Hello, my name is Selkie Anderson – musician, singer and songwriter with magical instruments. You are most likely to encounter me with my two main Instruments, the harp and the hang. As a performer I am on the road solo as well as with other artists and projects.
…keep reading if you want to find out more about my Instruments and me…
Here’s a little bit of the back story, a long and winding path condensed into a few paragraphs. 😉
I’ve been playing musical instruments and singing in rock and metal bands for fun all the way back to my school days. Over the years I cultivated a fascination for unusual sounds and instruments. As I went deeper into music, I soon began writing my own songs and was on the lookout for interesting instruments to play. Aside from the guitar I started experimenting with various percussive instruments and whistles until the hang crossed my path. This was the most unusual and beautiful instrument I had heard so far. Back in the mid 2000s, this instrument was still new and widely unknown. There were no handpans around and I was more than fascinated. It was love at first sound and made plans to obtain one the moment I met it.
Inspired by the soft tunes of this soothing instrument, my musical journey took a new turn. My solo-music project began with the hang and performing with this instrument soon made an old dream of mine possible: playing the Celtic harp. My first harp came to me in 2010 and it has been a wondrous journey. Both of these instruments have their own special kind of magic which I love sharing with my audiences.
Aside from my performances as a harp and hang player, you can find the more mystical side of my music under the project Tribe Spirit, which I started in 2016. I also collaborate with partner Mike Modulacja, who is a beatmaker and composer – together we perform as the duo “Mystical Wanderers” which we formed in 2020. Since 2014 I am also part of the performance team of the German fire group Feuerflut. Until the end of 2016 I was the lead vocalist of the Fantasy Folk Band Mythemia.
The harp is one of the oldest instruments of humankind. The roots of the harp can be traced all the way back to the times around 3000 b.C.. The dreamy melodies of the harp continue to fascinate people until this day.
There are various types of harps around, built in different ways depending on region and music style and equipped with different types of strings. From diatonic to chromatic harps, from strings made of gut to carbon or metal, from pedal harp to lever harp, from concert harp to travel harp, there are many variations around.
My instruments are Celtic harps (or lever harps). You can find these instruments in Celtic folk lore as well as the folk music of today. They still play a large symbolic role in Celtic regions – you can find the harp symbol on the Irish Euro coins, on the logo of the Guinness brewery or as the traditional iconic instrument of the bards. Despite (or perhaps because of) their ancient nature, there is a special kind of magic that flows through the sounds of harp music.
Nope, it is not from Nepal, India or China. The hang is a Swiss innovation from 2001. The term handpan has established itself for this type of instrument, as the hang started a wave of new instrument creations.
The original hang that I play was invented by Felix Rohner und Sabina Schärer in Bern, who formed the hang building company PanArt back then. A lot has happened since then, original hangs are no longer made but many other handpan companies have been on the rise.
Hang music can take the listener into a mystical world of sound. Sensitive people can feel the tunes inside their entire body. The music that is played can range from meditative to percussive. There is something old to this new instrument, almost like it was not newly created but rediscovered.