On Improvisations for Piano, Scott Lawlor has entered a territory that is familiar to many artists and yet isn’t as common as it probably should be.
One artist paying homage to another artist within their work is a fairly common practice. Typically they do this within the body of their own work: find some little nooks or crannies in which to work in a reference to another artist, or adapt a certain part of that artist’s style to fit their own.
However, in some cases, an artist can be so moved by anothers’ work that they set out to write a whole piece in that artist’s style. In the extreme, they might write a whole series of works in that artist’s style.
Such is the case of Improvisations for Piano. Scott Lawlor has created a whole body of works inspired by the work of composer Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006). Ustvolskaya was known for developing her own, unique style of composition.
Taking Ustvolskaya as a starting point, Scott launches into considerable depths exploring unique choices of instruments: cello, flute, bass clarinet and organ, all paired with piano.
It’s a work that is a fascinating listen, engrossing from beginning to end. It’s a an exploration of the intersection of ambient, jazz and classical music.