~~April 9, 2014~~
Last night I prepared two “At the end of the day” … posts.
I used two songs from The Piano Guys. Both were fairly recent. They have started a series of songs which they intent to play at the Seven Wonders of the World.
However, I would like to start a series where their previous songs are showcased.
I will start with the first song on their first album.
What do you get when you mix up a marketing genius that does video, a studio engineer that writes music, a pianist that had a successful solo career, and a cellist that does pretty much everything?
The Piano Guys: a miraculous meeting of “guys” with the same intrinsic purpose – to make a positive impact in the lives of people all over the world through music videos.
The Piano Guys are an American musical group consisting of Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, Paul Anderson, and Al van der Beek. They gained popularity through YouTube, where they posted piano and cello renditions of popular songs and classical music. Schmidt and Nelson’s music is accompanied by professional-quality videos shot and edited by Paul Anderson and formerly by Tel Stewart. Their first three major-label albums The Piano Guys, The Piano Guys 2, and A Family Christmas each reached number one on the Billboard New Age Albums and Classical Albums charts.
Paul Anderson owned a piano shop in St. George, Utah. He met musician Jon Schmidt as the latter walked in to ask if he could practice there for an upcoming concert. Months later, Paul Anderson and Tel Stewart (then just for fun) started making videos together with Jon Schmidt. It was not too long after that they did their first collaboration with Jon Schmidt, Steven Sharp Nelson, and Al Van Der Beek as the studio and music technician. After the five of them started collaborating the group really started to take off, producing a music video each week and posting it to YouTube.
Several of the group’s YouTube videos have over 20 million views, while all of them have over 750,000. As of February 2014, The Piano Guys’ YouTube channel has over 345 million total video views and about 2,500,000 subscribers. In June 2011, The Piano Guys won the “Most Up-and-Coming Channel” award in the YouTube “On the Rise” contest with “Michael Meets Mozart” with Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson.
~~Signing with Sony~~
In September 2012 it was announced that the Piano Guys had been signed by Sony. This resulted in a world-wide release of the album The Piano Guys, followed in 2013 by The Piano Guys 2.
“Our vision is to create music and videos that inspire & uplift. Whatever we do, we put our heart and souls into every note and frame.”
~~Titanium / Pavane (Piano/Cello Cover) – David Guetta/Faure – ThePianoGuys~~
~~Story behind the song~~
Have you ever awakened with a melody in your head and you don’t know how it got there? That was the beginning of our PianoGuys’ version of David Guetta’s “Titanium (feat. Sia).” Paul especially loved this tune — he lobbied us to arrange the song, but after we could not find a way to begin the arrangement. Every time we tried it just didn’t flow. We also were concerned that the hook of the tune was nothing but the beat and lacked a lead melody, which would make it more difficult to convey with piano and cello.
Steve woke one morning and couldn’t get a melody out of his head. It was Gabriel Faure’s “Pavane” — a hauntingly beautiful melody that weaves in and out of richly sequenced harmonies and fluid counter-melodies. It had been a favorite of his as a child, but he hadn’t heard it for years. In the studio that same morning we tried the melody over the top of the chorus of David’ Guetta’s Titanium and it was like witnessing a reunion of two childhood friends. The main melody of the Pavane and its supporting chords, transposed and changed stylistically to mimic Guetta, also fit nicely as the intro we had been searching for.
And we thought since Guetta and Faure are both French it must have been meant to be!
If you’re not familiar with “Pavane” Listen to a version of Bobby McFerrin singing it with La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN-cY-… (As a boy Steve heard this very version live in concert and it evidently had an indelible impression on him!)
Classical music is such a big part of who we, ThePianoGuys, are. You can hear it in everything we write. We love pairing it with the music of today.
This was the most difficult music video to set the “stage” for thus far. We considered so many locations — a copper mine, a steel mill, an industry factory, a mountaintop ski resort, a wildflower meadow, a desert bluff, and many others. As you know we love putting pianos and cellos in crazy places (a common comment is ‘how the heck did they get the piano up there??’) — places that show off breathtakingly beautiful landscapes.
When Mark Wade with Garfield County’s Department of Tourism called and offered full creative access to its national parks we abandoned all of our tabled ideas and focused on showcasing Bryce Canyon National Park — an incredible place of raw beauty and geological history written in rock. It is a place like no other.
We feel so blessed to have been able to film there.
All of the sounds you hear in this tune were created by the piano; electric, steel, acoustic & carbon fiber cellos; vocals; and a tambourine.
This video was filmed at Bryce Canyon National Park in cooperation with the Garfield County Office of Tourism. For more information go to http://www.BryceCanyonCountry.com.
Thanks to Bruce Fullmer and Mark Wade for their assistance in location scouting and project management. See more of Bryce Canyon in this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQA-qg…
We ALL connected through MUSIC!!
~Titanium/Pavane – David Guetta ft. Sia (Tyler Ward & The Piano Guys cover)~
~Published on Oct 3, 2012~
We ALL are ONE!!