John Schmidt in Petra JordanThe Piano Guys never cease to amaze their audience with their stunning live performances and YouTube video creations. This week’s Video Find of the Week, “Indiana Jones Rocks Petra with this Arabian Classical Remix!” is breathtaking. The Piano Guys take viewers and listeners on a magical journey in the style of an Indiana Jones movie to the faraway land of Petra, Jordan, all the while demonstrating their extraordinary musical prowess combined with the wonderment of incredible cinematography to produce a high-energy adventure.

The video was posted on their YouTube channel on 1 November 2016 and has already garnered over 100,000 views. “Finale and End Credits” from the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Soundtrack were written by John Williams and “Scheherazade” (Op. 35) was written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. The Piano Guys arrangement was written by Al van der Beek, Jon Schmidt, and Steven Sharp Nelson and produced by Al van der Beek and Steven Sharp Nelson.

In the description of the video, Petra, Jordan, is referred to as a real, yet “unreal” city. The Piano Guys state, “Hard to believe a city half as old as time, carved out of sheer rock in the middle of the desert over 2,000 years ago still stands, whispering stories of its history through weather-worn stone artistry and intricate waterways.” They also make mention that Arab tradition believes that Petra was the site where Moses of the Old Testament struck the rock to draw forth water.

Steven Sharp Nelson in PetraThe magnificent ancient city has also been used as the location for many Hollywood movies such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the 1989 action-packed adventure, where Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, the archaeologist adventurer, seeks to rescue his father and find the Holy Grail. To capture more of the wonder of the city, the Piano Guys felt that more of an Arabic flair was needed, so they turned to classical music for “inspiration, motivation, and more compositional content.” They chose the works of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. In 1888, Rimsky-Korsakov composed a landmark symphonic suite entitled, “Scheherazade.” His score was based on a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales collected over many centuries – “Aladdin,” “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves,” and the “Seven Voyages of Sinbad,” to name but a few. The book that contains the stories is familiar to many worldwide and is called “Arabian Nights.” The woman, Scheherazade, is the storyteller. In the video, the incomparable melody written by Rimsky-Korsakov begins at 0:52.

With this incredible video, the Piano Guys have created something that is truly unique and unusual – “an amalgam of old and new, a marriage of then and now — a mashup of film score and historical – the historical, “Indiana Jones” and the “Arabian Nights!”

 

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