The idea for the musical invention he recently patented came Mark Pires in 2011.
The New Canaan High School graduate had recently retired from touring as an actor and singer-songwriter and obtained his real estate license in order to support his new and growing family.
Yet Pires continued to nurture his talent and love of music during monthly acoustic gigs at the Georgetown Saloon in Redding. One night when his drummer was unable to make the show, Pires—energetic son of a builder—decided he would make his own box drum or “cajón” so that he’d have live percussion superior to slapping his guitar or using a beatbox. A one-man-band, Pires quickly realized that the traditional Peruvian cajón didn’t suit him because its boxy shape made it awkward to tap underneath him while he played. “I realized then, what if I built something that came through my legs like a horse and its wider at the back and more narrow at the front?” Pires recalled on a recent morning from the retail floor of New Canaan Music on Main Street. “The first one I built in a couple of hours and that night I realized it didn’t work, so then I went and built another the next day.