Orchestra Of Train Sounds Turns Industrialization Into Art [Video]

Orchestra Of Train Sounds Turns Industrialization Into Art [Video]

Reuben Wu dissects the complexities of the intermodal process to create an astounding music video for GE.

Serena Chu
  • 16 december 2013

In an attempt “to demonstrate the complexity of the tightly-orchestrated intermodal process,”  GE Transportation and CSX commissioned Reuben Wu of the popular British rock band Ladytron to create the Youtube video “Over 2 Million Containers, 2,000 Routes.” This interplay of music and visuals strings together principal moments of what takes place in the terminals on a daily basis. Through this video, you can get a sense of the intricateness of the entire freight network – and may even be excited and interested in an industry that’s typically a snooze for most.

ge 3

Because of his notable ties to the entertainment industry, Wu was brought on by GE as someone who can combine the two disciplines of music and imagery to flawlessly express the company’s commitment “to execute one of the most efficient freight transportation networks in the world.”

When Wu was exploring the terminal for inspiration, he “aimed to create an audio library of sounds that resulted from every machine or process.” Cranes, containers and trains all became a part of the pallet of sounds at Wu’s disposal.

Sounds that we normally don’t pay any attention to – like the wheels on the rail tracks or air from passing trains – are now given more distinct purposes. To his amazement, Wu found much of the “compelling audio comes from the object’s movement” – a discovery that led him to experiment with organic sounds like the click-clack of the train rails and the booming sounds that flooded the site whenever a container hit the ground.


The final composition features several sound layers, which Wu created with analogue synthesizers in order to better synchronize the music with the visuals.

From the get-go Wu didn’t really have a clear idea as to which direction he should take, but he knew focusing on the process was more important than anything else.  From the initial inspirations taken from films like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Koyaanisqatsi” to the preliminary samples gathered from the terminals, Wu, in collaboration with director Noah Conopask and Ryan Heiferman of GOODCOMPANY, was able “to construct a coherent visual language which also made sense from a musical perspective.”

Check out the final composition below.

“Over 2 Million Containers, 2,000 Routes”

Source: GE



PSFK's Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Brand Development
Media & Publishing Yesterday

CNN Launched An Entire Drone Division Of Their News Network

CNN AIR incorporates aerial footage into the corporation's ongoing news coverage

Advertising Yesterday

Uber’s Breathalyzer Cards Let You Know If You Are Sober Enough To Drive

A new campaign from the ride-sharing service raises awareness about the importance of a safe trip home


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Retail: Technology Primer

See All
Design Yesterday

Milk Proteins Could Be The Packaging Material Of The Future

A newly discovered casein-based alternative is biodegradable, sustainable and even edible

Technology Yesterday

Intel’s New System Will Help Technology See And Understand The World

Joule is a tiny board for developers designed to bring powerful computer vision to cheap and easy-to-make prototypes

Design Yesterday

This LA Hotel Is Designed Specifically For Cocktail Drinkers

The Walker Inn is a new Los Angeles "Bed and Beverage" experience that offers guests an intimate setting for their night cap

Education Yesterday

Bringing Virtual Reality And Telepresence Robotics To E-Learning

This Learning Management System is embracing new technologies to reallocate teaching resources to where they should be going

Advertising Yesterday

Interactive Art Exhibition For Dogs Provides Endless Fun

Installations created by artist Dominic Wilcox are based on activities loved by canines, such as fetching tennis balls and splashing in water


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 24, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: The Annual Review Becomes An Everyday, Collaborative Activity

Our Future of Work vision is a web-based platform through which teams can collaborate on and monitor performance reviews across all channels, ensuring a happier workplace

Beauty Yesterday

Design Your Own Custom Watch Faces

Customize your wrist device with Garmin's new app that lets you display personalized images or patterns

Syndicated Yesterday

How The Olympics Taught Us Lessons In Cloud Analytics

Dan Vesset, group VP for analytics and information management at IDC, tells how cloud-based business analytics support decision-making

Beauty Yesterday

Retail Expert: What Sustainability Means To The Millennial Generation

Jo Godden, Founder of RubyMoon, discusses how brands can limit their environmental impact worldwide

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Artist Shuts Down Sexist Comments By Turning Them Into Images

Rora Blue explores social stigma in a photo series titled 'Handle With Care'

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Kanebo's latest addition to the Evita line includes an application that dispenses cleanser in the shape of a flower


Innovation Debrief: Boston
Business Concepts Born In 'The Hub'

Mobile Yesterday

Twitter Bot Will Warn You If You Are A Troll

An online tool developed out of Intel's Hack Harassment movement helps filter out or notify cyber bullies

Retail Yesterday

Passengers Can Now Earn Airline Miles For Sharing Their Location Data

The Frequent Flyer app measures background data and gives travelers points that can be exchanged for tickets with participating airlines

Advertising Yesterday

The NBA Is Releasing Two Original Shows To Stream On Twitter

The sports league announced a deal that demonstrates an interesting expansion of its content strategy

No search results found.