Go to the woods of Kyushu, Japan. Engineer a massive xylophone (or is it a marimba?) to run down the slope of a forested hill. Take a wooden ball, place it at the top of said instrument, and push it. What do you get? Bach's treatment of a traditional church hymn! Namely, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

And, all this for a Japanese commercial for a kidney-shaped smartphone with the tagline, "Touch Wood." I may be late to the party on this one, but when I think of all the time it took to set this up, the precision and measurements used to adjust it and actually make each piece, and how many takes the film crew shot, it continues to inspire even if it's a year old.

And, here you can see how it was made:

Share Your Reflection



This xylophone is a work of art! Can you imagine the joy of being in that woods while the ball is traveling down its path? Magical!

Indeed - i fully agree with your statement ! - A masterpiece of magical performance !

Indeed wonderful and magical.

Why can't we just allow people to have different reactions to this? Though I didn't take time to read every post, I'm sure each person has a valid reason for his or her opinion, if only based on an intuitive response. Not everyone loves the same movies. So be it.

Live and let live.

I notice that the deer ran away ..

ARE you sure....maybe he went in search of the sound. I did not see running.

trying to imagine... most wondrous and truly great art.

A musical mousetrap! Whimusical!

Charming as this is, it does strike me as something of a Hallmark Card:  a popular classic further sentimentalized by being presented in a medium that is impressive not for the quality of its sound or its interpretative beauty but simply because it works at all.  I'm sure that the folks who put this all together had a wonderful sense of achievement, and the video itself is quite lovely to the extent that I find myself preferring the sound of nearby streams and the sight of the woodland deer much more appealing than the dry clankiness of the 'musical peformance'.

If someone finds this musically inspiring, who am I to gainsay it?  But as a professional musician myself, I am left wondering what more interesting thing could have been achieved by this means than the mere rendition of an already very familiar melody (minus all its other equally important underpinnings).  Indeed, I might ask the question:  would this be anywhere as meaningful to those who say they love this if the tune played were not one they recognized?

Me thinks you are a grump!

me too!



This is a neat different way to listen to Bach!



Sextado! "Bah! Humbug. Are there no prisons? And the Union workhouses? Are they still in operation?"

Agreed. The familiarity of the piece is necessary to introduce the completely unfamiliar medium. What a grump.

haha too true. Hey I'm a musician too, and I still see beauty in this as it makes you realise/consider what sound and music really are...and how simple a thing as this can 'accidentally' touch on such a masterpiece. Sometimes 'training' especially in classical (though that's me too) can hinder your core values and creativeness when it comes to music and sound...you are being trained to see it from one very narrow perspective. Open your minds and your hearts =) x

YES, indeed. In art as in music, CREATIVE1. Too much training in art technique can do the same thing---hinder your own creativity, replacing it with another counterfeit of history. Let your creativity emerge. It is fine to go to galleries to appreciate what has already been done, but don't try to imitate anyone else's technique. You may be moved to present something new that the world needs, as uniquely yours as your fingerprint.

No grump! I'm a classical musician myself, someone who has worked long and hard to play this deceptively simple piece in a string quartet version for weddings. The wobbly rhythm of the ball hitting the wooden blocks made me giggle I'm afraid! I do appreciate the beauty of forest, and wooden forms but wished they'd chosen an old folk tune. Here are the words that Bach set to this music.
"Jesu, joy of man's desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs."

The English, while good, differs considerably from the original German text:

Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,
o wie feste halt' ich ihn,
daß er mir mein Herze labe,
wenn ich krank und traurig bin.

Jesum hab' ich, der mich liebet
und sich mir zu eigen giebet,
ach drum laß' ich Jesum nicht,
wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.
—from BWV 147, Chorale movement no. 6

Jesus bleibet meine Freude,
meines Herzens Trost und Saft,
Jesus wehret allem Leide,
er ist meines Lebens Kraft,

Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,
o wie feste halt' ich ihn,
daß er mir mein Herze labe,
wenn ich krank und traurig bin.

Jesum hab' ich, der mich liebet
und sich mir zu eigen giebet,
ach drum laß' ich Jesum nicht,
wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.
—from BWV 147, Chorale movement no. 6

Jesus bleibet meine Freude,
meines Herzens Trost und Saft,
Jesus wehret allem Leide,
er ist meines Lebens Kraft,

What is the problem? I can see nothing bad about this - neither the choice of music (Bach = Eternity) nor the words of the hymn (Joy of Belief)! It is all connected here: Arts, nature and humanity, even in the context of a commercial advertising!

Its the advertising aspect of this that crosses a line - from an artistic, physics, mathematical point of view this would not have happened unless there was there was the financial impetus

seriously! This IS PURE JOY in music. it raises it...not cheapens. Yikes!

Enjoy it for what it is 'grumpy pants ' !

Looks like art to me. I can appreciate this for its crativity.

Can you not enjoy both the empty forrest as well as the expression of human music, art, and creativity? Why is it a competition between one or the other, where one has to be "better", instead of them both having their own place?

As a music major, I find this utterly creative and charming. Bach loved to 'play' with his music within the structure of the times, but I think he would have truly enjoyed this renovation of his music. Let's not get stuffy about this.

Yes. I could not agree more.

Hey, Bach was all about the mathematics and the precision. He would have loved this!


I am reminded of Samuel Johnson's reply when someone asked him if a woman preached well. (The Quakers allowed women to preach in the 1700's; it was a astonishing sight. "Sir, it is like the dancing dog; the point is not that it does it well, but that it does it at all."

Well stated!

