David Ross Lawn | The Family Interviews
Meet David Ross Lawn
Hailing from Scotland (Great Scot!) and now based in Asbury Park, NJ, David Ross Lawn is a contemporary composer and spectacular pianist. The Family was blown away by his instrumental debut album and wanted to learn more about what makes him tick. Below we talk all things music, motivations, and superpowers.
How long have you been making music?
I started creating solo piano pieces during high school, but my initial exposure to the instrument was at nine years old (on a little light-up electronic keyboard). I'd sit for hours studying melodic contours of television theme tunes and would begin playing them by ear. My mother tells me that she knew very early on that this was fast becoming a passion. I worked my way through plenty of piano and theory lessons, enjoying every step, and later decided that I wanted to really pursue music as a career. So, I went through plenty of rigorous training including a bachelors degree in performance and a masters degree in theory & composition.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
In short: people and places. I like to try to interpret both as a form of musical architecture. There is something incredibly special to me about the human condition and how we, as humans, interact with each other. I tend to create and curate melodies from experiences and things that I see while outside. A longer answer would include some musical influences: Nils Frahm, Greg Haines- who are on the same distribution label as I am, which I find to be super exciting- and Claude Debussy.
What keeps you motivated to keep on creating?
There is nothing quite like when I receive a message from a stranger saying that my music took them somewhere, or that they want to collaboratively feature it in their own art. I think the core of my motivation comes from the varied nature of responses that I receive from other artists and art lovers regarding my music.
What was the intention with your debut album, Songs of the Sun?
Songs of the Sun certainly carries a lot of open-ended intentions, since I love to create music that relaxes and creates a safe space for the listener to breathe easy and contemplate. I think my biggest intention was exactly that: to allow people twelve or so minutes to feel deeply & to to move to it in any way they feel, whether in the form of dance, yoga or forms of meditation.
Where do you see you and your music going in the next few years?
I’ve been so honored to witness some of the EP being used on national television as well as high fashion advertisements, and I really hope & believe that my output will continue to serendipitously find its way into more highly viewed outlets. I would absolutely love to compose music for a short film, since I love interpreting moments and scoring them into soundscapes: I think it would be a really cool way for me to express and create. Otherwise, I’m just really enjoying the present path and the growth has been happening since the release of Songs of the Sun.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be (doesn’t need to be music related)?
My superpower would be staying awake (forever) without having to sleep!
What kind of messages do you try to get across with your sound?
I want people to have space and time to feel raw, honest and authentic.
What was the last concert you went to that really inspired you?
Although I’m primarily a composer in the fields of classical/neoclassical music, I’m actually very eclectic in my music taste. The last show I went to was State Champs at The House of Independents (Asbury Park, NJ). They’re a band that have an anthemic sound that drives all the way through your body. There is no comparable feeling to being entirely present in a room full of strangers singing the words to your favorite song. There is an unspoken understanding: there is a communal energy that ignites the room. It lingers through the passing glances and the rapturous applause.
Who is your favorite member of The Family Reviews?
I received such lovely compliments from all of the family, which I appreciate so deeply.
Meghan left something that made me smile for the entire day, though!
Any final comments?
Thank you so much, Family Reviews!
I had a great time pondering some answers to these questions.
I look forward to connecting with anybody reading that takes time to listen to my music! Until next time!