Do you know about The Piano Guys?
The Piano Guys are four music loving dads from Utah who got together and started making videos just for fun. They wound up posting them on YouTube and soon the hits started coming—millions and millions of them to be exact. And once I sat down and saw one, I understood why. Check out their 10-hand version of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” Even if you go in thinking this doesn’t look like something you’d like, their videos are so original and fun that it’s impossible to watch just one.
Go ahead, I dare you.
Who are these guys? Despite the name, there’s only one piano player, Jon Schmidt, and one other instrumentalist in the group — cellist Steven Sharp Nelson. The two other Piano Guys are videographer Paul Anderson and music producer Al Van der Beek. Together, they write original songs and produce mash-ups like this Taylor Swift/Bach mix. Sounds crazy, but it works!
So, where does the Great Wall of China fit in all of this?
Turns out The Piano Guys had long dreamed of putting a grand piano up on the Great Wall and after much hard work, it happened. The Piano Guys were given permission by the Chinese government to film a video on the portion of the Great Wall called Huangyaguan.
And that’s when the really hard work began. I’m not talking about all the energy spent deciding what to play (a mash-up of Oogway Ascends” from the Kung Fu Panda soundtrack & Chopin’s Prelude Op. 28 No. 20 in C minor) or the time spent arranging the very special tune. Do you know what it takes to put a piano on one of the seven wonders of the world? Some 60 people raising it up.
The Piano Guys were given only 12 hours to film their video. Weather was a worry, but their biggest obstacle was the fact that the Great Wall is one of the major tourist attractions in China! They couldn’t just shut down an area to get the perfect shot, they had to work around curious sightseers.
Did it all work out? Judge for yourself.