The Catholics had women preaching years earlier than this. read the life of St Hildegard of Bingen for a start

At most the women "preached" to other women at convents, though never during the Mass as the sermon, which always was reserved to the priest. Your interpretation is a myth, much like the myth of early, ordained "deaconesses." The women so designated weren't ordained. The title meant that they were the wives of ordained male deacons, much as an "episcopessa" wasn't herself a bishop but was the wife of an "episcopus." Poor Hildegard's name has been attached to things she never really said.

This is EXACTLY the comment which occurred to me but I think it was on the lines of " A woman preaching is like a dog walking on its hind legs - not that it does it well but that it does it all." I suppose if you have time/energy/people/wood to spare ... !

I don't find this commenter a grump at all. I thought I was going to find this video enjoyable, but was sadly disappointed. The time, energy and expense that went into in this would have been much better directed elsewhere. I find the natural sounds of the environment to be much more satisfying, as probably does the deer in the video and any other wildlife inthe area. The "music" of this instrument was dull and clunky. The area was obviously disturbed in the development of this, and to what end? It may have been a satisfying feat of engineering, but I find it a good example of "Just because you can doesn't mean you should".

well, it certainly was a minimal "disturbing" of the forest .. no trees destroyed in the area ..just what wood they used .. was probably similar to primitive instruments ..dull & cllunky, but better than none ..music is beautiful. Am I the Only One who thinks it very well could have been partially animated?

I have to agree, what a waste of human energy.

Yeah, true- they just should have spent the time sitting in front of their TV's like the rest of us

Good, Laura.

I agree, Laura. To paraphrase, "whose who can, do. Those who cannot, will bash on the achievements of others" or something like that.

I know! I know! Like how many years were wasted painting the Sistine Chapel when all that effort could have gone to growing corn to feed the hungry!!! Not to mention that great blunder, the Eiffel Tower which (in spite of its point) is quite pointless. For that matter, maybe it was a waste of time for Bach to have embellished that old hymn, which stood on its own for a long time without being so decorated. In fact, if it were not for Bach's setting of JJoMD, very few of us would be familiar with it at all. You may well ask why I would waste my time writing this comment. I do not know; but I enjoyed doing it.

Bravo, Christopher! Well said.

So true. It breaks my heart just thinking of the cat videos I might have been watching instead. ;-)

It is lovely, simplistic, engaging, whimsical. It is true we have different tastes, and that's okay. It's fine to be a purist, and it is also a pleasure to explore a new experience with flexibility. One can still be a personal performance purist.
There is music in every tree and piece of wood; observe the instrument-maker who personally selects slabs that will become beautiful stringed instruments with beautiful music waiting to be coaxed out!
It' is another perspective on "performance art," and the forest is performing as well as the mechanical instrument; we can hear them both and focus where we desire.
The setup preparation was done by a true team, not terribly unlike a symphony orchestra working together in rehearsing its piece. There was a glimpse that looked to me like a bag for catching or gathering up scraps or trash, leaving the Nature as it was found. It may be quite likely that the entire assemblage was removed to leave the forest as it was found. That could be an additional film....

Totally right... that's of no interest musically speaking, and the "achievement" looks like a drunken bet turned obsession.. so much better could have been done with less efforts... and all this to sell one more dispensable piece of junk...

Wow. What is the weather like, in the land of bitter?

i am always amused when people say they prefer the natural sounds of the environment when watching/listening to something from home, on a computer, removed and isolated from the environment. and yes, the area may have been disturbed, but no more so then when people go hiking or camping in the woods, and given that it was a crew to assemble the set pieces, i am left to assume that they cleaned up the pieces as well, unlike some hikers/campers.

I agree. It's baloney- commercialism masquerading as high "art". Especially sad when you consider that the entire purpose of the "art" was to sell more cell phones. In this case they used something made of "wood" that went "plink plink plunk" like a "wooden" instrument... and set in the "forest" because the cell phone case is apparently made of wood. No doubt churned out by the millions in some factory in China or Vietnam where the going wage is $2/day and there are few if any environmental protections in place. I can see the solvents now flowing out into the nearest river, and tons of toxic hardwood sawdust being breathed in by 12 yr olds . Finally let's talk about the music - a western religious piece about which the average Japanese citizen knows nothing. Weather here in the "land of the bitter" - gloomy as always ;-)

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Moo Kahn. I have very mixed feelings about this... loved the experience of watching and listening, until the incredible let-down at the end that all this ingenuity and creativity went into a commercial for a product that is planet- and human-destroying. C'mon folks, be friendly, hear each other's points of view without trashing them you can do it!

I have never heard this before, and I did love it.

WHAT a kill joy. To hell with professional musicians.

Hey, wait a minute . . I've been professional musician for nearly 50 years and I'm a union officer and I loved it!!! Please don't judge us all over some stuffy pompous jerk; however, I see your point of view based upon such a ridiculous comment.

I find a lot of, not all, professional musicians really snobbish. The team work here was amazing. Heard a discussion the other day in which a Chinese "chamber miusician" who mentioned how hard he found it to work as a team member and blamed it on the One-up-manship caused by the one child policy in China ... they want to be top dog ... I see marks of this in some of the comments of there so called professionals who love their own opinions.

completely out of subject, don't need to be professionel, just to like music and use your hears.. team work was amazing during the Shoah. And yes Chinese all want to be top dogs just like everyone else. And I love my opinion.

I liked it.

Great question. However, the greatness of this commercial is in the perceived simplicity juxtaposed against the engineering of an instrument that virtually plays itself in a pristine setting of natural wonder and further alludes to the telephone as being a natural in this environment, which of course, it isn't. As a musician, I can see that you may well wonder at the sound quality produced, but this was not produced for an orchestration. It's a commercial. And an inventive one.

