When Syn was commissioned to create the soundtrack for Kubota Engine’s 100th Anniversary commemoration video, our team decided to look beyond the norm of using traditional instruments. The entire soundtrack, based on Ravel’s ‘Boléro’, was created purely using sound bites recorded at the Kubota factory.
Kubota’s name has become synonymous over the last 100-years as a benchmark for industrial quality, reliability and pioneering engineering, perhaps most famous for their industrial and agricultural vehicles, lining farm-lands and fields around the globe.
But why Boléro? A recognisable piece of music, especially popular in Japan, Ravel’s Boléro shares its first performance date in the same decade as the production of the first Kubota engine (the 1920s). Boléro has a simple structure, with a distinctive repeating rhythmic motif that crescendos from the start of the piece through to the end. All the instrumental parts develop in a variety of different ways as they drive the piece toward its epic climax, making it particularly apt to use this strident piece of music to accompany such a landmark for Kubota engines.
Exploring and recording real sounds from the machinery allowed us to compile a vast range of audio used in the arrangement. We travelled to the Kubota engine factory, to record spray painting, grinding sounds of machining cylinder heads, clanking of metal on metal, drilling, and more. We wanted to use sounds that reverberate in the real world, in just the same way that bowing a violin string or blowing a trumpet produces a sound. This is music made from an orchestra of sound.