AS SEEN ON TV!!
Thanks to the amazing team at Latest TV for a thoroughly enjoyable day of filming.
Special thanks to Producer/Director/Editor Ele Berrie, Presenter Yael Breuer and Camera/Sound Howie McConnell.
Hope you enjoy the video!
10 YEARS OF THERAPEUTIC RESEARCH
We studied sensory awareness, brain development, synaptic activity and pleasure response.
We asked doctors, therapists, yoga teachers, families, carers and of course we asked our customers:
"What makes you feel good?"
Everything we make is built on the lessons we learnt.
All our products are designed to be inclusive so that anyone, regardless of their mental, physical or emotional condition can enjoy them
Our Timberharps are built to be touched. They are as smooth as skin and invite you to run your hands across them
The music you create as you explore the pieces always harmonises no matter how you play by using the ancient pentatonic scale, which has been in use since the very start of music in culture.
The pieces of wood we use are not only beautiful but responsibly sourced too. We only use timber from very carefully managed forests or trees which have been blown over in storms.
MEET THE MAKER
Thomas Freer is a self-taught craftsman, sculptor, technician and electronics engineer.
With a background in additional needs childcare and therapeutic education, his pieces have brought joy to schools, museums, festivals and corporate venues.
He exhibits larger musical sculptures at events and festivals including RHS Hampton Court Palace, Royal Botanic Gardens Wakehurst and has recently produced a laser harp for Intel, for the University of Central Dublin.
Most of his designs are built in the studio by the beach in Worthing, with a small team of experts on hand to help with the important bits.
Where did you get the idea?
The concept originated during research work with children and young adults with a range of additional needs. Many of these young people felt the desire to express themselves through movement and music, but lacked the means to do so. It was clear that there was a need for interactive sensory objects that were less like clinical equipment and more natural and gentle.
How long have you been doing this?
It became obvious right from the early prototypes 10 years ago that these wooden sound-making objects had far-reaching interest. Positive responses came from parents and carers of autistic children and children recovering from trauma and injury; nurseries and forest schools; occupational therapists working with dementia and Alzheimer’s; medical and psychotherapist practitioners; yoga instructors and music therapists… the list grew and still continues to.
Who buys Timberharps?
Our customers broadly fit three categories: medical and educational professionals seeking therapeutic tools to compliment their practical toolboxes; wellness and health practitioners using timberharps to compliment restorative environments; and individual customers who see, feel and hear the pieces and appreciate them as beneficial or simply as a piece of natural art with a twist.
What's so therapeutic?
Many of the children we encountered whilst developing timberharps are reliant on medical equipment 24hrs a day. We discovered that sensory rooms, whilst necessarily practical, were somewhat of an extension to this equipment. We wanted to bring something natural and non-synthetic into this environment; a small slice of nature that anybody could benefit from, regardless of their physical, mental or emotional condition whilst ensuring that any music that is generated sounds gentle, relaxing and harmonious
What sounds do they make?
Every Timberharp currently has 12 different instrument modes, ranging from gentle bells, watery droplets, to harps and soft strings. The notes are presented in a major pentatonic scale, meaning that all the notes harmonise together and it’s impossible to make them clash. So everyone is an immediate expert, right from the start, with no practice or mastery required.
How do they work?
Magic and Witchcraft. Anyone who's asked me in person will have heard this answer. It's actually not too far from the truth. You’d never know it from looking at them, but the latest editions use a super-fast quad-core processor for instantaneous touch response (magic) and a custom sensor board by Reactive Arts Ltd. for dynamic programming and a highly robust build (witchcraft).
Can they go outdoors?
We’re working on a series of outdoor versions and some of our larger installations are built for outside use, but currently there are too many sensitive electronic components inside our Timberharps to survive outdoors. We recommend indoor installation only please!
What inspires you?
To put it simply, people. Our customers vary so greatly that we often meet someone who’s needs we haven’t encountered before. This can lead to a major overhaul of our perspective and regularly furnishes us with new design ideas.
West Sussex NHS
"The Timberharp is a great therapeutic tool for engaging with people. It not only creates beautiful sounds, it also calms and soothes, creating a safe space for interaction and expression."
Special Education Needs
"As a SENCO I work with lots of children with lots of different needs and I'm always looking for resources to make my setting more inclusive. The Timberharp allows for freedom of expression with limited movement, which in turn allows accessibility for everyone. It empowers children in a very unique way, allowing them to make a difference to their surroundings with beautiful results."
“The Timberharp is so unique and such an asset to helping children and adults calm their energies or lift them when depressed. It has helped clients of all ages to help share their life stories”
We've worked hard to make sure Timberharps are accessible to as many people as possible.
They are tactile and intuitive, non-synthetic musical sculptures that promote learning through natural materials, music and exploration.