Very clever and a nice toy.

Grump hardly describes this person. A beautiful melody played beautifully in a beautiful quiet place.

Put down the crack pipe before you blog! I too am a musician and love the creativity and the environment.


I agree with your assessment! Also, how many trees were wasted to make this foolish commercial? Why not use less wood and just do several takes since the tune was so repetitive and boring? All to sell a wooden case for a telephone? I wonder if the deer and other creatures enjoyed the intrusion into their natural habitat? Why not show a human sitting quietly with a wooden encased telephone using the record "App" to capture the "natural sounds"?

Your simple-mindedness astounds me.
1) How many trees do you think were chopped down to place a oversized xylophone and a couple of film tracks? Well. Not many, thats for sure.
2) If you're talking about the amount of wood it takes to make such a xylophone, there are a lot of other, more pressing environmental issues that aren't being taken care of. Look at the recent slash-burn in Indonesia? If you're truly concerned avout the environment, stop being a ***** and do something actually productive.
3) It's a commercial. Commercials are meant to be DIFFERENT, it's supposed to garner the interests of the viewers. Seriously, how many 300+ notes xylophones have you seen? Evidently, id say its about 1.
4) So a video about an overextended xylophone isn't as interesting as "a human sitting quietly with a wooden encased telephone using the record "App" to capture the "natural sounds"? Really? I mean. It's all about personal preference here, but I really have to disagree.
5) And how does your proposed commercial ADVERTISE the COVER of the phone. You're simply setting the advertisement focus to be the FUNCTIONALITY of the phone in itself, and not the cover.
6) So a couple of people filming a commercial in a forest equates to a large disturbance in the forest such that specifically deers and other creatures might not appreciate it? Tell me, have you been on a hike? I would presume not since you're so concerned about animal disturbance.
Based on your claim of such a drastic disturbance in the forest, we should see that all movies or activities done within the forest be cancelled right? Since they're disturbing the peace. No more forest segmets for anymore movies yes? Bullcrap.
7) About the tune being repititive and boring, can you, kind sir share with us a link to youtube of you playing an original work of art that might perhaps be greater than the work of art Bach composed?
8) Reemphasizing my point, it's a commercial isn't it? Why can't you pompous people appreciate it for what it is? It's not a musical work of art, or an engineering feet, or a world record. It's a commercial, and it's a bloody good one. Enough with the criticism. Please just appreciate the work that they've put into the ad. If you're criticizing someone else's work then pray, show me how an ad is supposed to be done based on YOUR pristine standards. Go ahead and actually produce an advertisement and post it back here. We'll be the judge of whether it's better than this one. That's what the internet's for.

I look on it as a work of art- so what if it is a commercial-I didn't realize that until the end and I really was impressed with the work and engineering put into it. We are not all space scientists and for the pleasure of it- I suggest it makes me (at least) have a few minutes of pleasure

Pompous? Regardless of my thoughts about this endeavor, you, Sir/Madam, should look in the mirror before tossing that phrase about.

FWIW there were probably 20 people on that production team, tromping around in the woods, but I digress... Yes, it's a commercial - the "good" or "bad" of which will be analyzed and judged by one metric - the number of wood-covered cell phones it sells. My beef about commercials like this - they show the lovely pristine forest with the wonderful music-art-sculpture-whatever. What they don't show you is the environmental disaster that is probably being created where they manufacture those phones, nor do they show you the hundreds of human slaves working for $2/day in China or Vietnam to assemble those phones. I have seen those sweatshops firsthand. Workers toiling away for next to nothing, with unbelievably bad working conditions. Most people in the west wouldn't want their dog to live those conditions - yet it's A-OK for Asian kids as long as the price of those phones stays as low as possible.

I'm concerned about the amount of wood (trees) used to advertise, and to make this throw-away product.

Obviously you cannot read Japanese. The wood is from the trees fell down in a thinning operation, an imporatnt
silvicultural practice to boost the growth of the remaining trees in a stand. Usually the felled trees are small and could only be used with some creativity. Such as a case for your cell phone.

I liked it and I had no idea what it was..

Maybe it should have played "'tis a gift to be simple, 'tis a gift to be free..." I feel sorry for you.

Yes, it would be appreciated even if not a "known" song. Playing a "well known" song makes it more interesting since the observer knows it s a "real" song played in an unconventional manner. Just making a bunch of notes strung together would be feat enough, but playing a song we recognize makes this even more impressive. The naysayers below are off the mark: this was great! Doing this is just another case of going past the mark: producing a commercial that resonates (pun intended) with the hearer. In Norway I drove down stretches of highway considered dangerous due to weather and such. They put in grooves alongside the lane to make that annoying sound to keep drivers on the straight and narrow. We see them everywhere today. The objective is to keep drivers awake and attentive. Normal grooves do just fine. But the Norwegians went above and beyond meeting the mark. I saw highway signs without words: just music notes. I was curious, but drove on. When my tires hit those grooves, however, they played music due to groove depth, spacing, etc. Music just filled the air! Outstanding! They met the mark, but went far above and beyond the mark. I liked this! And knowing the Japanese, I doubt seriously the wood was wasted. Tchuss!

I didn't know the piece of music being "played", and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The time, the patience, the art of making a "xylophone" , the precision of each piece of wood and where it's placed.....are all amazing feats!

Yes, if it had been a melody that we non-professional-musicians failed to recognise we would all be gazing at our feet, slack-jawed and vacantly scratching our crotches. I wish I were as clever as you.

