Steve Lawson has a new album coming soon (available now for his subscribers!) called Beauty and Desolation, and it’s gorgeous. Lawson, who is a master of soundscapes, improvised the entire seven-song collection with his bass and an MPC-style MIDI controller called the Quneo for beats and piano parts.
“Improvising allows me to play music that I’d never be able to remember: music that exists for now, and now alone, that relies heavily on serendipity,” Lawson explains. “Capturing improv in the moment allows for recorded music to be a document of a singular event. It’s not the process of capturing a thing that already exists in some imagined, rarified form. It’s making a singular event repeatable—or at least, the experience of the sound is repeatable.”
Here’s a video of the bassist actually recording the exquisite track “Transcendence and Decay”. Lawson easily creates new moods by thoughtfully adjusting his tone and effects in a stream of consciousness.
Beauty and Desolation will be available to the public September 3rd, while subscribing to his Bandcamp page gives you early access plus his back catalog.