We’re pretty huge fans of pianos that look like things, especially if they’re played by somebody who can shred. (Sidebar: is the term “shredding” only applicable to guitar playing? What’s the equivalent term for pianos? Pounding? That can’t be right. Let’s ponder.) This is why we love the Player Piano series. It’s exactly what you want! A new arrangement of a video game, TV show, or movie theme expertly tickled on the ivories of a specific piano to represent the property in question. This is the work of arranger/pianist Sonya Belousova and director Tom Grey. In the past they’ve done themes from Street Fighter, Tetris, Akira and more.
This time the “and more” refers to one of the greatest theme songs in all of time and space, the Doctor Who theme, composed by Ron Grainer and arranged by many people over the years including Delia Derbyshire, Peter Howell, Dominic Glynn, and Murray Gold several times. Belousova’s arrangement is a lot more classical but is still unmistakably Who. In general, the arrangement of the music incorporates electronic sounds, which was an early signifier of the spacey weirdness to come, but I think if they ever decided to go full-on Romantic with it, Belousova’s would be the way to go. The video is accented by the gorgeous TARDIS blue piano and the series of costumes of all 12 Doctors (no War, but that’s understandable) which combine with a set in the clouds, a-la “The Snowmen,” to create the perfectly Doctorish vibe.
For more Player Piano, subscribe to their YouTube channel and check out the behind the scenes gallery below. And tell us in the comments which music you’d like them to do next! We’ll pass it along.