Yes, if it had been a melody that we non-professional-musicians failed to recognise we would all be gazing at our feet, slack-jawed and vacantly scratching our crotches. I wish I were as clever as you.

um, you need to get over yourself. It's lovely.

Just enjoy the beauty of what it is. "As a professional music engineer myself", I say get off your snooty high horse and stop being such an ass. You'll see more.

Seriously? Your time would have been so much better spent making music than writing this.

If it were Mary had a little lamb I wouldn't have listened or cared. Might have even ridiculed them for wasting their time. But Bach is beautiful. And above that. I commend them for their diligence and teamwork and I bet the phone has few glitches

Of course you twit! Imagine the creative mind behind such an undertaking and the actual work carrying it out.
So you're a professional musician, big whoop!

Are you for real?

Are you serious with that long winded comment? This was breath taking and creative and the fact that it was surrounded in the silence and the beauty of the woods was mere genius! The team behind this had much to be proud of and I am thrilled to be able to not only watch the final product unfold as they planned but to watch the other video showing their precise wood work, their dedication to make the wooden ball hit just so correctly to attain the precise sound they wanted to achieve and the final landing of the drop to be spot on! Im must ask you again, are you serious???

How sad for you. You didn't see the forest through the trees. You might be a musician, but I can bet you didn't make your instrument.

You should know that appreciating the engineering feat that was accomplished here in the Touch Wood video has absolutely nothing to do with appreciating a presentation by a professional orchestra or symphony. These are two polar opposites. Your comparison is disparaging and unfair to both situations. This video by Touch Wood stands alone as a unique presentation using WOOD and gravity to present a musical piece that should make you appreciate the difficulties overcome and the product presented.

I've never heard this song before, but the engineering skill required to make this all work combined with the elegant nature themed simplicity of the instrument is quite lovely. You focus too heavily on what is missing in the song because of the limited scope of the instrument with out realizing or simply ignoring the nature theme. Everything about this is based on wood. The instrument is wood hitting wood, while in the woods, to sell an organic shaped object which also uses wood. It all comes together, with the sound of the instrument itself only being one element, but an important one, among several. It's not just about the music, Perhaps it's time that you stepped beyond your own box to recognize the whole of the project. You're too heavily focused on what you wish to be accomplished musically, and what you personally find pleasing to the ear. Watch it again, but this time with out such a condescending view point. On top of that, it's a commercial. It's meant to sell. You're going to complain that in an attempt to connect with buyers they chose a song that the majority of viewers had likely already heard and are fond of? At this point, it seems as if you've missed the point and the intentions of the creators on perhaps ever single possible level.

very thoughtful, Bogzop.

I believe you have a valid point in that, it is the effort and the concept which I find more appealing than the quality of the sound. That said and done, as an advertisement I can appreciate the genius involved in creating an effective concept that can capture ones imagine and sells a product.
This is an advertisement!!

As someone that had no clue what the tune was, I say "yes".

I agree that it is not really musical; it is a feat of engineering, an intellectual exercise. Considering some of the beautiful Japanese instruments made of wood, I have to wonder why they did not use such an instrument to convey the idea of "touching wood." There are recordings of Bach being performed on Japanese wooden flutes, which would have been more musical--and more in tune--as well as more likely to resonate emotionally.

Creativity is expressed in so many ways. Each art has its own standards and rules. The goal of being a creative person is to find a new way to express oneself with a reflection on the truth of human experience. The last writer sounded so elitist. It reminded me of the 19th century English literary critics who put down Dickens because he appealed to the "masses", and then later, the 20th century American critics who criticized him for "being overly sentimental." Funny that 200 years after his death, people still love Dickens.

Wow! So beautiful!

To me, it is a message for entire humanity that a wooden ball can make a beautiful musical sound on the bridge made of thousands pieces of wood. This is an example of a love and harmony that today's world should have so that we can create a beautiful world to live together. This is called " the sound of one hand clap". I should say 1+1000= 1, it's a unity of whole. This is what we entire human should unite as a whole like the ocean, like the sky, like the sound that came from this musical ball rolling down on its own with the beautiful siund of love and harmony.

Some of the most memorablemoments in life are whenone is childlike enough to do something just for the fun of it.
Without times like that, one could become a Grump!

Yeah, it should have been a Lady Gaga tune.

You could not have stated it better. I was ready to close the window when I noted there wasn't much left in time. But I'd rather hear it on a real instrument rather than this hoked up sort of xylophone that is limited to the one tinny piece of music.

You think too much.

Uh. I didn't know the tune and loved it. People like you make me want to puke. Always looking for the negative in everything. Let the rest of us live and enjoy life while you sit and rot in your negativity. This took tremendous effort and talent to build. Whether you like it or not appreciate that part of it...unless of course you are jealous that you didn't think of it or would know how to build it if you did.

You think an awful lot. I just had a great feeling.

Although I honestly think they did a good job and great effort, I do not find the resulting music "beautiful" by no means. I agree with Bogzop in that the achievement here is that it actually works. I am a musician too, by the way, jazz piano player, and let me add that our music backround should be irrelevant in this conversation :-)

Totally agree with Bogzop ( the "Grump"). I think he is spot on. Sorry, but the Spock in me sees this for what it is, and the musician in me is a bit nauseated that a company will pay buckets of money to make this device and film it for a phone commercial playing an old familiar tune, but to get equivalent financing to do something like this, but original, interesting, and designed to suit the instrument, would be like pulling teeth from a dragon. That says alot about how consumerism effects culture.

We get it. You're a musician, and somewhat pompous one at that. Yes, it would be as meaningful if the tune played was not one I recognized.

you might use less starch in your shirts!

Seems like you like the 'sound' of your own words...this was quite an achievement! I ditto the "me too" remarks...

