Our talented staff hails from diverse backgrounds, cultures and musical heritages.
Antonio Stradivari (Italian, 1644-1737) is generally regarded as the creator of the most beautiful sounding stringed instruments ever made. No one knows how he did it. Many scientific studies have been conducted to find out. For example, in 2009, Prof. Joseph Nagyvary of Texas A & M University concluded that unexpected chemicals (for example, borax) were present in the wood, the heavenly sound being a side effect of the wood preservative. Stradivarius, the Latinized form of the name, refers to the instruments. In 2011, Stradavari’s pristine condition Lady Blunt violin sold for over $15.8 million!
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®”!
Our founder, Larry Roark, was killed by a drunk driver on March 6, 2001. He had graduated from North Texas State University cum laude with a degree in music theory in 1978, and had also performed graduate work. After college, he performed stage lighting for Texas Women's University. A consummate musician, Larry played with many groups including the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus band, the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Creative Opportunity Orchestra, the Austin Klezmorim, the Vascilating Discombubulators, and the Austin, Tx First Baptist Church voice and handbell choirs. Larry also served as an on-air producer for Austin, Texas NPR, afflilate, KUT.
Larry had a passion for beauty and spirituality which he expressed through music and art photography. At Music of the Spheres ®, Larry's vision was simply to make the most durable chimes of the highest acoustic quality possible; "the Stradivarius of windchimes®." The many spontaneous letters of appreciation and intense customer loyalty confirms Larry's achievement. His vision of "world peace - one backyard at a time"® was genuine and heartfelt.