Every so often, I stumble upon something that is perhaps not recent but still a marvel in its self. So today I wish to introduce to you to three instances of people playing what has been dubbed one of the hardest piano songs around: A piano cover called “The Death Waltz” of a song from a bullet hell shooter. Although perhaps I should go chronologically about this.
In 2002, the sixth game in the Touhou Project series was released on PC, called “The Embodiment Of Scarlet Devil”. Similar to the others in the series (which is still going today and is on its 15th game), The Embodiment Of Scarlet Devil was a bullet-hell shooter complete with bosses. One of these bosses, a vampire called Flandre Scarlet, had music during her stage called U.N. Owen Was Her?
This song inspired two further songs: Eyes Of Deep Crimson was the first, which was a different song in its self but does show some inspiration from U.N. Owen Was Her?, and was released on a music album by ShibayanRecords in 2011.
The second, done by a fan of the original song (possibly a Youtuber called Marc), led to a piano cover of the song on a piano PC program that plays sheet music. This was called Death Waltz. It attracted a lot of attention, not only due to how faithful it is to the original source material but also due to how insane the sheet appeared.
This, naturally, led to some people trying to simulate the Death Waltz on their own piano.
The first to appear was John Stump’s version, dubbed “Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz”. There is no known date when the first video was uploaded, and it could even pre-date the piano PC program version. Although how madly he dances his fingers across the piano, with the pink monkey just hanging where sheet music would normally sit, is something to marvel at.
The second one to appear was Asher Denburg’s version. Rather than as a planned and prepared recording, Asher appears to raise the stakes by doing it impromptu at a family’s Thanksgiving with the hustle and bustle of a family gathering going on in the background. Again with no sheet to read from, the ability to avoid things such as paper flying at him (trying to inflict a paper cut likely), is something I’m impressed with.
There is also a version of the Death Waltz by a 12 year old, because nothing inspires that sensation of being useless like someone half your age doing something 10 times better than you can do anything at all.
Well, at least it is all just pretty to listen to.