around were for me, I got to the point where I felt like grounding myself again. Back home I eventually found an interesting teaching job in a high-school in the Alps and shortly after that a nice house with workshop and view. From then on any free time from teaching was dedicated to handpan building: hammering when my neighbours were gone, studying when my girlfriend was already asleep. Two (sometimes awfully frustrating) years later, I built my first handpan prototype. Soma was born.