Wow. I didn't even watch the video and I'm just stunned at this pompous response. "Gainsay?" Seriously? And saying you "might ask the question" rather than just "Would this be..." is just such a sad attempt at sounding...what? Academic? Superior? "As a professional musician" yourself, I might ask you the question "do you have any friends?"

Ah, so sad that there is no joy in it for you. Sadder still that you feel it necessary to share the anti-sentiment. (I'm surprised you didn't have to pounce on that e flat before the final recapitulation.) Shall we say, 'Live and let love?'

Thanks for sharing your perspective! I do believe that each of us are all connected, and each have our own filters.... as we are all part of this humanity to learn thru work, play, laughter, that no matter what we do/ become, one thing for sure is that we are here to learn how to love, ourselves, each other, and our planet!

Talk about patience and team work. I love it. As for the doe that made an appearance , priceless

I missed the doe. (A deer a female deer?)

LOL Very punny :-)

Ha! It went by fast, kind of like when I "got the rubato backward" on my Instrumental Lit & Conducting class Schumannorwhatever, only in reverse.

Nice, great stuff

A joyful experience.A feat of engineering skill and if you know the piece by Bach, the experience is enhanced.

WOW that is something. Especially just for a comercial.

'Especially' for a comercial? I think it's a pity that this is done 'just' for a commercial.

freaking awwwwwsome

It would but be,
A fallen tree
That sings its joy
To me and thee.

Beautiful and so apt, Jaclk.

VERY inventive....a lot of work but the result was worth it!

This was absolutely wonderful! I wonder if they reassembled it in a public space, like the lobby of some great building, so it could be experienced again in person. Now, that's an idea!

I loved the simplicity of the instrument and music against the serenity of the background sound of water movement and backdrop of the forest and deer. I loved it all and will store it to listen to again and again.

Totally amazing....but what a big waste of time, energy, and resources!

oh, please!

What is up with all these people? Who has the time (besides grumpy) to ponder this lovely thing these imaginative folks did? Get a grip.

At one level and impressive feat, but how sad to see Bach's "Jesu Joy" dedicated to a commodity. Is a phone really the focal point of modern man's desiring, and a forest best experienced through the lens of a commercial?

You might be right, but consider the fact that they were going to make an ad anyway. They were going to spend several hundred grand anyway. They could have made something completely frivolous; instead, they made something that has value beyond ad value. Still, you do have a point.

I agree -- very creative. I wonder, though, if the individuals (the engineers, the musicians, the camera people, the writers, etc.) behind this obviously very lengthy and probably labor-intensive creative feat (which is financially supported by the high price we pay for the product) would much rather be creating their own "masterpieces" that could live on forever like Bach's musical score. Unfortunately, the reality of life is that the best of their creative lives will be spent coming up w/ways to sell a product that may or may not (depending on one's point of view) be something society's soul really needs.

Do you think Bach composed his music for sheer pleasure? Most composers of his time wrote on commission - they had their living expenses and bills to pay, just like us today.

You have to be kidding !

Unless you consider that they would have spent that much or more on an ad anyway. If they had had a cameo of a star it would hardly have cost less, and it would hardly have been as durable. I think this is the perfect example of a "useful" ad--it has value in and of itself. Like I said, they could have spent the same or more on absolute fluff, like most ads do.

You could say that about any piece of art, whether it be Picasso or Bach or Sartre...
This was just delightful, and I agree with the comment above - it should be set up in a public space/museum/lobby or somewhere.
It's just fun!

AMAZING.....on so many levels. Thanks.

pretty amazing, but ultimately a waste of time and talent. all this to advertise a consumer product? what does that say about our world?

A realy wonderful experience in wood

truly a work of art my work building houses never came close to this project.

The 'xylophone' was made out of the material surrounding it. A variety of musical instruments are made out of wood. What's the harm of adding another one, an original one, that can only play one tune, as long as one can enjoy it and appreciate the ingenuity, precision work and persistence in the effort to arrive at the correct notes, that went into its creation? I do not think the deer minded. I certainly did not, I even enjoyed it.

Absolutely fabulous. Talk about patience and knowledge.

This was an amazing feat! What great team work can accomplish. How
many man hours were spent making this instrument in the forest
and filming the ad?

Having made many things out of wood, I loved it, as would anyone that loves the material. I guess we were supposed to think that the deer was listening to the music? Obviously not at the same time (lighting) and probably not at the same place.

This is the most amazing xylophone i've ever seen, and i'm a percussionist!!
I appreciate the time and effort that has gone into making this ad :-)

What humans can do when they engage their minds and are willing to work!!! Congratulations!

Unbelievable. I think some priority should be examined.

Very clever and inventive indeed, but the music is quite "tinny" and not something I would enjoy listening to but once.

Imagine a world where all the time, love, creativity, talent, commitment and money that it took to make this commercial were used to help people who have lost their jobs to stay in their homes, to help people who are sick pay for their medical care without losing everything else they have, to help people who have intellectual disabilities live a respected life in the center of their community, to bring jobs that have been outsourced back to this country so people can have the dignity of work and take care of themselves. Etc.

This was my thought as well. All that time, wood, electronic equipment, man power and money to create something fun in order to sell a phone that most of the world cannot afford and/or use, well, it just pisses me off.

While I understand your sentiment, the creation of music in a natural setting doesn't negate the needed support for the poor or downtrodden. I don't believe that the money used to make this commercial was not headed toward some greater purpose, yet I can't wait to show this video to my foster son. This is block play at it's best and I look forward to seeing how it inspires. Also, I am not sure how this video is any more offensive then listening to music in a commercially supported venue. As a person who solidly has her feet planted in the muck and mire of life, I say enjoy and be inspired.

