Story of My Life

Story of My Life!

As we began our arrangement of One Direction’s “Story of My Life” we wanted it to feel like each note of the music was a word in a vivid story being told. When writing a song sometimes you just need a little spark. That catalyst came from a piece of classical music – one that had such a “storybook feel” to it that we gleaned inspiration from it: Saint-Saëns’ “Aquarium” from his Suite “Carnival of the Animals.” It’s an incredibly beautiful and transportive piece. You can listen to it HERE

When we were finished we all stepped back and listened as objectively as we could, imagining what sort of story was being told in order to identify the best places to film. What happened surprised us all. The story itself took over. It was like film score – but in reverse. A story was written around the music – a story about the life of a tree. And how that tree’s life intertwined with the life a young boy who planted its seed – a boy who would grow up under its canopy. On its branches, he would climb, imagine adventures, and swing in the breeze. There he would meet his soul mate, get married, and dance with her in the rain. Then, when the tree’s life seemed at an end, it lived on to cradle the young boy’s child. As as the boy’s life was approaching its last days in mortality, he knew that he, too, would live on through his story, the story of the tree, and in his child who would plant a new seed from his beloved tree.

We determined to do something we’ve never done before, film a short story and let the music be its soundtrack. This is why in the video Jon and Steve are only shown more as translucent performers that are serenading this tree’s story from behind its past. We went to great lengths to capture the vivid story that this music had “written.” We hope you enjoy it.

As a side “note” … you may also notice that this is first time we used an upright piano instead of a grand piano. This is because the piano fit the era better, but more importantly it has a rich story of its own that has special meaning to us.

Many thanks to the people that made this possible…(the people that provided the house and the property that the tree was on)

We would also like to thank YDraw for collaborating with us on this project. They worked hard to provide the awesome animations you see throughout the video. Check out their links below to see what they do.
Let’s Get Social and Share The Love!


Arrangement written and produced by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Based upon: “Batman Theme” by Neal Hefti (1966); “The Batman Theme” by Danny Elfman (1989); “Like a Dog Chasing Cars” by Hans Zimmer (2008)
Mixed & mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios in Utah
Performed by
Jon Schmidt: Piano
Steven Sharp Nelson: Steel, carbon fiber, electric & acoustic cellos, cello-percussion, vocals, percussion
Al van der Beek: Vocals, percussion
Video produced by Paul Anderson & Shaye Scott

Special Thanks:

Helicopter footage – Chris Newman

Special Effects – Aaron Sorensen

89′ Batmobile & Tumbler – Dave Dickson & Herald Tapley

66′ Batmobile Car – Jett Yaskow

66′ Set Contractor – Jonas Sappington

Set Gaffer – Phil Shepherd

89′ Cello Fabricator – Gail Flynn

Carbon Fiber Cello – Ricci Carbon