If you have ever tapped a beat on your dining room table while listening to a song on the radio or to a CD, you have played furniture. You were supplying rhythm – a beat – a form of self expression and self entertainment and something we all do at one time or another whether or not we consider ourselves “musical.”
I have been designing and making simple home-use melodic percussion instruments for thirty years. These instruments were initially designed as items for non-musicians to play and enjoy, and have been known as tongue drums or hardwood drums. You may have seen a display of them at an art show or, very soon, at Harwoodmusicco.com. Typically, these instruments are placed on a table or on the floor or on one’s lap and tapped upon with a rubber tipped mallet to produce beautiful musical sounds.
I have had a long-term interest in making furniture, but my love for the instruments and the demands of running a business to support that passion always limited the time and energy available for pursuing that interest. In the spring of 2003 I decided to combine the musical instruments and furniture in an attempt to service both desires. The first item produced in this series was the acoustic coffee table.
My goal in designing the table was to have made something functional for the home, which possessed both visual and acoustic beauty in sufficient measure to induce a tangible experience of enchantment for anyone who played or listened to it. I have measured my success largely through the reactions of those who have seen and/or played the tables at art and music exhibits around the country. By these standards, success has been immediate and substantial.
Consider your own first reaction to it. It is not electronic in any way. You simply tap on it in your own rhythmic fashion and its beautiful and deep sounds and harmonies will at once please and relax you. As a diversion or recreation it is not unlike fishing or dancing. The harmonic tunings in the tables make it difficult, if not impossible to play “wrong” or discordant notes. You may literally close your eyes and tap on it to surround yourself with music of your own design and expression.
We can provide you with tables of either your visual or musical preferences or you may purchase one that reflects ours. Please ask. We would be delighted to work with you.