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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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796 Comments

Ho hum.......... interesting but BORRRRRRING.

It's a marimba. Marimbas are traditionally made of wood and xylophones out of metal. Interesting to see behond the scenes, but I'm disappointed that I didn't get to hear the "performance."

Subarashi!

I think this is genius and what fun it must have been to put this together; what a joy to watch and listen to!

The unjudged joy of beauty and creation with the natural implicit and the possibility realised. More, please!

How Bach would have loved seeing and hearing that if he were alive today

what a wonderful masterpiece this is! So awesome and I love it!

totally fantastic!!

Truly an AMAZING production from start to finish. Wonder how many people will truly APPRECIATE all of the details and time and effort it took to produce this BEAUTIFUL piece of art that rest of us are able to enjoy over and over again. THANK YOU to all involved for sharing the end product for everyone else to admire and appreciate. It was truly a labor of love!!!

Magnificent, ingenious ! What a work of art !!

What a beautiful, inspired project. Amazing concept and feat of engineering, sense of place ...all for a commercial product. Fun to create and film, I imagine, for all those concerned. I hope the product is successful, or more importantly, I hope the artists go on to have successful art carers. Thank you!

I love this demonstration of music, talent, woodworking skills, math, engineering, friendships that forma and the technical skills needed to make this lovely video. Thank you for all of your talents. A job well done.

An amazing achievement. Congratulations. I would enjoy hearing the result.

What a fantastic engineering feat!! I found this thoroughly captivating. The joy for me was hearing this unique way of expression of music in a natural setting with natural sounds. I specifically chose not to judge its merits as an ad, the time and money spent, etc., etc. but as a unique artistic expression. Let any negativity reside in the board room when discussing the entire project. On the bright side any one watching and listening will not forget the ad, which was its purpose in the first place.

Incredibly clever and very interesting and even a bit addict able. I really love it.

It's a work of art! Such patience and talent!

... and THEY lost the war??!!

AWhen I ever imagine that the human race is doomed, I happen upon something that says, "But No........!"

Yes, I agree.

Do you think Bach ever could've imagined his music would still be heard so many years later? Do you think that he could've imagined a piece of his would be so recognizable that such a feat as this could or would occur? Do you think he could've imagined it might be played in such a way? What do we imagine about our legacy as many years into the future?

Thank you for making this!

How many hours did it take to construct in the shop? How many hours to set up in the woods? How many total feet is it? How many seconds did it take the ball to reach the end? How m\any engineer and technicians worked on this in the shop and then in the field. What was the cost to produce this commercial?

Add your own questions.

Ed

fabulous

Great.

bach wood instrument...quality control and perseverance is the solution to many problems of society.its fantastic . THE FILMING ALONE WAS A LABOR OF LOVE. converting nature creation into human creation is a feat. The smithsonian would be proud to make space for the bach wood instrument...???

I am blown away by this. brilliant minds create a better world.

Absolutly fabiously

Incredible work by all involved here. It's phenomenal to think of what it took to do this. Congratulations on a job well done.

Brilliant!!

the joy of creation and BEing evident in the process of their work.

funny, though a lot of work for a small result. but: man, keep op playing on this planet!

Mahalo (thank you) for the most enlightening musical treat, that touched all my senses.... you all did an awesome job... can't wait to buy the phone now... just because of this commercial... hope they sell it in America soon.. Aloha!

Whoever thought this up is a genius. the time.engineering and effort must have staggering. Fantisimo!

I so agree with Kathy Johnson. Considering the time, money and effort that went into this project and the end result, I would have been so much more impressed if it had all gone to cleaning the beaches after the tsunami or hauling out the monetary and hourly equivalent of ocean gyre debris in Japan. However, this is my opinion. To each his own.

Only the Japanese can think of this

WOW!

this is awesome

Brilliant!!!

simply a marvel. Patience and engineering combined to make something beautiful.

Impressive and touching! As long as there are people who spend their time to produce something like this, I see hope! for human BEINGS.

WOW....Leave it to the Japanese....just genius....

Absolutely wonderful, but somebody has too much time on their hands.

What are they talking about? "Bach's treatment of a traditional church hymn! Namely, "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." Bach WROTE the melody, he didn't do some arrangement of it. Bach's treatment? Nonsense.

As for the big wooden xylophone, it's cute, but frivolous. Go hear the music played on a big pipe organ. THAT's impressive!

The Japanese people are very inventive and also very special.

Brilliant! One correction to your text, 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring' was written by Bach. It is.not his treatment of a traditional hymn, it is one of his greatest and best loved works.

The reason for making this, ie. the commercial, is immaterial. The sheer ingenuity, creativity, and ability is mind blowing. This just shows the possibility of man's creative capability to produce something for which there is no practical use apart from the pleasure derived from it. Many thanks to the team for giving us this few moments of pleasure.

very impressive. Just wist the sounde were a little deeper. Such beautitful music.
It looked like this took a lot of planning and people hours.

Amazing! Wish we did that kind of thing in the USA!

Brilliant! Thank God there are still people in this world who treasure the important things in life. Thank you so much.

The beauty I'd the earth, joined with human creativity.

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