While I understand your sentiment, the creation of music in a natural setting doesn't negate the needed support for the poor or downtrodden. I don't believe that the money used to make this commercial was not headed toward some greater purpose, yet I can't wait to show this video to my foster son. This is block play at it's best and I look forward to seeing how it inspires. Also, I am not sure how this video is any more offensive then listening to music in a commercially supported venue. As a person who solidly has her feet planted in the muck and mire of life, I say enjoy and be inspired.

I've been thinking like that lately, and I couldn't help but think of the line from the movie Dead Poets Society. OK, not the line, but the concept. People need inspiration as much as (some might argue more than) they need medical care. Art gives humankind the motivation to provide those kinds of things for people who need them. It keeps our minds sharp, our hearts soft, and our spirits up, and in the case of *lots* of Americans, our bodies moving. (Now, if you could actually get a person on a treadmill to do some actual work instead.... OK, at least unplug it.... Wait, can someone explain to me why we made powered machines to create work while people are starving for fresh produce?) I hear, you, to be sure, but I'm convinced we need this affluent, now world economy on which to build betterness for everybody. I don't know who gets to say what's balanced and what's not.

Do you ever celebrate a birthday? Take a vacation? Go to a wedding? Camp for a weekend? Go dancing with friends? Sit down with a good novel? Own a computer filled with plastic? Watch videos on that computer? Thrown your support to actors who make millions by going to a movie? If so, you have wasted valuable time and resources that could be spent on more important things. Shame on you.

A masterpiece. Congratulations! Bravo!

The creativity of the advertising team that thought this up and the technical skill is extremely impressive. I enjoyed every note of this simple, well executed commercial.


Love this...

inspirationals and fun!


wow, bravo

I am a conductor of a 67 piece orchestra of adult persons with and without cognitive disabilities --professional musicians as well. Music is definitely NOT for sissies!!! Thank you for this--it was extraordinary as you already know. PRM


Awesome Video. Great creativity for making, great experience in wood.

I'd lvoe to project this on a screen before the entrance of the bride, every time I perform a wedding!

humbling. so beautiful

As beautiful, artistic, romantic, creative and all the wonderful adjetives we can select for this, I beg, please, no more cutting trees for superfluous reasons. If it is recycled from discarded wood, I'm the first to be all for it. But you do not go to this beautiful environment to play music on cut trees to promote a product made of more cut trees.

So cool - love the creativity that went into this!

Amazing! Delightful!

gorgeous. otherwise speechless.

This is a tree nursery, of some type. The words at the end of the commercial imply the company is donating towards the tree farm. This is per my husband who can read Japanese

Looks like they killed lots of trees for that one.

Much better to use of these huge amounts of money and creativity than for war machines...

As the advertisement is for a highly engineered product with the look and feel of nature, and is also a machine for communication, the parallel between this incredibly engineered musical instrument and a highly engineered but elegant piece of communication technology, is an original concept brilliantly executed. Will I actually remember what this advertisement is for? Yes, I think it serves its purpose. Hearing a familiar piece in a quirky and novel way allowed me to admire the engineering more than if it were some cheap jingle. It wasn't intended to be a musical premiere; it was music in the service of advertising, extraordinarily done!

This is amazing. To be able to tune each note and get the tempo correct, too.

Just amazing....

I didn't realize this was for a commercial, to boot..

What a fantastic effort and a wonderful display of human ingenuity. I was totally blown away. Even though it was for a commercial, the artistic result was worth the effort. i really appreciate effort fashioned in a peaceful beautiful way such as this. Awesome!

I love it ,because ,it is god”s creation



Wood that we were all so creative, imaginative, and acceptive of the possibilities of living.

The human touch to the nature of music and the music of nature. Many thanks

The most fantastic piece of workmanship I have ever seen - to produce one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written!!

Domo Arigato!

Wow! Talk about one-pointed, centered attention and incredible patience! We humans are capable of this?

Brilliant. On a par with HONDA COG

An incredible display of human creativity, ingenuity, precision engineering, natural beauty and commercial innovation all wrapped in one exquisite package. It sets up a perfect metaphor for the phone itself. If it's as good as it looks, they need to expand their market.


This is fabulous! I majored in music and Bach would have loved this creativity, I'm sure. The notes in the beginning and end are spot on, some in the middle a little "off," but it's a great project. :D Congratulations

Ingenious, touching.

stupid waste of man power and time, could of done something productive for humanity, with all that manpower and money it took to make this silly thing. Like feeding the poor etc/

Hmm. What would you say to the suggestion that you devote all your paycheck--instead of supporting your family--100% to the poor? This is an ad. TV ads cost hundreds of thousands, and often millions, of dollars. Sometimes you can tell; sometimes you can't. Instead of having Tak Sakaguchi throw the phone around and say something cheesy, they made a work of art with the money.

Besides that, they donated trees to the nursery.

Helping our needy neighbours is good, but you have to be economically productive in order to do so.

what a waste of wood, just for an ad

What a wonderful piece of work. Just think of the time and effort put into this. Music was great. Just fasinating.

humans will never quit spending time with projects that seem to have no purpose other than "just because we can".. GO HUMANS. DON'T EVER STOP

A nice work of ephemereal art.


Dear friends, this really brought me in tears... Thank you for making this and sharing it...

Hello, this really brought me in tears.. Thank you, for making it and sharing it. Stepanka

thank's so much.it was genuinely beautiful. would have stunned viewers to see the total number of times all those people involved must have said to themselves '"i give up.it's too much."just to organize what would be required (selecting the type of wood,cutting, planing and sanding it ,tuning each piece with sound meters , etc, etc) would turn most people away. thank you everyone involved for bringing it into existence.

