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Cantata 147
April 2, 2011 8:48 AM   Subscribe

Melodic wooden sculpture plays Bach in the forest. [3m5s] (Final 25 seconds are advertising and can be skipped.)
posted by hippybear (38 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
The whole thing is advertising and can be skipped.
posted by _aa_ at 9:07 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Correction: Full 3m25s are advertising. Which kind of spoils it for me, I'm sorry to say.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:07 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


In an ideal world, this artist would not need to compromise his talents by putting them at the service of a corporation.

In the real world, the flawed one that we all inhabit, it's still a beautiful piece. And the warning that it was a commercial is very gracious and civil of you.

Thanks for posting it!
posted by jason's_planet at 9:21 AM on April 2, 2011 [20 favorites]


In an ideal world, this artist would not need to compromise his talents by putting them at the service of a corporation.

Most of the art that survives from past eras was sponsored by warlords. Corporations are a huge improvement.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:34 AM on April 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


1. Artists need patrons.
2. This is amazing.
Thanks.
posted by Brodiggitty at 9:40 AM on April 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not cool enough to make me touch wood, but very cool.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:51 AM on April 2, 2011


Charming! I loved the "trill attachments" about halfway through. I'm OK with this kind of advertising (even though I skipped the actual ad part).
posted by Quietgal at 9:52 AM on April 2, 2011


I love this. I love the fact that it's peaceful, in the woods and features classical music. So they are clearly targeting me, in a way that the flashy video-taking/throbbing/club kid commercials do not. Kudos to them!
posted by pink candy floss at 9:57 AM on April 2, 2011


I also love this! Thank you for posting it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2011


Artists need patrons.

This is true. However, there's an important difference between artists being commissioned and funded, and artists producing advertising.

For instance, there's the question of honesty. If I'm shown a video of an elaborate, mechanical art installation in the woods under the pretense that it's somebody's art project, I usually assume that it's taken in one shot, and what I see is what actually happened. After all, the goal of the video is to depict how (to use the academic term) awesome the project really is. The video is documentation, and any deviation from that mission gets a little dodgy.

Not so with advertising. The purpose of an ad is to produce a beautiful visual product, and so the ends justify the means. Clever edits and multiple takes are fully expected. (It's a small example, but in this instance, did the cut-away shots to deer peeking out from behind trees really happen as the machine was working? Probably not.) But because the goal is to produce a polished final product, the wonder of what's actually being depicted is diminished.

I know that art and commerce are forever entwined. More to the point, I know that live-performance-advertising is an established genre, from Sony's bouncing colour-balls to the endless faux-realité flash-mob performances that cellphone providers are enamoured of. Some of these performances are truly impressive. But you can't say that only the last 25 seconds of this are advertising, as if the rest is somehow pure art.

An ad isn't defined as "the part where you see the product." The whole video was conceived, designed, and executed as an ad. It's the reason it exists. Which means that I thought I was watching something I wasn't: I thought it was an act of whimsy and labour, but in fact it was a big production number.

And that's why learning it was all an ad kind of spoiled it for me.
posted by bicyclefish at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I thought it was an act of whimsy and labour, but in fact it was a big production number.

The term "starving artist" is redundant to you, isn't it.
posted by Etrigan at 10:29 AM on April 2, 2011


The term "starving artist" is redundant to you, isn't it.

Not at all, and I said as much above. But an advertising production is different than one that exists for its own sake.
posted by bicyclefish at 10:34 AM on April 2, 2011


This video was so much better until I read the whining in this thread.
posted by found missing at 10:35 AM on April 2, 2011 [19 favorites]


The only "pure art" is created by someone living just on the edge of homelessness, painted on canvas with paint which was either donated or purchased at a second-hand shop, and which is leaning against a wall at the artist's house (a studio is a luxury!), never to be seen by anyone who isn't a personal friend and who isn't snooping.

Anything else, even hoping someone might buy the piece, is a sell-out.
posted by hippybear at 10:36 AM on April 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I have made pure art.

In my pants.

Also: This is way cool and purists can suck on wooden, euphonious balls.
posted by everichon at 11:07 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Loved this. Another fine marriage of western music with traditional Japanese sensibilities, specifically the Shishi Odoshi, or deer chaser, as implied at 1:37. Despite operating purely on the mechanism of gravity, the tempo still fluctuated slightly, giving it an unexpectedly human quality. I doubt any two performances would be exactly alike.

Also I think it's interesting that western performances (1,2) generally prefer a more traditional andante tempo for Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring whereas, at least anecdotally for me, Japanese seem to prefer something slower and more pensive (1, 2).
posted by marco_nj at 11:23 AM on April 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can't be the only disappointed one expecting something far cleverer than that, like maybe some harmony or counterpoint. That just seems like a whole buttload of wood wasted on one-dimensional plunk-plunk. And maybe I'm projecting, but the passing fawn looked bothered.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:36 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was the point, those things protect gardens by scaring away deer. This is just a very elaborate version of one.
posted by marco_nj at 11:53 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the comments:
"There are certain trees that need to be clean up from time to time. This ad is trying to tell us that they are using those "waste" material to made the product, and it is a limited edition phone, not for mass produce. It is call the "shelter wood cutting"
Cnet has a post about it as well.

The wood used to make the musical instrument probably came from a similar source. All in all, a pretty cool idea.
posted by lemuring at 11:55 AM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Corporations are a huge improvement.

