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Sometimes the greatest gifts can change our lives. A craft or tool handed down from a former generation can bring out our innate abilities and modify the course of our lives. Adam Morford creator/artist behind Morfbeats artistic percussive sound sculptures, visited his grandfather and was handed down his welder, a tool his grandfather used most of his life to craft. As a man of great family values and heritage, he embraced the gift and wanted to honor his grandfather and create something that would change the world.

“When it all started I wanted to make an instrument, not a cowbell or something typical. I wanted to essentially put all the sounds that weren’t available to me, in one instrument. Just the sounds that I liked, reminiscent of sounds used in movies, the darker scarier sounds.” ~Adam Morford

Adam Morford of Morfbeats performs with his band Tallgrass. Photo by Argento Studios

Adam plays percussion in the band Tallgrass with his brother (and other half of Morfbeats), Austin Morford, and band mate Matt Skinner. Photo by Argento Studios

Sketching one night he had an epiphany; he realized he should embrace his true self and make something faithful to his origin and not just design what the world wanted him to. It didn’t have to look like anything else. By letting all expectations go he made a bell the next day, twice as large as anything he had ever made before, and that was the moment the walls came down, and the signature instrument, the Marvin was born. It was June 23, 2016 – Morfbeats became a reality.

Billy Martin, writer of Wandering, percussion at Medeski, Martin, & Wood was an early adopter of his instruments. After conceiving Marvin, Adam was aching to collaborate and produce even more artistic rhythm creations. He reached out to Billy on a whim and Billy was immediately intrigued. After spending some creative sessions together a forever friendship was made.

Everything in the book resonated and it became a source of major inspiration. It made him leave shore and push to find his true self, leading up to realization that there are no rules to instruments.

But there was something deeper to Adam’s connection with Billy than just his instruments. Wandering was a book he received as a Christmas gift around the same time as he got the welder and it forever altered his mindset about creativity and his abilities. Everything in the book resonated, and it became a source of major inspiration. It made him leave shore and push to find his true self, leading up to the realization that there are no rules to instruments.

This summer Billy invited Adam to present at his Camp Rhythm Sound and Magic in upstate NY; a creative camp for the most well-known percussionists in the World. Billy asked him to join and tell his story about being a sound sculptor and his process on how to build sound. They learned new things and created music together. Never feeling such a sense of community like this in Colorado, he connected greatly with the other percussive innovators at the camp. He was always so inspired by Billy’s artistry and now Morford’s hero is inspired equally by the things he does. He realized at that point, maybe he is doing something pretty cool and pretty special.

“When you do things with the right intentions, anything can happen.” ~Adam Morford

As instruments developed it gave him the confidence and the ability to see that his instruments could, in some way, change the world. But he’s remained quite simple in his approach, relying mostly on word of mouth. Initially only making an Instagram for his mom to see and be proud of, but leading to a spark of interest from people seeking something new and unique in percussion. Matt Maccon of Bon Iver followed him on Instagram and through a mutual admiration they met and experimented on sound.

…to truly be his own unique self he had to create something no one else had yet. People crave originality and they want to have a one-of-a-kind sounding instrument that bends the norms of percussion, and they’ve found that in his instruments.

Ask him and he’ll tell you that there is no box that these things are in, there is no limit to the capability of sound. Morfbeats has created new avenues for Adam to express himself and to truly be his own unique self he had to create something no one else had yet. People crave originality and they want to have a one-of-a-kind sounding instrument that bends the norms of percussion, and they’ve found that in his instruments.

Morford went from being the kid on the street looking up to these drummers, to one of their peers delivering unique, one-of-a-kind creations. Adam has reinvigorated the craft and in one year he’s met so many of his heros. But there are still hundreds more lining up to work with him and he’ll continue to innovate and change the way percussion sounds in modern day music.

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