Lorenzo Palmeri, designer and musician: marble is a living material with a unique sound

Authentic Natural Stone is a living material that is highly appreciated for its thousand possible applications. From architecture to interior design, up to the kitchen, the many variants of stone offer a thousand different interpretations. Marble, granite, travertine and other stones are living materials, which offer multiple possibilities of use and change their appearance depending on the use.


Lorenzo Palmeri, designer and musician, reveals the unexplored characteristics of marble. “Marble is a natural, living and flexible material – he explains. Most people think that stone is lifeless and doesn’t react to time or vibrations in the surrounding space, for example. But this isn’t true. In fact, marble is flexible and produces distinctive sounds. This is one of the features that I find most interesting and charming.

Discover marble according to Ernst Knam

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Gerico, marble sound totem, at Marmomac 2019

As a matter of fact, marble vibrations produce a sound, a sort of voice. Nobody knows this voice and, when you hear it, it’s really amazing. As a musician and a designer, I’ve found it really interesting to use marble in projects that combine the appearance of the material with the sound produced by the vibrations.

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Gerico, marble sound totem, at Marmomac 2019

Marble is musical

One of my favorite marble projects is Gerico, a real musical instrument and an installation.” Presented at Marmomac 2019, Gerico is an installation made by Vicentina Marmi and Donatoni Macchine. Winner of the Icon Award, this work enhances the characteristic of the material and engages the audience, expressing its author’s artistic sensitivity. “I wanted people to approach this totemic object – continues Palmeri – because it is 3 m tall and so that they could play the marble gong with a small mallet.

Discover marble according to Pasquale Junior Natuzzi

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Detail of Gerico, marble sound totem, at Marmomac 2019

Other marble objects relying on marble intrinsic characteristics are Moai vases, which are wind vases/bells. Created for an exhibition, the vases from the Moai collection are marble vases that, besides working as such, ‘sing’. When the wind hits the vase, it passes through the mouth and produces a sound, turning it into a wind bell. Moai vases, despite belonging to the same collection, are all different as they are obtained from waste marble cores.

Moai wind bells/vases, by Lorenzo Palmeri