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Drum Art: when craftsmanship follows the rhythm of innovation


Among the verdant hills of the Marche region, in the hamlet of Valmir in the municipality of Petritoli, the company Drum Art has given birth over the years to the highly specialized design and construction of drum sticks and snare drums.

It is here that Silvano Biancucci, master cabinetmaker and owner of the company, after deep study combined with relentless practice, was able to express his potential to the fullest, resulting in instruments of extraordinary performance.

Drum Art in fact is the first Italian atelier to build, entirely by hand, snare drums and drum sticks combining technique, extremely elegant and functional design, and product customization.

2004 is the year the company was founded, but the work of practice, research and study began many years earlier, as Silvano tells us. “As a young man, I worked at Cama in Monterubbiano, a carpentry shop, alongside the great master cabinetmaker Giuseppe Ciurluini, who passed on to me a passion for creating unique things.

After working in various woodworking shops for ten years as a laborer, I finally decided to open my own woodworking shop with great sacrifice. Over the years we worked with good architects, then I decided thanks also to my passion for percussion to diversify my business and create something of my own, investing in our Drum Artbrand.”

We delve into the most exciting phases of this work with Silvano, and he explains that “each instrument is like a child. I enjoy working with fine wood species, all the processes are fascinating, but my favorite one is the moment of birth of each snare drum.

As soon as we finish assembling in all its mechanical parts, strictly made in Italy and designed by us, skins, rims and tailpiece, I want to personally listen to its sound. This is my favorite time. As in furniture, seeing the finished work fills me with excitement and satisfaction.”

Silvano Biancucci owner of the Drum Art company, with his son Alberto.

The difference between a great product and an excellent one is made by passion, and if we add to this intuition and stubbornness, here we discover the secret of Silvano’s successful work.

In fact, in his early years, in the workshop where his first snare drums were made, there was also a rudimentary “homemade” machine that produced a drumstick every five minutes, which was given as a thank-you gift to musicians who bought his instruments. Silvano, who was also following American baseball enthusiastically in those years, learned that a leading Italian woodturning company had come up with a machine perfect for making baseball bats.

So it was that, prompted by the enthusiasm and unexpected success of his first specimens, he decided to leave and go study this machine closely.

The help and support of the company’s engineers meant that he was able to design the first industrial machinery to build chopsticks, so that it could be mass-produced, yes, but with a level of quality that held true to its purpose of improving the way people “play with chopsticks.”

“In the Biancucci family,” Silvano tells us, “fortunately, there is no shortage of manual dexterity and inventiveness, two essential elements that are the driving force behind our craft.

We work with passion so that the product, which is strictly made in Italy,” he says, “once it leaves our company, is so perfect that the customer falls in love with it. My know-how as a master cabinetmaker has borne fruit in the company’s musical instruments and furniture products. Our motto is Art of Perfection, made in Italy is in our DNA.”

Carrying on the company’s modus operandi, in fact, is also Silvano’s son Alberto. Both lovers of challenges, they combine craftsmanship with modern technology in a spirit of continuous innovation. An aspect not to be underestimated, that of being able to listen and respond to the needs of the drummers, a key ingredient in ensuring extraordinary performance from each of them.

Drum Art pieces, have also been chosen by the Orchestra of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the well-known company Pearl , for whom Drum Art builds drums for the Artisan brand.

Over the years, after careful tests combined with the judgments of professionals and specialized international magazines, Drum Art products have been recognized as musical instruments of high value and identifying the high quality of Italian design.

Creativity in the Biancucci household is also the driving force behind the company’s overseas thanks to innovative products designed by Alberto, such as the SOFT THRONE, a patented gel cushion for all musicians who play seated, and the SOFT SHOT, rods that are unique in the world in terms of their technical characteristics and entirely new sounds.

In January 2020, for the first time, Drum Art participates in the most important international musical instrument fair, the NAMM SHOW in the USA, with its own booth.

Snare instrument with drumsticks made in the workshop

Silvano, any advice aimed at those who would like to take up this profession? “If manual dexterity and creativity are not lacking and woodworking is something you are passionate about, don’t be afraid and take the plunge. Provided, however, that you also have a lot of patience.”

Alberto at work in the laboratory

Do you have apprentices in your workshop or perhaps organize classes to continue passing on your craft knowledge? “Not at the moment, we would like to expand our foreign market, but the pandemic has put our latest projects on hold as well. We would like to integrate new apprentices, already trained in vocational schools, with a passion for wood into our workforce.”

How does CNA support your work? “We received an award of excellence (plaque) years ago from CNA, then turned to the association to conduct practice and courses regarding Law 626 (mandatory for legal purposes). CNA should devote more time to supporting small businesses like ours by putting in the necessary resources to help us grow. I strongly believe that in addition to financial support, small businesses would need to take care of marketing and other promotion and communication activities that would help us small artisans grow but that not everyone can afford. Let’s remember that if a small business grows it is good for everyone.”

Percussion instrument made by the company Drum Art

How has the demand for percussion instruments evolved over the years? “The demand for musical instruments over the years has been declining except for spikes in sales at certain times of the year. However, what is ruining the musical instrument market in general at the European level is a non-Italian e-commerce site that is dictating the instrument market with prices. In our case, we have chosen classic sales channels (stores) because our products need to be tried before being purchased. We have a team of collaborators: Agents who cover Italy and the USA, Endorsers (drummers who play with our products on the most important stages) and Area Promoters because they work in the territory. I firmly believe that in order to jumpstart the music industry market, we need to lower VAT so as to boost sales. We small artisans are the engine of this country.”

Silvano and Alberto in their workshop

Laura Tommolini

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