Leo Z Picks TELEFUNKEN for Handpan Virtuoso Davide Friello

Gifted composer, pianist and producer Leo Z has employed his personal collection of TELEFUNKEN microphones to record Italian handpan virtuoso David Friello. The handpan consists of two metal half-shells welded together, a center tone field surrounded by a circle of at least seven tone fields on the upper side, with an opening in the bottom side.

Listen to a preview of Davide Friello's new album "Amplexus"

Davide Friello, born in Florence, Italy, is an acclaimed handpan artist, known worldwide as a prolific touring and recording musician, composer, and percussionist. Friello has three previous studio albums: "Ritmatika", "Violin & Hang" and "5 Elements." The majority of the handpan selections on "Amplexus" were co-composed by Friello and producer Leo Z.

For the new "Amplexus" album, Leo Z employed two M60 FET pencil mics on the side of the pan, two ELA M 260 tube mics with omni capsules above the pan, and an M82 dynamic mic underneath the pan. "The combination of these Telefunken mics beautifully captures the spacious and ethereal sound of the handpan," says Leo Z, "while retaining the unique percussive qualities of this remarkable instrument."

Handpan is the term for a group of musical instruments that are classified as a subset of the steelpan. Several handpan makers and brands have emerged in recent years, resulting from a growing worldwide interest in the sound that is based on the physical properties of the Trinidadian steelpan, Indian ghatam, Thai gong and Indonesian Gamelan.

"The overhead ELA M 260's bring an airiness and transparency to the way we capture sound," says Leo Z, "especially for this type of impressionistic, acoustic, and intimate type of music." The 260 Stereo Set features two perfectly matched ELA M 260 microphones and a custom dual power supply powering both microphones. In previous recordings, Leo Z has used his 260s on piano, viola, violin, and woodwinds. 

Pictured at the Steinway grand piano at EastWest Studios in Hollywood is Leo Z with his matched pair of TELEFUNKEN ELA M 260 microphones. Photo by David Goggin.