If I had encountered musical theater when I was a teenager, I may have gotten hooked on it. Instead I encountered rock n roll, which led me down the path of becoming a rock guitarist and songwriter.
So it’s been exciting for me to watch my daughter Marie discover the medium and get deeper into it. We watched many shows together. I learned the art form through her and can appreciate how it has a powerful hook on many people. I appreciate how demanding it is. I have a hard enough time mastering one instrument, but they have to not only sing, but act and dance.
Theater is one of the industries that got hit hard by the pandemic. Opportunities were scarce for the past year. My daughter tried doing live stream concerts a few times (with me accompanying). But to her, music without a larger story to tell is not satisfying. I’m only a musician, so I can’t quite help with that larger storytelling part. Activities were hard to come by, particularly during long holiday breaks. So I suggested we try collaborating on a proper recording.
“Dear Evan Hansen” is among our favorites and “Requiem” is a standout for us. She inherited my love of sad songs. (which is a strange thing to pass on!) We’re both into psychology and can appreciate what’s expressed in this song.
It’s sung by a grieving and conflicted family, who just lost a son to a suicide. But he also caused a lot of grief while alive, too, so each family member is grieving in different ways.
As a dad it was fun for me to walk Marie through a recording process, from how to work with headphones and mic to combing through different takes. The main character is in high school. On many levels this was the right song for us to put together now.
I’m hoping we will look back years later and go “oh yeah, we made that thing when Marie was in high school. And it still sounds good.”