10 Things You Need to Know About Rising Songwriting Team Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar

April 7th, 2014 by

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10 Things You Need to Know About Rising Songwriting Team ...

Songwriting team Douglas Lyons (center left) and Ethan Pakchar (center right) recruited some of Broadway’s brightest talents for their one-night-only April 14 showcase The Songs of Lyons & Pakchar at 54 Below(Lillias White, Robin De Jesus, Ben Platt, Katie Thompson, Nic Rouleau, Tamika Lawrence, Naturi Naughton & many more)—Take that Sondheim’s 80 Birthday Bash. The duo, who released the live album #Love and are at work on two new musicals, talk to BroadwayBox about their sound, their influences and their desert island album picks.


My biggest musical influence is:

Douglas:
Sara Bareilles. I understand her musical language. Her melodies move me to the core. Also Sondheim, Jeanine Tesori, JRB & Brandy.

Ethan:
Single musical influence? Probably Ray Charles. He’s the greatest! However I have several Pandora stations set up to listen to everybody from Sondheim to “Today’s Hits.” Lot’s of classical composers as well.


When we first met, my first impression of my collaborator was:

Douglas:
I first met Ethan at Book of Mormon tour sitzprobe in Denver, CO. I thought to myself, "who's the hottie"? At first, he was suppose to teach me guitar. After hanging out we quickly became friends and eventually collaborators.

Ethan:
Doug was just a real cool guy. We met very early on during the tech rehearsal of Book of Mormon in Denver. It’s all a blur! But it didn’t take us long to get together and start jamming!


The key to getting my creative juices going is:

Douglas:
A simple melody gets my juices flowing. Sometimes inspiration comes to me on an elevator or a subway car. I immediately record a hummed version of the new melody into my phone and a song usually develops from there.

Ethan:
Seeing people accomplish their goals (no matter what the field) is always so inspiring for me. It makes me want to get better at what I do and immerse myself even further.


Going off the album title #Love, the hashtag I use the most in daily life:

Douglas:
#Grateful #NewMusicalTheatre #Doubleduty.

Ethan:
I personally don’t use Twitter! Haha. It would probably be #grateful and/or #tired.


The Broadway musical that had the biggest impact on me was:

Douglas:
I would say Ragtime. It was the first cast album I ever owned; my parents got it for me my freshman year of college. That score was so full of glorious voices and drama. I remember playing the “Prologue” on repeat in my room.

Ethan:
Wicked. It was the first show I played in on Broadway and it has a very special place in my heart. Being a part of shows is such a good learning experience as a composer. Seeing how the music and orchestrations interact with the drama on stage is very inspiring.


If I had to describe our musical ’79 in a tweet (140 characters):

Douglas:
If you had the ability to change something about your history in one draft would you? '79 explores the beauty in owning the ugly parts of our past.

Ethan:
’79 explores how a single moment in high school affects the entire life of a woman’s life. We see this manifest itself through several different butterfly effect “episodes.”


When I saw the final roster of stars for the show, my reaction was:

Douglas:
Holy balls this is going to be exciting. I watched some these performers on Broadway and on television growing up, now they’re going to be singing our music!

Ethan:
Very excited! It’s so nice to see the support of the singers.


If Lyons and Pakchar had our own reality show, it would be titled:

Douglas:
The Musical Adventures of Ebony and Introvert

Ethan:
#Stress.


Outside of music, the thing we bond the most over is:

Douglas:
We both have true a fascination with American history, which has led us to the development of our other new musical about The Five Points.

Ethan:
Just joking and making fun of each other. Haha.


If I had to bring one album on a desert island, it would be:

Douglas:
Whitney Houston- The Greatest Hits.

Ethan:
Sgt Peppers.


Don't miss The Songs of Lyons & Pakchar at 54 Below on April 14.