If a composer is to reach his audience emotionally - and surely that's what theatre music is all about - he must reach the people through sounds they can relate to.
There isn't anything I wanted to do that I haven't. At the same time, there isn't anything I've ever done that I didn't want to do better.
I would like, if I can, to broaden the possibilities of the musical theater. I think there's a better 'Oklahoma!' someplace, a better 'West Side Story.' And I'd like to be mixed up in it.
I don't believe that a writer does something wonderful spontaneously. I believe it's the result of years of living, of study, reading, his very personality and temperament. At one particular moment, all these come together and the artist 'expresses' himself.
It may be that that we can sing what we often cannot say, whether it be from shyness, fear, lack of the right words or the passion or dramatic gift to express them. More souls have rallied to more causes by the strains of music than by straining rhetoric.
In many ways, a song-writing partnership is like a marriage. Apart from just liking each other, a lyricist and a composer should be able to spend long periods of time together - around the clock if need be - without getting on each other's nerves. Their goals, outlooks, and basic philosophies should be similar.
Whenever I get an idea for a song, even before jotting down the notes, I can hear it in the orchestra, I can smell it in the scenery, I can see the kind of actor who will sing it, and I am aware of an audience listening to it.
A song is a lot of things. But, first of all, a song is the voice of its time. Setting words to music gives them weight, makes then somehow easier to say, and it helps them to be remembered.
If somebody wants to sing my songs after I'm gone, nobody will be happier than my dead body.
I have to laugh to myself. I don't find it work to write music, because I enjoy it. I'd find an evening of bridge hard work because you have to think like hell, and at the end, you get nothing for it.