THE MAN BEHIND THE MUSIC

Encore: July 02, 2020

Meet the man behind the music, whose hearing loss helped create the soundtrack of the musical sensations “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Hamilton”  Tony-award winning conductor and musical director, Alex Lacamoire, joins us.

Aired on October 5, 2017, December 26, 2018 and February 3, 2020. 

TRANSCRIPT

HE IS BROADWAY'S MUSIC MAN.

HAMILTON AND DEAR EVAN HANSON.

MUSIC DIRECTOR MUSIC SUPERVISOR COMPOSER AND MUSICIAN ALEX IS HERE WITH US.

THIS GRAMMY AWARD WINNING PRODUCER HAS BEEN TURNING OUT CHART TOPPING HITS FOR YEARS.

HERE'S A SAMPLE.

♪♪

WHILE HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND TALENTED MUSICAL ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN HONORED AND WELL KNOWN FOR YEARS.

A LESSON IN BACK STORY, HOW HE ATTRIBUTES THAT AS AN ASSET TO ALL OF HIS SUCCESSES.

IT'S NICE TO HAVE YOU WITH US.

THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

YOU WORK AND THEY -- I SAW YOU WERE PLAYING PIANO AT THE AGE OF FOUR.

HOW DID THAT GET DISCOVERED.

I THINK THE WAY TO DISCOVER IT IS, MY MOM REALIZED, SHE WAS LIKE, OKAY.

THIS IS NOT HEARING ANYTHING.

A NORMAL AVERAGE HEARING CHART SHOWS LIKE THIS, MY STARTS LOWER AND GOES UP.

THINGS SOUND MORE MUFFLED TO ME, IS ONE WAY TO DESCRIBE IT.

I HAD A VERY ISOLATED AND TUNNEL VISION FOCUS.

FOR ME, THAT FOCUS APPLIED TO -- I THINK IT ALLOWS ME TO OBSESS AND FASCINATE AND TAKE THINGS APART, AND GET INTO THE FINER DETAILS OF THINGS.

HOW DOES THAT TIE INTO YOU AND YOUR HEARING.

I THINK WHAT IT IS IS THAT THERE'S A CURIOUS PART ABOUT IN MY MIND THAT LOOKS AT A MATH EQUATION OR PUZZLE OR SOME KIND OF STRUCTURE, IF YOU WILL I THINK THE FACT THAT I CAN LOOK AT IT, MUSIC IS AN ORAL SENSATION, IT'S VERY VISUAL TO ME.

THE LACK OF THE HEARING ALLOWED ME TO MAKE MUSIC A SITE THING.

WHATEVER REASON IT IS, IT ALLOWED ME TO EXPRESS MYSELF AND OBSESS OVER MUSIC IN THE RIGHT WAY.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH LIN-MANUEL, HOW DID IT GET STARTED AND WHAT ARE YOU EACH PROVIDING TO THE OTHER.

WE MET THROUGH MUTUAL FRIEND S WHO THOUGHT WE WOULD MAKE A GOOD PAIRING.

WE JUST HIT IT OFF RIGHT AWAY.

LIN IS THE PERSONA THAT HE SEEMS TO BE.

THAT'S NICE WHEN YOU SEE SOMEONE WHO'S TRULY GENUINE.

HE'S A FAN OF ART, OF THE WORLD, OF PEOPLE, HE'S SO NICE AND OPEN, AND HE'S VERY INCLUSIVE IN WHAT IT IS THAT HE DOES.

US HAVING A MUSICAL BACKGROUND, A LATINO BACKGROUND, A LOVE OF THEATER, ALL OF THOSE THINGS HAS MERGED, AND IT WAS ONE OF THOSE SPECIAL CHEMICAL BONDS THAT HAVE REALLY BEEN ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY LIFE.

WHICH I'M THANKFUL FOR.

IN TERMS OF THE WAY WE WORK TOGETHER.

IT'S WONDERFUL THAT HE TRUSTS ME.

LIN DOESN'T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN, HE ALLOWS A LOT OF ROOM FOR THINGS TO BE INTERPRETED BY THE ACTORS BY THE MUSICIANS, BY ME, WHATEVER IT IS.

IT'S GREAT THAT HE KNOWS THAT THE POWER AND HIS MUSIC IS SO STRONG, WHATEVER YOU ADD TO IT, IT'S GOING TO ENHANCE THE SONG AND MAKE IT BETTER THAN --

WHEN YOU SAY HE DOESN'T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN, WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

THE IMAGE WHEN YOU WATCH MOVIES OR TELEVISION SHOWS.

THEY'RE SITTING IN FRONT OF THE PIANO, AND THEY'RE WRITING AS THEY GO DOWN.

IS THAT NOT THE WAY HE WORKS AND YOU WORK WITH HIM?

EVERYBODY HAS THEIR OWN METHOD.

TO SAY HE DOESN'T WRITE ANYTHING DOWN MEANS HE DOESN'T GET A PENCIL.

THIS IS A C, AND THIS IS A G.

ET CETERA, ET CETERA.

HIS METHOD IS USING THE COMPUTER.

WHETHER IT'S TYPING OUT HIS LYRICS.

OPENING A MUSIC SOFTWARE, WHERE HE CAN RECORD A PIANO PART AND A BASE PART, HE STRUCTURES IT THAT WAY AND BUILDS IT DIGITALLY SPEAKING.

AND THEN IT GOES TO ME, AND I FIND WAYS TO GET IT NOTATED.

WHETHER IT'S ME WITH THE PAPER, WHETHER IT'S HANDING OUT THAT WORK TO ASSISTANTS AND THEY DO THAT, THAT'S THE ACTUAL ACT OF NOTATING THE MUSIC.

ALL THE TECHNOLOGY.

WHAT WAS THE GERSHWIN THING.

JUST TO KNOW, YOU WANT TO CHANGE A KEY FOR SONG, YOU HIT A BUTTON.

YOUR MUSIC IS FABULOUS.

YOU BROUGHT TO ALL OF US WHO WATCH YOUR SHOWS, IT'S A GREAT JOY.

AND IT'S BEEN A DELIGHT TO CHAT WITH YOU.

THANKS SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

THANKS FOR SPENDING TIME WITH US.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

A REMINDER FOR YOU, DEAR EVAN HANSON IS PLAYING, AND HAMILTON IS AT THE RICHARD ROGERS THEATER.

SEE THEM BOTH IF YOU CAN.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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