Here's Crowell playing his Canary Songa.
A sweet sound just found its place on the local arts scene. It’s not a music box, but a box of music.
Charleston resident Adam Crowell, a musician and woodworker and the creator of Boxed Music, puts a modern spin on the world’s oldest instrument: the African tongue drum. When most people think “drum,” they picture sets with snares and cymbals. When they hear a Boxed Music piece, they often wonder what’s hidden inside to create melody from wood alone.
Adam starts with exotic lumber with unique grains and cuts in keys, called tongues, to create a scale that can be played with mallets or by hand. He never stains the drums but instead preserves their natural beauty with a hand-rubbed finish of tung oil, linseed oil and wax.
The result: percussion instruments as beautiful to hear as they are to see.
Earlier this year Adam invented an instrument called the Songa, which blends rhythm and melody into a single piece of percussion. Elegantly curved to catch the eye and ergonomically curved to fit the body, the drum brings together the driving beat of a conga with the soothing tone of a tongue drum.
Adam sells his instruments online and at art shows across the country. He learned from his travels this year that the product appeals as much to the art collector seeking aesthetics as to the seasoned percussionist seeking innovative sound.
To see what Adam's pieces are all about, check out his Vimeo page which has 19 videos of his creations making some amazing music.