Recently, I gave one of my English classes a “Who is your hero?” writing prompt. Some students wrote about their parents, their grandparents… Some even wrote about Jesus Christ. For me, if I were to be given that prompt, I would have to seriously consider writing about Peter Hollens. I’m not even remotely kidding.
Peter Hollens, for me, embodies everything I wish I had the talent and confidence to do. I have been playing the piano for twenty years of my life now, plus I have been singing in choirs and churches for more than fifteen. Many congregants have come up to me after a church service during which I sang (while playing the piano) to tell me that I should record the song I had just performed. I always reply with a “maybe I will someday” or a simple “thank you” for the compliment, but then never follow through. Why? Because I have this nagging inferiority complex that tells me that every recording I’ve ever made sounds terrible and that I shouldn’t even bother, because it’s a waste of time.
(I actually have a similar inferiority complex when it comes to writing… I really only write because I enjoy doing it—not because I think I’m a terribly great writer. In fact, I am constantly breaking the cardinal rule of journalistic writing: I tend to always talk about myself, as I’m doing right now. But whatever, it’s my website and I’ll do what I want with it. I’ve really considered this to be more of an entertainment blog than a “real” news website regardless.)
Anyway. Back to Peter Hollens. He is truly inspiring. I mean, I still think, “I could never do what he does”, but even so, I watch his YouTube videos and listen to his music and think, “Just once, I’d love to try it—try to record a music video for YouTube, featuring some of my favorite songs from video game or film soundtracks”. Because, really, that’s another reason why I think Peter Hollens is so awesome. His talent for recording multi-layered a cappella harmonies aside, he often chooses to record music from my favorite genre: film scores. This, obviously, also makes him a perfect fit for GeekyCon.
And I, for one, am totally and completely ecstatic and totally overjoyed that Peter is coming!
Here is a taste of some of his many YouTube videos. I’ve chosen my favorites, which also showcase his many recordings from movies—the Middle Earth movies, Game of Thrones, Skyrim, Disney, Star Wars, Hunger Games, and more!
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Peter has a playlist of literally ten songs from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. All ten of them are awesome!
Game of Thrones
A collaboration with the incomparable Lindsey Stirling, this is the Game of Thrones theme song.
The Rains of Castamere, the haunting song from the season four soundtrack by Sigur Ros.
I’m not very good at the video game, but I listen to the soundtrack all the time, because Jeremy Soule is amazing.
Above is a collaboration with Lindsey Stirling. Below is the same theme from Skyrim without her.
Disney (and Star Wars)
Can I demand that Peter Hollens partake in the Disney Singalong at GeekyCon? No? Well, he should anyway!
Sorry to lump Star Wars with Disney, but Disney owns Star Wars now so… This collab with Lindsey will make you feel better.
The Hunger Games
I didn’t think anyone could perform this better than Jennifer Lawrence did in the movie. I was wrong.
After rewatching these videos, I must say… I’m once again inspired to give recording music for YouTube another try. I’m also wary about posting performance videos, because I worry what my students will think and whether they’ll see me differently. However, by the same token, I suppose in doing so, I could, in turn, inspire some of them to pursue similar dreams.
I know there’s so many, but if you had to choose a favorite video, which would it be? Comment below!