Bach’s Cantata 147, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ Played On a Giant Wooden Xylophone In a Forest

This is probably the largest, least creative title for a post ever, but it’s also one of the most descriptive as well. The video is a commercial by DOCOMO for the Touch Wood SH-08C, a limited edition phone of which there are only 15,000 being made. But honestly I could care less about the phone, this commercial is a thousand times more cool. By combining lord knows how many pieces of wood, they were able to make a long, downhill track that was able to reproduce Bach’s Cantata 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. This is a pretty phenomenal achievement and a beautiful piece of art. Huge props to Invisible Designs Lab’s Kenjiro Matsuo for making this crazy idea reality.

Bach’s Cantata 147, 'Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring' Played On a Giant Wooden Xylophone In a Forest

Bach’s Cantata 147, 'Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring' Played On a Giant Wooden Xylophone In a Forest

Bach’s Cantata 147, 'Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring' Played On a Giant Wooden Xylophone In a Forest

24 Comments Bach’s Cantata 147, ‘Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring’ Played On a Giant Wooden Xylophone In a Forest

  1. Tom April 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    Indeed, that phone is pretty goofy… I wonder if a bean-shaped faux-wood phone would sell in America? I doubt it.

    Anyway, a very fun video.

  2. Ely April 7, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    …and they did it all with the Canon 7D and 5D Mark II!

  3. lucky April 7, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    I’ve watched this video +8 times now. Is there an official way I can get the audio, because the rolling music sound is the most relaxing thing I’ve heard in a long time?

  4. Ben King April 8, 2011 at 2:40 PM

    When I first saw this and sent it to my dad we both wished that we were actually seeing the ENTIRE sculpture, rather than just a section at a time edited together. I wonder if they actually built the entire song or built a 200ft section and shot, then re-set the notes for the next section of music and shot again. Regardless of how the video was made, it’s still impressive and I think the TENT in the background around 1:55 says a lot about the amount of work that went into it:-)

  5. the7000club April 10, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    such a shame that the phone this video advertises is so damn ugly

  6. TD Miller April 14, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    Could have been called “If a Ball Plays Bach in a Forest and No One is There to Hear it Does it Make a Sound?”

  7. Carole April 14, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Phenomenal! The sound is great and the deer sure look impressed..the phone meant nothing to me but the xylophone sure did!

  8. Lex April 16, 2011 at 8:32 AM

    the phone looks like a potato, but awesome video, very creative!!

  9. My Face said this while I was alseep April 16, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    …I thought that the phone actually looked kinda cool. Maybe it’s because I’m a hipster? XD

  10. Cyrus April 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM

    Just amazing!

  11. YardEdge April 17, 2011 at 2:07 PM

    what a great commercial. ultra cool ad creates ultra cool phone… that’s the idea anyway.

  12. BerylGHanna April 18, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    Great video. Love the plink plink sound of Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring

  13. The Journey to Success April 19, 2011 at 9:18 PM

    AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That must have taken a lot of time to build and calculations to be done to figure out the correct size for each board to make the correct note. Fabulous!

  14. grf67 April 20, 2011 at 3:54 AM

    And people think that engineers do not have a soft musical side. So much for that conventional wisdom. Congratulations. Outstanding.

  15. curmudgeon April 21, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    All this to sell a phone?


  16. reg April 24, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Where was this filmed? I’d love to go to this forest.

  17. Betty Durst April 27, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    I love this website but do not have twitter, just facebook. How do I get it to my like list of facebook?

  18. Billy May 17, 2011 at 7:05 PM

    Art like this should not be soiled by the evils of marketing and advertising.

  19. Kelly May 22, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    I would so buy this phone. It looks adorable and way more original than any phone I’ve ever seen!

  20. Twilly May 24, 2011 at 2:51 AM

    One of my favorite pieces of music, and done so beautifully and skillfully!
    Though I agree with Billy in part, the odd thing is that marketing often drives art. Would they have done this for art alone if there were no drive to sell attached?

  21. Jan May 25, 2011 at 2:54 AM

    As seen through the eyes of a musician all I can say is this piece combines music and nature in such a poignant and beautiful way. My deepest respect to those who created it for whatever reason.

  22. JD June 19, 2011 at 9:50 PM

    Now I’m not usually a skeptic, but I am an audio engineer and the entire thing seems fake to me. Without going into too much detail, I think that it is totally possible to make this look real without putting too much effort into it and then make it sound real by professionals who do this kind of work (ADR). What is tipping me off here is that the sound quality is way too crisp to recorded outside without planting mics (that would be visible in plenty of shots) everywhere. If this is real kudos to them, if it isn’t kudos to them anyway for making this so convincing and coming up with an idea that is really cool in and of itself. If anybody wants to contend me on this one, feel free… just don’t be insulting about it. Thx.

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