Learn more about Shannon and Scott at their website: http://www.songsaladpodcast.com/
Oh hey! Who are you both? Answer in any order.
Shannon: Well I’m Shannon
Scott: and I’m Scott
Shannon: and together
Both: We’re Shannon and Scott!
Shannon: Deep and Wasserman respectively.
Well that happened! So Shannon, who are you? When did you start lyricizing things? Is that a word?
Shannon: Not even a little, but sure. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. But I only started writing lyrics when Scott made me a de facto lyricist our freshman year at Carnegie Mellon University. Scott was in choir and for his composition teacher he had to write a piece for the choir, or something like that. So he looked through some of my poems, picked one and set it to music. He did a four-part arrangement of a poem called I Miss You. It was really cool and rewarding. After that it just became a good fit to try and do composer-y lyricist stuff together. I’m also a playwright and write the books for our projects.
Scott, when did you start composing?
Scott: I started really composing in high school. My earliest memory of composing I always think of a piano lesson that I had when I was probably in fourth grade, maybe fifth grade, and I changed the ending of a Beethoven song to something I thought sounded better. My teacher was like “you can’t do that...” and I was like “why not? It sounds better.”
Shannon: Dude, putting Beethoven on blast...
Scott: Well he wouldn’t be able to hear it anyways. So then I decided to go to college for composition and I studied classical composition in a conservatory setting, and as Shannon just described, I met her and we started collaborating. We’ve completed a full length musical from scratch that we are still trying to develop and we have a podcast together called Song Salad where we take a random genre of music and a random article from Wikipedia each episode and we create a short song using the two.
Well that’s fun, what was the impetus for that?
Scott: Shannon really wanted to do a podcast.
Shannon: I really, really wanted to do a podcast, and I was gonna force someone that I loved to do it with me if it was the last thing that I did. I don’t remember how we landed on Song Salad. We knew a podcast needed a structure, and therefore could be repeatable. We eventually landed on a random music genre and a random topic that would come together through our ridiculous process to be a short song.
How’s the podcast going? How long has it been running?
Shannon: We’ve been doing it since the last couple weeks of January of this year. We have 35 episodes at this point, I believe? One a week with a couple exceptions for like holidays and extreme travel schedules.
Scott: You can find out more about it on www.songsaladpodcast.com or on our twitter @SongSaladCast.
Do you have any other projects planned?
Scott: We have a lot of ideas for musicals and would love to have the time and resources to actually work on them and see what sticks.
Shannon: Let’s be clear it’s because Scott has been busy with Hamilton for like two years.
Busy with what? Thank you Shannon for working that into the conversation.
Shannon: No problem. I told Scott that if I’m riding his coattails to fame, he has to let me put the jacket on him.
Scott: (laughs) I am the Ableton programmer for the musical Hamilton: An American Musical. Ableton is a software used in DJing and Hip-Hop to play electronic tracks. So I’ve been setting up the Broadway Company and now the touring companies of Hamilton.
So I approached you guys back in June about writing a song for this crazy concept of a web series. What was your reaction to that pitch?
Scott: Well after working with Charging Moose Media on other projects, including Give My Regards to Broadway: Classic Showtunes Reimagined, I was excited to bring Shannon onboard this team to collaborate. How did that conversation where I brought you in go for you, Shannon?
Shannon: Well I’m always interested in meeting new collaborators, so getting a chance to meet all of the other people working on this project was a really exciting opportunity for me.
What was your guys’ approach to when you sat down to writing “Shine On” and “My Best Friend”?
Shannon: Usually we do lyrics first.
Scott: Yeah, we talk about the overall themes and structures of the songs that we want to accomplish and then from there Shannon will write the lyric and I’ll work on barebones elements of the music. So I knew that I wanted it to be like an upbeat rock song, and then Shannon came back with the lyrics, and we sat down and edited it all together.
What was it like to write a song and hand it off to be arranged and orchestrated by a separate team?
Scott: I love it. I think it’s exciting. I put some basic orchestration ideas into my demo recording, but I knew that Marcus (Bagala, Co-Founder of Charging Moose Media) would get his hands on it and he is a much more proficient guitarist than I am so I was excited to hear what he would do with the arrangement.
On October 31st we release The Hunted: Encore. What is your hope for the show, and your songs?
Scott: I hope that the show gains a cult following online. I think the ultimate triumph for this would be if we walk past Times Scare and they have a poster up for “The Hunted: Encore: Live”
Shannon: I think it has a real possibility because of the broad shoulders that it sits on with the original show, The Hunted, to reach a wide audience. And I think it’s going to appeal to nerdy internet pockets, not just musical theatre people, but sci-fi people, fantasy people, vampire people, it’s got a lot of draw for a lot of different groups. As far as our songs go, I hope we can use this to find other collaborators who want to work with us on their projects, because I loved this process and would love to do it again.