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adam crowell

Medium: Wood

Booth #: GN22

Teachers said it over and over when I pounded on desks, lockers, books: “That's not a drum.” But I never quite outgrew it. Years later in arts college, my vocal coach caught me tapping out a beat in class and handed me his djembe to keep rhythm. From there another student who worked at a techno club recruited me to drum for her deejay, but I still didn't own an actual drum — so I took the professor's djembe to the job. After that I started collecting percussion instruments and, in a throwback to the school teachers, working them into music where they seemed out of place: African drums in a folk tune, a Swiss-made drum in a love song.

Since I like to work with my hands, eventually I decided to try making my own drums. With the woodworking guidance from my dad, who builds furniture as a hobby, and after seeking out the perfect balance between sound and aesthetics, I launched Boxed Music. My melodic percussion instruments consist of hard woods finely tuned to scale and finished with natural oil. They are sculptural and ergonomic by design, crafted by hand and tuned by ear to create something both aesthetic and functional. When I tell people I make drums, they often get a mental picture that doesn't fit. Seeing my product sometimes only makes it more confusing. One person thought I'd forgotten to add strings.

I try to construct my drums with a simple beauty that both a musician and an art collector can appreciate. And while I'm making them, I sometimes keep beat at my workbench with wrenches and mallets. Because the way I see it, there's potential for music everywhere. And sometimes, in the most unlikely places, there is a drum.

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