I was working on Innerscape and listening to SoundCloud today when a new piece of music caught my attention. That wasn’t this, but it did lead to this:
The track is called Swan Dive and is basically a duet for piano and cello, two of my favourite instruments. The composer and pianist is Michael Halaas, and I think the cellist is Joan Jenreaud, simply because she features on two of his other tracks.
Michael Halaas’ music is very different to that of The Piano Guys, but if you like them I think you might also like him. Halaas’ music is not quite as polished, but it is beautiful and quite original.
I do have another reason for featuring Halaas’ video clip today – musicians are like Indie writers, no matter how good they are, they will never make it unless they become visible…okay, audible. This guy doesn’t seem to do much in the way of marketing, so I thought I’d give him a hand. Yes, yes, I know…the blind leading the blind, but it’s the thought that counts. Right? 🙂
If memory serves, a blogger friend called Metan first introduced me to The Piano Guys – a serious-looking man with a grand piano and a cheeky faced musician with a cello. But behind the fun video clips was, and is, a team of fearless, indie video production people with a vision. They wanted to create video clips of classical music that all music lovers would enjoy, from young children to the fussiest classical music afficionado. And they succeeded.
This is their latest video clip set in the wilds of Scotland and featuring their version of the Fight Song and Amazing Grace.
And for a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun, here is their version of the Pachelbel Canon:
See if you can spot the piano player. 😉
I’ve posted about The Piano Guys before – they’re actually a bunch of Indie musicians and techie wizards making music their own way – but today I have to say they’ve gone mainstream. 😀 Yes, these Indie guys are playing at Carnegie Hall, the music venue in the US.
Check out the link below, in particular the tour dates. You’ll find New York and Carnegie Hall second from the top :
Who says Indies can’t make it in the big, wide world? Yes!
And now for your listening pleasure – Kung Fu Piano! Yes, there is a grand piano on the Great Wall of China! The views are breathtaking, and the music is superb.
I’m not religious, at all, but sometimes the glory we humans can accomplish moves me to tears.
I lost my whole hard drive last night and I’ve spent the whole day trying to get my work back. It’s been grim, but just now I got some of my music back, and I’m going to bed with a smile on my face again.
Good night everyone,
I’m sitting here listening to the Piano Guys CD and waiting for inspiration to hit. I’m really enjoying the music as I love both the cello and the piano but I’m not sure whether this elegant classical style is going to get my muse out of hiding. Nonetheless I’m going to keep writing whatever pops into my head because Bluey’s advice to just ‘write anyway’ is as good a way to get past this block as any I have discovered.
So who are the Piano Guys? The public faces of this interesting artistic endeavour are Jon Schmidt [piano] and Steven Sharp Nelson [cello], however behind the scenes are highly talented gremlins who create the amazing video clips that go with the Piano Guys music. In a very real sense the concept of The Piano Guys is a fusion of sound and image, often with a delightful sense of humour thrown in for spice.
I was first introduced to the Piano Guys through their Star Wars video clip which takes the idea of duelling light sabers to a whole new level. Steven Sharp Nelson [cello] plays the musical and visual roles of both Light and Dark and at times his bow becomes a light saber! The whole thing is fun and fantastic, great music as well.
In another video clip Nelson plays all four members of a chamber music quartet. The scene is a wedding and ‘they’ are playing Pachabel’s Canon as the bride walks very slowly up the aisle. But then one of the cellists begins to fall asleep from boredom and the music changes to a very up tempo riff upon the theme. The congregation begins to dance and my foot starts a-tappin’ as well. The clip is hilarious and takes serious classical music to a whole new level.
After seeing these two video clips I was so impressed I went to the Piano Guys website to find out who these brilliant maniacs were. I’m not a ‘joiner’ but I was so impressed I joined up as one of their founders and received their CD in the mail a few weeks later. [Everything takes forever to reach Australia].
One of the most beautiful tracks on the CD is ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables. The first time I heard it I was gobsmacked because I have never really like the sung version of that piece all that much. Somehow the lyrics and the difficult melody just never quite did it for me. It always sounded strained. The voice of the cello though is so perfect and effortless that it makes me ache with the wistful pathos of the melody. Watch and tell me what you think.
Well I don’t know about you but I am feeling a million times better. The Piano Guy’s music has soothed my frustrations and, wonder of wonders, the advice to ‘write anyway’ has actually worked. Now hopefully I’ll be able to get some work done on The Book as well. I still have to rework my ideas of how the light from twin suns would actually appear to a native of the planet but… the kettle’s on, I have lots of coffee and I’m sure I can work this out. After all, a binary system can’t be that difficult to work out… can it?