It takes guts to try something new. It takes even more guts to invent something new. This discomfort seems to be pianist Chad Lawson’s new comfort zone, however. Historically, he’s excelled at reinvention. The virtuoso pianist and composer started his career with traditional jazz, then decided to make music on his own terms — the result being a strikingly minimal, delicate style that he’s become renowned for. On his latest album, re:piano, Chad decided to take it a step further by incorporating electronic loops and ambient sound into the production, while maintaing the piano as the album’s sole instrument. The new sound is somewhere in between classical, ambient, and, well, Chad Lawson. Ultimately, the genre seems to be irrelevant: “Let’s get rid of the idea that music has to fit into this certain box, and just enjoy whatever it is,” Chad told us.
We ended up talking a lot about Brooklyn in this interview. That’s the city where composer Chad Lawson got his start, and it’s the city that, several years ago, he decided to leave. Like most people (creative people, especially), we’re suckers for the mythology of New York City, no matter how outdated that mythology may be. There’s just something about that place. And it seems unavoidable that where we are — geographically, emotionally, etc. — becomes a part of what we make. Our context finds its way in. That’s exactly what happened for Chad.