Our humble beginnings: August, 1989, in the gifted mind of classically trained musician Larry Roark. Larry had a new girlfriend, Sara Neal Eskew, whom he had met at the premier craft show in Austin, TX, where he was selling his art photography. She had a pretty good large windchime made by another local craftsperson. Realizing the maker of Sara’s chime was no longer in town and thus a hole existed in the local market, Larry decided to supplement his income from his various artistic and musical endeavors with windchimes. With only a few hand tools, some electrical conduit, an electronic guitar tuner and the sure knowledge that a windchime could be tuned to symphonic-quality accuracy, Larry went into his garage and created a new musical instrument. His prototype had a croquet ball-looking clapper. When he showed the chime to Sara, she joking said he could call his new product “Music of the Spheres”. Loving the idea, Larry began marketing “Music of the Spheres” chimes immediately at Austin’s Renaissance Market and Texas Renaissance Festival near Houston alongside his photography.
Larry’s chimes were hugely successfully from the start. We began wholesaling in the fall of 1991, and attended our first trade show in January, 1992. Over the years, Larry perfected the array of pitch ranges, the offerings of musical scales, the design and materials ,and the distinctive trade dress of matte black tubing with silver accents and a curved diamond-shaped windcatcher, now protected by the United States patent and trademark office.
Larry was killed by a drunk driver on March 6, 2001, but we have continued to realize his vision of world peace, one backyard at a time®. We have never strayed from his idea of producing a symphonic-quality musical instrument for the wind to play. We are still thriving in the post-recessionary economy because the value of such a beautifully crafted instrument playing tones of such incredible clarity with such a rich sustain speaks for itself. It says “I am the Stradivarius of windchimes®”!
The ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras first theorized that the stars and planets moved according to mathematical equations which corresponded to musical notes and thus produced a symphony, the "music of the spheres." The concept persisted. Shakespeare referenced it in The Merchant of Venice, Act V scene l: "There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings..." Johannes Kepler's Harmonices Mundi (1619) discusses it. Babcock used the reference in 1901 in his popular hymn, This Is My Father's World, in the line, "All nature sings and 'round me rings/The music of the spheres."
In 1999, NASA and MIT determined a super massive black hole in the Perseus Cluster sounds a B-flat, albeit one too low for human ears. In a 2006 experiment, Greg Fox determined that orbits of celestial bodies could produce (thorough manipulation) sound. Thus modern thinkers have proven Pythagoras and Kepler correct.
We like to think that our windchimes capture the far-away vibrations of the heavenly bodies and translate them into harmonic internals we can hear-"the music of the spheres." Even if they only turn the breeze into music, that's still a beautiful thing.