Who Is Lawrence Shragge?
Whistling too loud in the elevator, humming aggressivisimo in the movie line, full-blown soundtrack coming off him like Bartok with Tourette’s, snap-ass rhythm section made of pants and shoes, clicking dirty grooves with his tongue, scatting licks, rhythm tricks and tics like a Grand Mal seizure you can dance to.
Lawrence Shragge is That Guy. Music pours off him like sweat off a fat man like stank off a junkie. What do you expect from the love child of Bernard Hermann and Dr. Dre? For Lawrence, what triggers the downbeat is the frolic and throb of the Human Condition – life in 16:9. If he sees it through a screen, he hears it. And like a boner on Prom Night, it has to come out.
Growing up, Lawrence would watch TV with the sound off, composing new music to favorite series; casting a dark pathos on Gilligan’s Island; peppering the Zapruder film with a madcap zaniness (and portraying the Warren Report from a wacky new angle).
In later years, Lawrence sought more conventional outlets – Berklee College of Music, Eastman School of Music, award-winning Features and Television works in Los Angeles, Canada and China, including Cold Steel, The Wrong Guy, Intimate Relations and of course his seminal work with Hallmark. His powerful score for the musical greeting card, the eponymous Get Well Soon became so influential that legions of fans were substituting the greeting card for antibiotics and radiation treatments. His sequel to the work, Hang In There Baby, was a tonic for chronic depressives and also cats.
Shragge’s music is so evocative, so visceral, there are times it approaches emotional alchemy. Once, he was sitting in his booth at Izzy’s next to a love-struck couple in the throes of planning their wedding. On a dare, using just a soup spoon, a glass of tap water on an elastic band, Lawrence was able to create an impromptu score that so twisted their words and shaded their feelings so strongly they suddenly began to question their love and doubt their commitment. Know what happened to that couple? Nothing, this is just a bullshit story. What are you, an idiot?
The truth is Lawrence Shragge really has spent a lifetime studying film and the human condition and a career examining the emotional impact of music in the movies. And the truth is he really does have a genius for elevating a scene from mere metier to masterwork.
So who knows whose next film might benefit from a score by Lawrence Shragge.
It could be yours.