Updated: Feb 18, 2021
Today I have released Toss a Coin to Your Pianist, Vol. 1, which is a piano book that contains all 6 of my piano arrangements of the soundtrack of Netflix's The Witcher. It's been quite a grind to come to the point of releasing such a large bundle, so I want to sit down and tell you a bit more about it!
I still remember that spring day in 2017, on which Netflix announced its plan to create a series based on “The Witcher”. I had just read most of the Witcher books and played The Witcher 3 back in 2015, so there was no tv series that could possibly excite me more. Like many others I was sceptical: “the Witcher saga is incredible as it is, should
Netflix even touch it?”. Yet I was hopeful, especially after I learned more about the showrunner, Lauren Schmidt. She seemed like a genuine, passionate person. I could tell she’d try her best to give the Witcher fans what they wanted out of this series.
A year went by. The first leaks started getting out and it appeared that Henry Cavill was casted to play Geralt of Rivia. Initially I thought Henry was a bit bulky to play such an agile Witcher, but his passion for the Witcher convinced me that he was the right man for the job. I vividly remember Netflix releasing the first teaser of Henry dressed as Geralt: many people were upset that Henry looked painfully clean, like Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Lauren responded very open-minded, stating that she appreciated the feedback.
Let’s fast forward another year to late 2019. The show’s release date of December 20th that year was getting really close. By now all of the cast & crew members were known, and a few good-looking trailers were released. It was just a matter of waiting. I was already following Sonya Belousova, the show’s main composer, when she suddenly released two tracks from the official soundtrack: Geralt of Rivia, the main theme, and Toss a Coin to Your Witcher. Awesome, I thought, after which I listened carefully to them both. Although it’s often a show’s main theme that gets the most attention, I instantly knew one thing for sure… Toss a Coin to Your Witcher was going to blow up. And I would be ready for it with my own piano version of the song! I had a difficult test week coming up for my Bachelor of Laws, but with the limited time I had, I was determined to release my piano arrangement before the show’s release on December 20th.
And so I did. As a dedicated Witcher fan, I was proud to release one of the first covers of this amazing song on YouTube (on December 18th). I made sure to take some time off to enjoy the series, which luckily turned out really good! Meanwhile I gathered thousands of views… but that was it. Nothing crazy like I’d hoped for. Unfortunately, most people didn’t really care for my piano version. Piano versions of bigger channels started overshadowing mine in no time, even though I was the only person that gave away sheet music for free. I was right about one thing though: Toss a Coin to Your Witcher went absolutely viral!
“Oh well” I thought, and I just continued covering more of the show’s soundtrack, while most people stopped caring for the series. I realized I made a small group of people very happy (including myself), which meant a lot to me. So for that reason, I slowly but surely wrote 5 more arrangements as the year went by (slowly because I did a lot of other projects as well). Somewhere along the way I decided I eventually wanted to bundle my arrangements into a complete piano collection. I already thought of a fitting name for this collection: Toss a Coin to Your Pianist! December 20th seemed like the perfect opportunity for the collection to release, since this date marked the show’s 1-year anniversary. Just like last year, I had a difficult test week coming up, but once again I was determined!
What you’re looking at is the result of my ambitious efforts. I probably spent way too many hours into this project, but I’ve done it with passion and love for The Witcher and music in general. The fact that you’re reading this right now, probably means I made someone else happy too, which means the world to me. I truly hope you enjoy my work, and if you do, I encourage you to engage with me! Let me know by leaving comments on my YouTube videos and by following me on Instagram (thomasjonker) and Twitter (@thomasjonker_). Feel free to tag me or message me to share your thoughts. I’ll always appreciate your views and likes, but at the end of the day it’s your engagement that truly makes publishing my work fun.
You might have noticed that the cover art mentions ‘Vol. 1’. And well, you guessed it, my plan is to create a second volume when the composers release a brand-new soundtrack for season 2. I’d like to do the same for any future seasons. If that idea appeals to you, make sure to let me know by doing the above and becoming an active subscriber of mine! This collection represents the quality of my work and you can be sure I’ll keep coming back with new stuff!
Before finishing, I would like to give a special thanks to my patrons. These people have been willing to pay me their hard-earned money for the work I do. Their pledge has given me an incredible motivation to create even more and better. Thank you:
· Alec Gorra;
· Gavin Vowell;
· Jan Zimmermann;
· Richard Lopez;
· Elle Destree;
· Nell Gordon;
· Mae The Tigress;
· Marc Postrach.
If you’re interested in supporting me on my future endeavours, check out my page on www.patreon.com/thomasjonker. By becoming my patron you’ll gain a few special rewards, like early access to sheets and behind the scenes footage. You can also do a one-time donation to my PayPal: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last but not least: my recordings of all 6 arrangements will go live on major streaming services like Spotify very soon, so stay tuned! Again, feel free to let me know if you’re listening to them.
If you've not seen my trailer video yet, in which I demonstrate the piano book, check it out here: https://bit.ly/witcherpiano