NEW YORK, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Utah's favorite dads, The Piano Guys, release their latest self-made music video, a cover of Taylor Swift's "Begin Again." This new video finds the band in a greenhouse cafe with YouTube stars Alex Goot and Megan Nicole doing vocal duties in the recording studio. The two locations mirror the musical combination that the band wanted to achieve. Two versions of the song are available - an instrumental and one with vocals featuring Alex and Megan.
"We found inspiration from a classical piece, as we often do – J.S. Bach's 'Sheep May Safely Graze' (Cantata No. 208) and we combined it with Taylor Swift's 'Begin Again,'" says pianist Jon Schmidt. "There were moments, especially the Bridge melody of 'Begin Again' and the primary melody of the Cantata, when the two seemed to play off and echo each other naturally. We wanted this arrangement to be a mix of two styles – a pastoral, classical feel paired with a pop-country vibe - polished off by a bit of romance!"
The Piano Guys started making music videos together for fun and their "hobby" turned into a worldwide phenomenon when their self-made YouTube videos amassed millions and millions of views (up to 194-plus million to date). Signed to Sony Masterworks, The Piano Guys released their self-titled major label debut recording on October 2nd, 2012.
Their album features highly original classical/pop music mash-ups that brings classical music to legions of new listeners, including "Michael Meets Mozart," Michael being Michael Jackson; "Cello Wars," which was brought to life by a Star Wars-inspired light saber/cello bow video battle; "Peponi (Paradise)," an African styled version of Coldplay's "Paradise" which was depicted in a video whereby a grand piano was helicoptered to a 1,000-foot cliff; and "Code Name Vivaldi," which blends a The Bourne Identity soundtrack riff with a similarly intense Vivaldi cello, its breathless video culminating on a flatcar on a high-speed train. The lead track, "Titanium/Pavane" mashes up French classical composer Gabriel Faure's "Pavane" with David Guetta's "Titanium" – The Piano Guys having previously lensed a lovely take on Guetta's "Without You." The Piano Guys will also showcase an original tune called "Arwen's Vigil."
Of course the CD wouldn't be complete without the song that catalyzed The Piano Guys' international fame – their unique 10-handed version of the One Direction hit "What Makes You Beautiful." They have performed the song on everywhere from "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," to "The Today Show" and "Katie."
The group credits their loyal fans with helping to spread the word…and have they ever! Every day the YouTube views for their 35 plus original videos increases by 500,000 and their YouTube channel, which has over 1.4 million subscribers, grows daily to the tune of 2,500 members per day.
Ironically, The Piano Guys, who got their name from a piano store in St. George, Utah, are a quintet featuring only two musicians - only one being a pianist. Store owner Paul Anderson devised a Facebook promotional page and a YouTube channel featuring well-established, self-described "New Age Classical" pianist Jon Schmidt, who teamed up musically with Steven Sharp Nelson, an innovative cellist. Together, Schmidt and Nelson form the musical core of The Piano Guys, with Anderson - who has since closed the store - joining forces with genius co-videographer Tel Stewart in creating The Piano Guys' videos. Al van der Beek, the fifth "Guy," heads up the group's studio operations, and also assists in co-writing and arranging, as well as percussion and vocal texturing.
The Piano Guys are spurred by their desire to broaden the audience for classical music while inspiring young musicians. "Lots of parents are using our music to show their kids how fun classical music can be and motivate them to learn instruments," says Schmidt. Adds Nelson: "We want to show people that it's not at all about fame or money, but trying to be good dads, husbands, examples—and we hope they see that in our videos."
PBS will air a dedicated TV special, filmed at the Red Butte Garden Amphitheatre in Utah, in March 2013. For more information on The Piano Guys tour dates please visit www.ThePianoGuys.com.
SOURCE Sony Masterworks