Imagine walking through the woods and then suddenly hearing the calming melodies of Bach playing in the distance. That’s exactly the type of magical scenario that creative director Morihiro Harano and his team at Mori Inc. created in 2012. The company collaborated with carpenter Mitsuo Tsuda and sound engineer Kenjiro Matsuo to create a giant xylophone in a forest that plays a special wooden symphony.
Elevated above the forest floor, the huge xylophone was installed in the woods of Kyushu, Japan. It comprises hundreds of different-sized pieces of wood, each of which plays a different note when struck. In a video showcasing the instrument, a wooden ball is placed at the start of the xylophone, which descends at a slight angle. As the ball rolls freely down, it hits each wooden panel and plays the notes of Bach’s Cantata 147, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.
The beautiful sounds are entirely authentic and unaltered. What you hear is simply the raw recording of the wooden instrument and the surrounding natural environment. The mesmerizing video was created for Japanese telecommunication company Docomo as a commercial for its Touch Wood SH-08C handset—a wood-encased phone. It’s not only a great ad, but it also showcases the creative team’s incredible talent for engineering.
Check out the video below, plus a behind-the-scenes look at how NTTDocomo: Xylophone was made.