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Over the Rainbow/Simple Gifts (Piano/Cello Cover) - The Piano Guys

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Published on Feb 27, 2012

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Story behind the song:

Jon Schmidt and Steven Sharp Nelson were booked for a Piano Guys show in Hawaii. How could we resist filming our next video in the land of Aloha -- beautiful beaches, green mountains, and fresh pineapple?? We went to our Founders and Facebook fans to ask what song they wanted us to play there. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was the nearly-unanimous response. But you know how we are ... we couldn't "just" do this tune by itself...so in the studio we found a made-in-heaven matchup in the timeless melody from the Shaker Hymn "Simple Gifts" written in the 1800's (also used by Aaron Copland in his Ballet "Appalachian Spring"). We feel it's an especially appropriate mash-up because of our profound love and respect for the Hawaiian culture -- a people who are so good at finding happiness in simplicity. As you probably could hear we borrowed a lot of ideas from Iz's version which has become the stuff of legend. This arrangement is, in part, a tribute to him.

Getting a piano onto a sandy beach and then onto a big hill in a famous ranch within the SAME day (we only had 8 hours to film) was no small feat. The only thing harder would be to be predict Hawaiian weather, which ended up being our biggest challenge.

"We had a little extra help on this one. My mother, Lynne Sanders Nelson -- a main source of my inspiration for pursuing music -- passed away early in life from the effects of a brain tumor. She was an incredibly-gifted musician and taught me to play music passionately rather than just playing 'notes' on a page. 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' was one of her favorite songs. We finished this arrangement on what would have been her 70th birthday. Somehow she helped. I miss her so very much, but when I play songs like this I feel like I get to be with her again. This song is dedicated to her."
-Steven Sharp Nelson

Thank you so much to the Kualoa Ranch who bent over backwards last-minute for us and provided us such a beautiful place to shoot. Visit their site at http://www.kualoa.com -- when you visit Hawaii be sure to stop by and take a tour -- its where dozens of huge blockbluster movies/tv shows have been filmed.

This song is dedicated to
Lynne Sanders Nelson, The Hill Family, J. Mueller, & the people of Hawaii

Filming locations:
Beach Scene:
Pounders Beach, North Shore, Oahu Hawaii
Finale:
Kualoa Ranch, North Shore, Oahu Hawaii (This is the place to go for sightseeing on Oahu!)
Toll Free: (800) 231-7321
Tour Desk: (808) 237-7321
http://www.kualoa.com

MANY THANKS to Garrin Mascarenas and BRIO TECHNOLOGIES for helping out with this shoot and for running the sound at our live shows! http://www.briotechnologies.com - You are awesome!

Credits:
Over the Rainbow music written by Harold E. Arlen in 1939 for the movie "Wizard of Oz" -- originally performed by Judy Garland
Published by EMI Feist Catalog, Inc.
Inspired, in part, by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover
Simple Gifts written by Joseph Brackett in 1848
Arrangement produced by Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Arrangement written by Jon Schmidt, Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Video produced by Paul Anderson and Tel Stewart
Piano: Jon Schmidt
Electric/Acoustic Cellos: Steven Sharp Nelson
Vocals: Al van der Beek
Percussion: Steven Sharp Nelson & Al van der Beek
Recorded, mixed & mastered by Al van der Beek at TPG Studio

Check out our Top 10 videos!
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Beethoven's 5 Secrets - OneRepublic: https://youtu.be/mJ_fkw5j-t0
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What Makes You beautiful / One Direction: https://youtu.be/0VqTwnAuHws
Peponi - Coldplay - Paradise: https://youtu.be/Cgovv8jWETM
Cello Wars - Star Wars: https://youtu.be/BgAlQuqzl8o
Fight Song / Amazing Grace: https://youtu.be/mOO5qRjVFLw
Kung Fu Piano - Oogway Ascends: https://youtu.be/NCaH-qqTWpk
Story of My Life - One Direction: https://youtu.be/yET4p-r2TI8

Comments • 11,522

Brittany Henry
I just LOVE how happy the cello player looks. It makes me happy.
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Rocker Dude
WOW finally real musicians on YouTube thats amazing.
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Pang Hang
How come this song makes me feel so HAPPY?!?! It's late into the night, but I just feel like going out into the dark and dance the night away. LOL Love it so much!! ♥♥♥
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Brian Moon
Not a single music piece has disapointed me... Every song I liked...
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Isaac Irigoyen
R.I.P Israel Kamakawiwo'ole 😢
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Andrew Pico
That moment when youtube makes you sit through 1:20 of commercial without a skip option. WTF is with youtube lately? they're screwing up.
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annamal pete
this tune will be played at the close of my funeral service.....can't wait!!!
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Vegan Cupcake
I can't get over the fact of how happy they look when playing omg it makes me just so happy
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Helper Bob
1k people didn't go over the rainbow.
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Funny Everlasting Skits
this song makes me cry if reminds me of how good life was when I was younger now life is dule and sad
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