It is said that behind every song there is a story. The wonderful music video that The Piano Guys released on their YouTube channel on 21 May 2020 is an excellent example that proves the point. Their arrangement of the Mussorgsky’s “Promendae” theme from “Pictures at An Exhibition,” which features puppets (a first for a Piano Guys’ video), reveals the love story that came to be during the making of the video.
It all started when the Piano Guys watched and were intrigued by a social media post in which puppeteer Márton Harkel was performing on the streets of Budapest. In the description of the video on YouTube they explain, “What caught our eye was his cellist puppet. It was a near-perfect copy of the puppeteer. And as he made the motions of playing cello, his puppet would mimic his movements with astounding musicality. It was captivating. It was like watching art come alive.”
“Pictures at An Exhibition” is a piece of classical works written about art coming alive. So, the Piano Guys contacted Harkel and he began work crafting puppet models of Steven Sharp Nelson and Jon Schmidt.
After spending 200 hours creating the puppets, Harkel realized that it was impossible for him to make both puppets come to life by himself. He hired a talented young puppeteer, Napsugár Trömböczky. The two rehearsed together and filmed the video.
The Piano Guys noted in their post, “As they [Harkel and Trömböczky] began working together, their interest in the project and the puppets took a back seat to their interest in each other!” The two became engaged within a week and were married on 14 September 2019.
In a message to the Piano Guys after the filming of the video was complete, Márton expressed not only his gratitude for being allowed to work on the project, but perhaps most importantly, for having the opportunity to meet his soulmate, and to do what he loves, with whom he loves. Indeed, Márton has found more than a soulmate. He has a new business partner. The couple has created a Harkel Puppetry Facebook page.
The Piano Guys share this touching thought at the end of the video description, “We do not take any credit. Look to the Grand Puppeteer for that. But we thank you, Márton and Napsugár, all the same. If all the time, work, energy, and passion that went into this project was all for you two and your eternal family, then it was well worth it. We are honored to have the opportunity to ‘play a small part’ in something much more important than a music video. After all, we were just the puppets.”