Rylan (16) is a sophomore at Heritage High School in Littleton and has been playing piano since he was three years old. From a young age, he has always enjoyed composing his own music. Maddy (19) is a sophomore at the University of Missouri studying journalism. She began creating videos in middle school and aspires to create documentary films one day. They both hope to inspire others with their arts and they collaborated on this video last month over winter break.
At Rylan’s suggestion, on a beautiful January afternoon following a recent snowstorm, his entire family loaded up his keyboard and headed out to Deer Creek Canyon. They found a great location and did their best not to make too many tracks in the snow. Maddy filmed from numerous vantage points while Rylan played his composition. He probably played through the entire song 15 or more times (very cold fingers in the end). A good friend of theirs filmed the aerial footage. Maddy pieced it all together over about five days to create the final video.
Before you read Rylan and Maddy’s story, take a peek at this clip on NEXT with Kyle Clark from 9NEWS, a Denver TV show.
Heres are Rylan’s and Maddy’s stories and inspirations for the video,
in their own words.
My name is Rylan Montoya. I am 16 years old and have been playing piano by ear since age three. Creativity and originality have always been my biggest driving factors at the keys and the reason I find myself spending hours creating original music. I started taking piano lessons in kindergarten and was fortunate enough to find Leila Viss, my piano teacher, in 2009 (www.facebook.com/88pianokeys/). I began my creative musical journey with her. She has always encouraged creativity and made a place for me to discover my greatest passion as well as foster my ability to play by ear.
From a young age, I have been fascinated with The Piano Guys and was playing Jon Schmidt’s “All of Me” in the 5th grade. Their music and videos inspired me my entire life and motivated me to begin inspiring others through my music. In 2017, I knew it was time to begin reaching out to people with my music, and that’s when I started a YouTube Channel (Rylan Montoya, www.youtube.com/channel/UCY_9KwLoeil332dlbP-yaCA). Starting my channel has really motivated me to continue creating new music and covers, and has helped me discover why it is important to begin setting myself up for long term goals.
My most recent video features my original composition, “Noble Passage”. I wanted to begin accompanying the music I write with our beautiful Colorado scenery. So with the help of my sister, Maddy, a journalism student at Mizzou, I was able to perform and film this piece in the beautiful scenery of Deer Creek Canyon.
I am still exploring what I am going to pursue after high school, but I know it will include music. I am now selling Noble Passage as sheet music and I plan to create more originally-scored videos in different locations throughout Colorado. I hope to continue inspiring those who watch, just as I’ve been inspired by so many others.
My name is Madison (Maddy) Montoya. My passion is storytelling and my dream is to use that passion to make a positive impact on the world—specifically through film. I am 19 years old and a sophomore at the University of Missouri. I am studying journalism and have recently applied to be a part of the Documentary Journalism program with hopes of one day producing impactful and inspiring documentaries. Currently, I am in the process of looking for internship opportunities related to journalism and film.
I’ve had an interest in photography and videography since middle school but really started taking it seriously after graduating from high school. My friends and I are passionate about exploring the beautiful state we live in (Colorado), and as a hobby I began creating one-minute social media montages of our adventures outside. Since beginning my studies at the University of Missouri, I have had the opportunity to produce several journalistic/news-style videos and improve my editing skills.
When I came home for winter break, I was excited for the opportunity to create a music video for my brother Rylan’s original composition, “Noble Passage.” I saw creating the video not only as an opportunity to get creative and practice cinematography, but as a way to bond with my brother who I don’t get to see very often anymore.
Rylan loves The Piano Guys. During the week leading up to the shoot, he showed me several Piano Guys videos on YouTube to give me an idea of what he was looking for. Obviously, The Piano Guys have a budget that the average pair of teenage siblings don’t, but as it turns out, Rylan and I have something that The Piano Guys don’t—quick access to beautiful Colorado landscapes. Having had a little bit of experience with nature photography, I was happy to learn that Rylan wanted the video to take place outdoors.
Producing the video was a whole-family project. After church on Sunday, we packed up the family SUV with my brother’s keyboard, bench and stand, along with all of my camera gear. After arriving at Deer Creek Canyon, my dad packed the keyboard into a backpacking pack, and we hiked out to a scenic spot in the canyon. Rylan set up the keyboard, I set up the camera, and we began shooting. We shot about three hours before the sun began to set.
I spent about a week editing the video, doing all I could to perpetuate the beauty that the song Noble Passage already communicates. It is so heartwarming to see the love that the song and video have received over the past couple of weeks. The reactions we’ve seen to the video and the impact it has made on many of the viewers is exactly what I am trying to accomplish when I create videos. I want others to feel something powerful when they watch the videos I create. I’m so glad this piece has done that for others.
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