Student is 'driving force' behind car parts music

Published: 17 March 2008 at 16:18

A student of Creative Music Technology at Anglia Ruskin University’s Cambridge campus has helped to arrange a motoring anthem specifically written for an improvised band headed up by Mike Rutherford called Carparts to follow on from the success of a Ford Focus campaign recently aired on television.

Tim Woods, a second year student who lived in Torquay and Guildford before moving to Cambridge, worked closely with the band members who play instruments made from parts from production cars on the recording at Mike Rutherford’s studio.

The band is anything but ordinary, it is led by veteran musicians Mike Rutherford, of Genesis, and Kenney Jones, a former drummer with the Who.  Both worked together on The Sunday Times project with some of the country’s leading classical musicians, who are also members of the National Symphony Orchestra.

Car part instruments included a clutch plate guitar, wheels fashioned into drums, a rear-suspension spike fiddle, a fender bass and a flute made from part of a strut and some air conditioning tubing.

All the instruments have appeared in the recent television advertisement for Ford which features an entire orchestra playing instruments assembled from the components and body panels of a Ford Focus.  They were designed by Bill Milbrodt, an American musician who began making music from car parts in the 1990s.  He formed a New Jersey band called the Car Music Project in 2005 , which was spotted by Ford’s UK advertising agency.

Tim’s BA Honours Creative Music Technology degree focuses on electronic, electroacoustic and computer music. The emphasis is strictly music although the degree introduces students to a wide range of technological applications within music composition. 

Speaking of his experience, composer and music student Tim said:

“An integral part of my course is writing for film and TV but it was a complete surprise to land a live project of such standing, involving legendary musicians. The project has already attracted much national and international acclaim.”

"It was a case of being in the right place at the right time and for that I am very grateful. To have worked with Mike Rutherford, Kenney Jones and the extremely talented classical musicians involved in the piece is such an honour. It was a great challenge for them to get to grips with these highly original instruments but they were all, as you would expect, supremely professional."

"I am delighted with the quality and feel of the single. It can be truly described as motoring music, it is truly unique and deserving of a place in the history of good driving music."

Dr Julio d’Escrivan, Senior Lecturer in Creative Music Technology at Anglia Ruskin University added:

"Tim is hugely enthusiastic and always looking  to do the next thing.  He is always full of ideas and this new project has given him the start he needs to develop his own budding career."

"He found the orchestration guidance particularly invaluable for this work  and welcomed the fact that through his course he had learned the basics for dealing with real-life musicians in the studio environment which can sometimes be the hardest lesson of all."

"I believe Tim will do very well in the future. He is extremely hard working, professional and a natural composer."

Richard Watson is the co-author of the song, entitled Six O’Clock in the Morning, and the vocalist on the recording. The song was inspired by an obsessive ex-girlfriend who kept phoning him. It looks for hope amid everyday drudgery and was selected from a number of entries submitted to The Sunday Times.

The song can be heard and downloaded to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust at: