This remarkably beautiful video, uploaded to YouTube one day before the T?hoku earthquake and tsunami, turns out to be an ad for Sharp’s SH-08C handset. It is, nonetheless, something you shouldn’t miss: in a tranquil forest, a single wooden ball rolls down a stepped wooden ramp, continuously, for two minutes. At each step, it falls and strikes a wooden bar tuned to play a single note of the 10th movement of Bach’s Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147, commonly known by its English title, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Wait ’till you see how they handle the sustained notes. [Thanks, Rachel!]

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Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • http://www.bill.eccles.net/bill/ Bill Eccles

    I still can’t believe I’m the only one who realizes that this isn’t Bach’s Goldberg Variations, but rather a Goldberg variation of Bach…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Sanders/591036403 Mike Sanders

      Wow aren’t you the clever one please see my response to Ale Tirabo above and insert whatever your name is.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ekmurai Ethan Murai

        I think he was making a pun with reference to both Bach’s harpsichord piece and Rube Goldberg machines.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ekmurai Ethan Murai

        I think he was making a pun with reference to both Bach’s harpsichord piece and Rube Goldberg machines.

      • http://www.facebook.com/ekmurai Ethan Murai

        I think he was making a pun with reference to both Bach’s harpsichord piece and Rube Goldberg machines.

      • http://www.facebook.com/keith.mitchell.7906 Keith Mitchell

        Rubinstein “concerto” or “orchestra” via the Goldberg variations by Bach?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001203136102 James Hopkins

    LOVE THIS!

  • http://twitter.com/mike_bb mike_bb

    wow

  • http://www.facebook.com/sbaillymarchand Sylvie Bailly-Marchand

    très beau, même si de temps en temps la note n’y est pas

  • http://twitter.com/YvetteS YvetteS

    I could watch this over and over again! Simply amazing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Julian.Liedtke Julian Liedtke

    nice.

  • constance kowalski

    What a beautiful, simplistic rendering of one of the world’s great musical pieces! Thank you for the opportunity to experience this awe-inspiring event.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mfed3 Marc Federico

    cool but obviously fake

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4DO3XAJYL3NPBT4JGOUROAP2AE Jason

      why is it a fake Marc? because you cant believe that they would set up and spend all that time? ppl do amazing things good and bad the us spent a decade and 12 million to create a pen that would work in space/underwater/ subzero and up to 300 degree C temps. while the Russians just used pencils. This is great

      • anton

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Pen
        A common urban legend states that, faced with the fact that ball-point pens will not write in zero-gravity, NASA spent a large amount of money to develop a pen that would write in the conditions experienced during spaceflight (the result purportedly being the Fisher Space Pen), while the Soviet Union took the simpler (and cheaper) route of just using pencils.[1] This story is in fact false, [keep reading]

  • http://www.facebook.com/JackieGC2011 Jacqueline Rooney Mikami

    Wow – this is awesome Lisa.

  • Anonymous

    Completely, unnecessarily, wonderful.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful, great, original and all that, but really; “Touch wood”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andre-Wagner/744963138 Andre Wagner

    Amazing

  • http://www.facebook.com/Tirabo.Albiazul Ale Tirabo

    How many beatiful trees were necessary for few seconds of poor music?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V7UHMEDJQVZWIDP2OA2MNZ5NYU Dettarer

      The video says that all the materials used in the video come from forest management efforts, so the materials used there are mostly from undergrowth, not big trees. Many forests in Japan are becoming overgrown because those forests were meant to be actively managed and logged but logging in Japan mostly went out of business since then. So, keeping those forests healthy is becoming an issue — they need to be periodically thinned but those unmanaged forests no longer produce building materials (not straight enough, too thin, etc etc), so funding such effort is becoming a challenge. Thus the phones with wood cover — they actually are paying for the low-grade wood, which in turn is paying for the forest management. At least, that’s what the ad is trying to convey.

    • http://wedeclare.wordpress.com/ Andy Horning

      I suppose they could have used bones, if you’d prefer.

    • Anonymous

      How much oil did you burn to save a few seconds of walk time today?
      How much coal was burned to power the PC you are typing on?
      How many animals and plants were killed for the clothes you are wearing?
      How much of my air did you waste, blowing all that hot air of yours?

