Founded in 2015 by Rafael D’Arco, Tacta Handpans is one of the first handpan companies in Brazil, and is located in São Paulo, SP.
Rafael did all the building and tuning processes by himself back then, and in 2016, Adriana Yuki joined the team, which allowed the company to grow and increase the production capacity.
The first instruments made at Tacta were built in nitrided carbon steel, like most of the handpans available in the market. However, in 2017, after extensive studying and testing, involving both the building processes and the steel alloy, the team chose to change to stainless steel. Tacta Handpans is now specialized in stainless handpans, in a scenario where this material used to bring a lot of doubts regarding sound and stability.
Nowadays, Tacta is working to spread the handpan sound and community in Brazil, where the instrument is still very unusual and hard to find, but without losing the connection with the international community, that has always been so welcoming to them in the events the team has attended. Tacta Handpans is a Handpan Makers United (HMU) member, a organization created to spread information, education and the history of the handpan, as well as to be a safe and friendly place for makers, players and enthusiasts. These principles are shared and practiced by the Tacta team.
Rafael is Brazilian, born and raised in São Paulo. Since he was a child he had interest in music, and by the age of fourteen he began studying piano, his first instrument.
His professional plans were to become an engineer, so he went to college in São Paulo, but soon realized he wanted to play music professionally. In 2006 he then changed his major to music at the same college (USP – University of São Paulo).
At that time, Rafael was already playing piano professionally but while in college he started working in bands and orchestras.
His interest in percussion instruments began while he was still in Engineering school, when he played Brazilian traditional percussion in the school band and Middle-eastern percussion instruments. These skills would come in handy in the future.
Rafael became a professional musician and music teacher, playing in many bands with different music styles, but mostly jazz and Brazilian music. In 2009, while teaching piano at a music school, a fellow teacher showed him a video from Youtube of an unusual instrument he thought Rafael would like, because of his interest in percussion; his interest in the handpan began there, and Rafael started looking for a handpan for sale, but at that time, it was rare and expensive. The difficulty to find an instrument led him to the idea of building one for himself, and in 2009, Rafael started his research on the whole making process. But there were few articles on the internet and limited access to the few makers at that time.
Until 2014, the project of building a handpan was in stand-by, but when the first handpan Rafael bought arrived (a Spacedrum), he set up an improvised workshop and focused on the mission of learning how to make handpans. He then left his other jobs as teacher and musician and dedicated himself completely to what would become Tacta Handpans.
His background as an Engineering student, professional musician and music enthusiast in general, where important stepping stones to making Tacta Handpans a real project, and it keeps helping with the routine of the workshop and the creation and production of the instruments.
Nowadays, Rafael is still carrying out studies about music, making, tuning and details about the handpan. He is dedicated to developing and improving the Tactas, and spreading the handpan in Brazil.
Adriana is Brazilian, from São Paulo – SP. She has been a music and arts enthusiast since she was very young, and she’s been working on cultural events, production and curatorship of exhibits and music festivals since the beginning of her career in 2006.
She went to school to study events management, which allowed her to work with great Brazilian musicians and bands, and organize major art exhibits, such as photography, graffiti, tattooing and many others, including the biggest graffiti painting in São Paulo. Project development, marketing and communication planning and staff management are also part of Adriana’s usual work setup.
In 2016, Adriana became a part of the Tacta staff. Initially, she was in charge of customer care and orders, and workshop management. But soon after that, she got more and more involved with the handpan production, and nowadays, she is responsible for some steps in the making process. This makes her the first female handpan maker in Brazil. Adriana is currently learning from Rafael about the tuning process as well, and looks forward to building and tuning an instrument soon.
Even though she’s been very engaged with handpan making lately, Adriana still manages to keep her activities as cultural promoter, and is currently working with many artists from music and art scenes.
To know more about her work, follow IG @adrianayukiii