Ford Focus Orchestra

February 27, 2008 9:16:11 AM PST
Take a few world-class musicians, add a compact car, and you get an unusual orchestraIt's not quite the New York Philharmonic, but it's no less impressive.

At the Farm Studios in Chiddingfold, the man best known as the drummer in the "Small Faces" and "The Who" is like a kid in a sweet shop, banging on a set of drums made entirely out of car parts. "Very impressive, I'm going to go and cut my car up now," said Kenny Jones.

In the same room fellow musician Mike Rutherford of Genesis gets a handle on the "Clutch Guitar", instruments they plan to use in an upcoming charity record. "It's kind of something different you know, I'm always up for trying something a little bit different and this guitar is sort of um, actually the design I'm amazed it sounds this good it's got a nice tone, given what it is."

The instruments are part of a set that has come to be known as the Ford Focus Orchestra. 31 musical instruments built entirely out of bits of a Ford Focus is currently appearing in the European version of the company's latest commercial.

They were designed and built in just four weeks by sound designer Bill Milbrodt and his team. "We call this the Ford Fender Bass, in the U.U. we call them fenders but in Britain you call them wings but we liked the play on words with the U.S. version," said Milbrodt.

With names like the Ford Fender Bass and Clutch Guitar there does no doubt the authenticity of the instruments.

It's not the first time Milbrodt has tinkered with car parts to experiment with sound. In 1994 he turned his own 1982 Honda Accord into a group of instruments now known as the car music project. "What I'd like people to get out of it especially young people is that there are a lot of forms of entertainment, no offence to CNN, but you don't have to watch TV or play video games all day long I think the best entertainment is proactive."

He's already on the lookout for another deconstruction project. "If Mayor Bloomberg would let me play a city block in New York; that would be terrific to find a building that's being taken down get some stuff out of that make some instruments," said Milbrodt.


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