      Is there ever anything that can happen that you wont look for the negative in, and spout off about to make yourself feel superior?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000097428690 Kyle Mccririe

        can i like this twice????

    • Anonymous

      Negativity, missing the beautiy……….gotta be a lib

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LWHWLJTZQIBA3LKAQIKRF5IDLM Sarah Howell

        what a morainic, judgmental statement. Must be a conserv

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Sanders/591036403 Mike Sanders

      What a prick!! The music is exceptional and I have shown it to my grandchildren, it is inspirational, you on the other hand are taking up valuable space on this planet

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Grace-McCaffrey/1010682827 Margaret Grace McCaffrey

      I beg your pardon? Poor music? I beg to differ my uneducated friend. :D It’s so beautiful! Better they do that than waste their time on computers searching for videos to complain about! 

  • http://www.playlist.pk Pakistani music

    I think its a nice work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pollypayne Polly Payne Hendricks

    amazing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-M-Dohogne/1183987046 Eric M Dohogne

    Those clever Japanese!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patricia-Murphy/1517167307 Patricia Murphy

    How absolutely charming this is. Made me smile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cobus.koekemoer Cobus Koekemoer

    Very impressive!

  • http://www.facebook.com/debbidiva Debbi Miller

    For all those who have heard my answering machine…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jaced01 James Edwards

    A really beautiful must-see.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hermann-Engelhardt/1270386634 Hermann Engelhardt

    Bach in the Forest

  • http://www.facebook.com/StevenLazo Steven Lazo

    touch wood.

    hehe

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710825379 Domingo Cerra

    !Ingenioso!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=710825379 Domingo Cerra

    !Ingenioso!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lorie-Squires-Harris/1003211910 Lorie Squires Harris

    Wow! How does one even know where to start to come up with such a great idea. And the way the wood is set up…somebody knows their keys very very well. And it flowed with Gods creatiion. Great job!

  • http://www.stylomart.com Online reviews

    I think its a great work done.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826371660 Shane Green

    Ok, we need plans on how to make these!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marlene-Zeigler/100000643274160 Marlene Zeigler

    .

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Craig-Doolittle/100000381717057 Craig Doolittle

    Way cool…..my favorite Bach.

  • Anonymous

    Think about the work that went into this, and cutting the wood to right length, and the angle to make that sound. What workmanship! The amount of trial and error, incredible. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Celia-Linde/1054302074 Celia Linde

     Musical poetry in the forest!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Celia-Linde/1054302074 Celia Linde

     Musical poetry in the forest!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Celia-Linde/1054302074 Celia Linde

     Musical poetry in the forest!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1361197965 Kaleb B Karr

    I saw this a while back and have been trying to find it again. the phone might loke…wierd but the video is really cool.

  • http://www.facebook.com/louwena.brand Louwena Brand

    Fantastic!!!!!  Please watch and listen!  It is amazing!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/louwena.brand Louwena Brand

    Fantastic!!!!!  Please watch and listen!  It is amazing!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/louwena.brand Louwena Brand

    Please listen and watch this!  It is amazing! Very, very creative!!  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terri-Carls/100000971623432 Terri Carls

    This is awesome

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terri-Carls/100000971623432 Terri Carls

    This is awesome

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terri-Carls/100000971623432 Terri Carls

    This is awesome

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Grace-McCaffrey/1010682827 Margaret Grace McCaffrey

    That is so cool!

  • http://www.facebook.com/salvo.paragas Salvo Paragas

    good example of too much time and money of big corporate phone companies ha!

  • http://www.facebook.com/salvo.paragas Salvo Paragas

    good example of too much time and money of big corporate phone companies ha!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Yates/100000162628254 Christopher Yates

    I am speechless with wonder at this creation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Yates/100000162628254 Christopher Yates

    I am speechless with wonder at this creation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Christopher-Yates/100000162628254 Christopher Yates

    I am speechless with wonder at this creation.

  • http://facebook.com/jbparker Jay Parker

    Is this truly a marimba, or just a xylophone?

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