Forest are the best places to visit I guess. I love the adventure and thrill of being there and I wish to visit some greatest forests on Earth.

but why did they make it?

Now that is a COOL mobile phone commercial!

I am really impressed. I love music, Bach and wood. This altogether ie really spectaculair

wow that was amazing

Is this transient art or has it been left up?

I want to check out the phone and touch the wood.

Love it!

All I can say is, " If japan would have had the same amount of real estate and natural resources we had before the beginning of WWII, we'd all be speaking Japanese today.

I disagree. It's good the Japanize didn't have the "genius" of our mixed American society which created the proper defensive strategy to protect our nation from them during WWII! The Emperor of Japan, and those who worshiped him as a God were truly narcissistic and foolish to invade America. I, for one, am glad we still speak English! Selfish attitudes in any nation will lead to destruction.

So beautiful, so peaceful, it is like a present for my birthday, 17 April, thank you to those who created this wonderful 'advertisement'? from Argentina......

THIS IS AMAZING..............OUTSTANDING.................LOVED LISTENING............

Absolutely amazing! I know this melody as the Ode to Joy. I used to play it on the piano. What is so remarkable is the teamwork, engineering, detailed construction, calculations, persistence, experimenting, and craftmanship that went into constructing this. An amazing feat!

OMG!! I LOVE this! Thanks to all who took the time and effort to construct, and record, such a lovely piece of work. It may be a commercial, but it brings beauty and delight to a world that sorely needs it!

"Touch Wood"...............are you kidding?

This is quite amazing...A lot of patience to put this together...A nice song...

I'd have been impressed by the patience and workmanship even if it had played Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.


Very nice and creative work! However one should not forget that it is to promote mobile phones which are described to be potentially dangerous. A Wikipedia article: "Mobile phone radiation and health" is stating in its introduction: "In 2011, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified mobile phone radiation on the IARC scale into Group 2B - possibly carcinogenic." and the article further develops the dangers; see:

just wonderful-makes me smile!


Inspiración ,creatividad ,tesón y exelencia es lo que mejor describe ese esfuerzo, me lo gocé de principio a fin.

I think the concept is spectacular in all respects!!! The setting is genius for an all inclusive sensory experience!!! Woods fairies.
Mahalo nui loa from Hawaii.

Absolutley Amazing

Awesome feat! I loved, loved, loved it. Good job!!!!

Amazing creativity and effort. I do agree that it would be nice to see as much effort devoted to more altruistic causes, but this has to be one of the greatest commercials ever! It did create a good bit of work for those involved.

Thank God for genius in this world of ours, and the creative spirits who share it.

Absolutely fabulous - What a BIG precision undertaking with wonderful results. Truly magical! You must be very proud of this final result.

Totally fantastic.

Doesn't it make more sense to create a beautiful sound throughout the world that for the nations of the world to create disaster and wars??? :)

The japanese are known for such feats. Look for the famous commercial where they completely breakdown a Honda and make a sequence of events by only using pure sheer engineering and physics.

makes me happy! the tenacious drive is astounding.


Amazing. I loved it but didn't it go a tad flat at times?

This is fantastic!!

Firstly, I love it, BUT.... Lots of things pop into my mind: 1) WOW, this is fabulous; 2) How many trees gave up their all for this project?; 3) What a cool demonstration of music comprehension, mathematics, engineering, science, timing and patience all rolled into one fabulous demonstration; 3) Why the Japanese are light years ahead of us in the patience, math, engineering and science areas; 4) They have forests left in Japan?????; and 5) REALLY, for a telephone ad???????

Oh, how wonderful, even if it was done for a commercial purpose!
The mix between the natural and man-made tones is just beautiful.
Who constructed this?
Did they leave it in the forest so that people can continue to enjoy it?

This would be great for company seminars to lighten the mood. So very creative and artistic. Brought joy to my heart watching it.
I bet your team was extremely proud of themselves as they should be! WOW! and spectacular!

this is fantastic



My very favorite hymn.

Beautiful, approaching the sacred. I’m reminded of this Q&A from Gary Snyder as related by ritualologist Ron Grimes in his book “Rite Out of Place”:

A young woman asks poet, environmentalist, Buddhist Gary Snyder: "If we have made such good use of animals, eating them, singing about them, drawing them, riding them, and dreaming about them, what do they get back from us?" .. Excellent question," replies Snyder, "directly on the point of etiquette and propriety, and putting it from the animals' side. The Ainu say that the deer, salmon, and bear like our music and are fascinated by our languages. So," continues Snyder, "we sing to the fish or the game, speak words to them, say grace. Periodically, we dance for them. A song for your supper. Performance is currency in the deep world's gift economy."

While on one level this is a commercial, I also see it as a performance for this forest and all of the beings in its ecosystem, even, for all forests on the planet. The video highlights this aspect by turning to the “audience” from time to time—the forest, the deer…we hear birdsong. After all of the tons of throw-away goods made from the flesh and blood of these living trees, this gesture seems a fitting performance—a fitting deposit—into the deep world’s gift economy.

What a fantastic achievement.Both musically artistically and the filming is great . Thank You.

Icheban. Domo arigato.

Only a country with boundless patience and no wars to preoccupy them could come up with an original idea such as this and actually pull it off.

Is sounds very bad. Keep working on it.

Was the deer a music critic?

Words cannot speak its beauty and creativity.

amazing! I believe the forest animals enjoyed the concert.

