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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:

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788 Comments

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.

INTERESTING, THE EFFORT, THE ART, THE COMMITMENT, THE PRODUCTION TEAM

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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health#Cancer

just wonderful-makes me smile!

nice

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.

Marvelous!

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

WOW!!!!!

Awesome.

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.

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