Not really, warlords could be killed.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:21 PM on April 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


By other, meaner warlords, usually.
posted by hincandenza at 12:23 PM on April 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Watching that ball bounce, down down down, almost breaking free from the path every now and then but not quite, it reminds me of our lives. We fall down one step after another down a predetermined path and we cannot begin to understand the constraints that bind us, imagining we're in control but we're not. And whatever ails us, whatever joys we might feel and whatever suffering we endure, it's all inconsequential, at best a lifetime in service to some higher power that finds the entirety of our existence to be a delightfully brief melodic diversion.
posted by hincandenza at 12:27 PM on April 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3mKkLMzLpc
posted by ReeMonster at 1:03 PM on April 2, 2011


That was a lovely idea regardless of the provenance.

It also put me in mind of the Nightingale floor at Nijo castle in Kyoto. [Some details halfway down the page.] The complex of buildings is surrounded by a wooden walkway. Each plank of the walkway is cantilevered in such a way that every step makes a slight woodblock pinging sound. It was supposed to be a sort of motion detection security system to prevent anyone sneaking into the building.
posted by Babblesort at 1:05 PM on April 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


For instance, there's the question of honesty. If I'm shown a video of an elaborate, mechanical art installation in the woods under the pretense that it's somebody's art project, I usually assume that it's taken in one shot, and what I see is what actually happened. After all, the goal of the video is to depict how (to use the academic term) awesome the project really is. The video is documentation, and any deviation from that mission gets a little dodgy.

Spoiler: Banksy uses stencils.

Real artists never mess with the audience.

Artists need patrons.

You can do a lot of art on your own dime. Big installations like this typically need more funding than an individual can manage.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:27 PM on April 2, 2011


Lets call it what it is:

Corporate art.

Why would anybody have a problem with that?
posted by hal_c_on at 2:33 PM on April 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was an act of whimsy and labour, but in fact it was a big production number.

I find it interesting that there's some loss of authenticity implied in the difference between the two. The process would be the same, I'd think. And the outcome? Maybe stifled at the end but not regrettably.

I was reminded of the sony bravia ads with the multicolored rubber balls dumped atop a residential hill. They're both interesting works (and feats of engineering) regardless.
posted by m_steven_a at 5:40 PM on April 2, 2011


Is art that I install in my building at work, and put a little sign up, like it is part of the corporation's collection of art, "corporate art"?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:42 PM on April 2, 2011


Oddly, considering my previous comment, I don't have a problem with this as an ad. Ads can be art, and lots of art projects are funded by corporations through various trusts and endowments. My suspicion is that from the artist's point of view the "real" experience of the thing was being there in the woods when it happened, not the movie. In any case, everybody has to get paid somewhere down the line, maybe this job allowed the artist to do something more radical or less commercial for his next project.
posted by doctor_negative at 6:06 PM on April 2, 2011


I totally love that marvelous musical, plunkety plunk creation. So charming. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring has been one of my favorite pieces of music since I first heard it in Sundays and Cybele.

Would love to see some of the artist's other work. Wonder what his/her name is?Can anyone translate this page to possibly find out?
posted by nickyskye at 6:20 PM on April 2, 2011


I liked the ad and now I want a wooden cell Phone. A total win all around. Unlike the Oscar Mayer's weiner, and bologna jingle, which made me want to kill my T.V. at a very young age, AND caused me to be repelled by hot dogs, and bologna, ever since. The only win there is I will never, ever forget how to spell their name
posted by Redhush at 7:00 PM on April 2, 2011


no counterpoint :(
posted by speicus at 10:04 PM on April 2, 2011


Would love to see some of the artist's other work. Wonder what his/her name is?

According to this engadget article, "Kenjiro Matsuo was responsible for the creation of the instrument, while Morihiro Harano is being handed credit for the idea itself".
posted by hippybear at 7:09 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Your Google Fu rocks hippybear, thanks! The info from the article you linked saying "no artificial music was added whatsoever" just adds to what I already thought, that this delightful creation really is amazing in so many ways.
posted by nickyskye at 12:41 PM on April 3, 2011


Oh wait, another one of Kenjiro Matsuo's xylophone creations: Music Scape using a child's xylophone. I really like his ingenious playfulness.

Another soundscape of his here: Few Minutes Walking In My Mind by Kenjiro Matsuo

Looks like this is his website: invisi.jp | mellowtronix on Twitter

Apparently the material used for that Cantata creation is cypress.

A little about Morihiro Harano
posted by nickyskye at 1:01 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was the point, those things protect gardens by scaring away deer.
This was filmed in a huge garden that's made to look like the woodland home of the deer? Mind blown.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 2:00 PM on April 3, 2011


If I'm shown a video of an elaborate, mechanical art installation in the woods under the pretense that it's somebody's art project, I usually assume that it's taken in one shot, and what I see is what actually happened. After all, the goal of the video is to depict how (to use the academic term) awesome the project really is.

Actually, why would you make this assumption? In that case, there are still ulterior motives: to promote the artist, to entertain audiences, to drive online traffic to the video, etc.

So, it seems like advertisements are more transparent. You assume (correctly) that they're likely to be doctored. So, to that extent, you're accurately perceiving reality. But you seem to be under the mistaken assumption that pure art isn't doctored.
posted by John Cohen at 3:48 AM on April 4, 2011


This is fantastic. Just because it is an ad doesn't mean we all have to get upset and stop appreciating the positive aspects of the video.
posted by oxford blue at 11:23 PM on April 4, 2011


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