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: (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.
This video features a NEW STEEL cello made by Dawson Swan: Thor II — with significant improvements over Thor I. It’s lighter, easier to play and it looks awesome! Dawson is an incredible artist! Check his website out here. Thank you again, Dawson!
Titanium (feat. Sia) written by SIA FURLER, DAVID GUETTA, GIORGIO TUINFORT, NICK WALL ; VAN DE
Published by SHAPIRO BERNSTEIN & CO INC OBO WHAT A PUBLISHING LTD, SONY/ATV SONGS LLC, EMI BLACKWOOD MUSIC INC OBO EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING LTD, THE ROYALTY NETWORK OBO TALPA MUSIC BV, THE ROYALTY NETWORK OBO TENYOR MUSIC
Pavane written by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Arrangement produced by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Arrangement written by Al van der Beek, Jon Schmidt & Steven Sharp Nelson
Jon Schmidt: Piano
Steven Sharp Nelson: Electric, Acoustic, Carbon Fiber, Steel Cellos, Cello-percussion, percussion
Al van der Beek: Vocal textures, percussion
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios in Utah
Video Filmed, produced and edited by Paul Anderson