We are here to evolve and grow, to discover who we are, to transform our surroundings in keeping with who we really are, to transcend matter, to worship our maker, to appreciate the infinite creation and learn humility before it. This is life's central mystery and money doesn't come close to answering it. The perfect blend of humility, creativity, loving kindness. Music is never-ending, however it is played!

This was totally magical!

What a splendid exercise in spreading tonal inspiration. You have my vote for a Nobel prize!

I've loved all kinds of wood in my life and I saw this as a celebration of wood. What an amazing, renewable resource and amazing way to celebrate it. The Japanese have been honoring wood forever.

wonderfull, all pices of Bach melody was performed very precisely with this preciselly done and magic sound instrument. Thank all.

wow this is very nice, por decirlo asi maravilloso ver la tecnologia y la creatividad de estos ingenieros de la musica y la tecnologia, felicitaciones algo increible al ver la mano de obra y lo que Dios da al hombre para recrear.

Fabulous, looks like there is hope for mankind after all

I loved the ingenuity of it all: the elegant beauty of the forest, it's various sounds, the playfulness of the wooden ball in sync with a centuries' old ode of joy (JS would have been aglow!), and the joyous teamwork of the crew. And, yes, even the cell phone, on behalf of which this "masterpiece" was crafted, had me wanting to hold, even cherish it. NICE!

you guyz have too much time on your hands,,eh!

OH, all of nature rejoices with this endeavour once emanating from one inspired composer, now vibrating through a community in Japan that loves its beauty, brilliantly inspired to apply that in such a dedicated, laborious effort using technology to send it around this world; we really are one world! Thanks.

i wonder if it couldn't have been partially animated? Just the ball & all the marimba trappings added onto forest video imagery?

What an awesome, incredible feat of craftsmanship, engineering, and musicality. Thank you very much.

This is ingenious!

What patience and united effort for beautiful music from wood in a natural forest setting.

I bow to you all - for the inspiration, the vision, the meticulous research, the arduous work and the incredible end result.
Only a beautiful world could produce such an extrordinary accomplishment. Thank you for sharing it.

This is absolutely fascinating! What patience and creativity these people exhibit! I would love to have been in the forest when they did this.

The incredible skills, patience and artistry of the Japanese continues to amaze and add t my respect for their work ethics and culture. Bravo on this imaginative project.



Abundant Gratitude for this unique example of skilled creation "In Oneness".


Subarashi! Excellent!

Fantastic! Human imagination is endless!


Awesome. Mesmerizing, i love it.

unbelievable!!!! beautiful!!!

This is truly amazing.The hours it took to manufacture, I find no fault in the desire to do something never before attempted. As a craftsman myself I find the beauty in this effort .

Fantastic, absolutely wonderful.

Cheers to the engineering minds that melded academics and whimsy. What patience and persistence! And thanks to the Korg tuner, as well. My Korg just sits on the music stand; nary a clever thought!

Absolutely hard to believe the time, thought and energy to accomplish this. LOVE IT! Thank you.

I thought it was priceless. So many hours of work to set it up and build it. Awesome!

God love them!

waste of time and money

I came to tis video through "on Bring", a radio show that often inspires with discussion of facinating topics, This feat is insprsational not only in the massive effort to bring it to fruition, but , suprisingly such beauty should be in the base bursuit of commercialsm. Putting that aside, I hopr this 'xylaphone' was lef tintact for unsuspecting hikers to stumble upon. It would be great if it inspired others to create other melding of nature and human ingenuity and leave them as random acts of beauty and inspiration in public spaces throughout tghe world. I am certainly goinh to try and invite anyone to share such creations on my farm "Fiddler's Greens" in upstate New York.

A commercial, another one using the musical master JS Bach to glorify/praise the Master! I love the genius in some commercials, as this one, and pray the influence of His Word through this medium lead both the creators/promoters and the consumers to again focus on Jesu, the true and eternal Joy of man's desiring. He is that, pure JOY, once people learn to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ by checking out His Word, the Bible. It's His year, A.D. 2013, --Anno Domine --- In the year of our Lord--, still our Time of Grace. But time is running out. Are we ready to meet Him? His Word invites, --Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.. --- Look! the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world! ---- The just shall live by faith. Can you find these , and so many other verses to guide and comfort, strengthen and sustain, in an internet Bible search?

This is pure joy! Suits the music.



Abolutely amazing, we love it. Congratulations to the creators, designers and technicians who came up with this.

I am speechless, it is truly amazing and awesome. I agree that the setting is pretty spectacular as well!!!

WOW!! WOW!! Out standing.

I want to hear more than one ball at a time

Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring was played at our wedding at my request. My wife and I just love it. Congratulations on such a brilliantly executed concept.

What an ingenious project! Loved watching and loved listening. Thank you, and good luck with "Touch Wood" sales.

jozu jozu

Totally Amazing...Such precise measurements and patience. Great to hear and watch...Thanks for sharing with us.

Stunning - well done

How many trees had to die for this...just kidding ...they are a renewable resource but it is strange the esoteric depth that this niche fan club gives to the world as art.

peace love and zen !!

I LOVE IT!!!! Thank you for your hard work, and sharing your accomplishment/achievement with me!!!!

I think this project could be justified only after all the people who suffered from the tsunami and nuclear tragedy are taken care of. Until then, what a waste of time, money and energy.

Wonderful concept. Congratulations !

What a wonderful project, so creative on many levels. Hope this video reaches mainstream in the Western Countries. Man's brain, soul and body do great projects when the better good takes charge.

So impressed!Triumph of engineering and perfection and ecology!


some people have too much time on their hands

Excelent. Congratulations.

Outstanding, entertaining, clever. thanks