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Chad Lawson

breathe (CD)

Featuring both solo piano compositions and orchestrated arrangements, breathe is a heart-felt invitation to pause and enjoy a cathartic moment of release. Each melody purposefully brushes across the canvas of emotions, allowing a tremendous depth of feeling to shine through every moment. “With this album I really wanted to create something where anyone can sit back, close their eyes, and release everything they’ve been holding inside,” says the NC-based composer, who’s devoted much of the past few years to studying the science behind calming music and its neurological effects. “My hope is that this music can help people exhale and finally let all that go.”

Co-produced by Lawson and London-based orchestrator Geoff Lawson, breathe came to life at the legendary Abbey Road Studios (the same facility where he recorded You Finally Knew, whose standout track “Stay” climbed the Billboard Classical chart for 111 weeks). The lavishly orchestrated opening section features the lush string work of cellist Peter Gregson, violinist Esther Yoo, and members of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as Lawson muses on such matters as the durability of true love (on “fields of forever”), the sometimes-painful tension between family life and creative practice (on the breathtakingly bittersweet “with you”), and the pure euphoria of joyful infatuation (on “this is what love is,” whose waltz-like movement perfectly echoes the nervous flutter of new romance). The album’s latter half is comprised of solo piano arrangements that highlight Lawson’s attentive sculpting of melody, an element he regards as the most vital channel for emotional expression.

1. irreplaceable
2. the color of the sky
3. to hold the stars in the palm of your hand
4. fields of forever
5. with you
6. for such a gaze of wonder
7. this is what love is
8. letting go
9. the sweetest sound (solo piano)
10. beneath the moon’s embrace (solo piano)
11. irreplaceable (solo piano)
12. the color of the sky (solo piano)
13. to hold the stars in the palm of your hand (solo piano)
14. fields of forever (solo piano)
15. with you (solo piano)
16. for such a gaze of wonder (solo piano)
17. this is what love is (solo piano)