Audeze travels through the creative music avenue with Gavin Lawson

March 01, 2024

Gavin Lawson produces music under the moniker Audyssey, and he integrates a specialized lamp called the roXiva RX1 into his personal practice to create experiences that produce altered states of consciousness with sound and light.
Gavin describes himself thusly: "I subscribe to the eloquence of Plato’s moral law ‘wings to the mind, flight to the imagination’ a gestalt if you may when one feels complete in the frequencies and tones of musical composition and creativity as a whole. My background is deeply rooted in electronic music, and for many years as a creative practitioner, I have been navigating its numerous sub-genres for the benefit of using music from the mind for the mind."

Gavin Lawson wearing Audeze LCD-X headphones

"Detail and space is everything when composing immersive audio tracks on headphones and I found the LCD-X a perfect fit for binaural soundscapes." - Gavin Lawson
Here's our chat with Gavin:
Can you pick out any highlights from your work that you're particularly proud of?

There are definitely many highlights but I feel working to support the reduction of perceived stress in the creative sector is what I would say I’m particularly proud of. In fact I've just released a new album called Geom, the latest culmination of this philosophy combining Isochronic tones, Gregorian modes and max for live plugins within Ableton Live to create a body of work that represents humanities connection to technology, the earth and mind. In the world of electronic music and audio-visual entrainment, there exists a unique fusion of art and science, where the technical aspects of sound and image are brought to life in a symphony of sensory experiences. I spent 6 years in Ibiza working on music production retreats, writing a book on creativity and using various methodologies to help artists remain in the creative realm.

How would you define your main role on most of the projects you work on these days?

Currently I work with the team at Roxiva Innovations developing photic stimulation sessions, my role is to create what I would class as sonic architecture, designing and building a landscape in binaural to be used for the purpose of stress reduction, relaxation and task positivity. We are testing new ideas with software tools developed in max for live, SPAT and Ableton using the push 2, OSC and device mapping.

How did you get started in music? What kind of music did you listen to while growing up and how has that progressed?

Growing up my father was the owner of a video store. He sold vinyl and toys related to pop culture, I was obsessed with the soundtrack and would watch films over and over to hear the music that influenced each scene. I loved synthesizer music from horror movies to Sci-Fi and this influenced my path in electronic music production. The space and futurism in technology supports a progression of infinite possibilities and this has been the most exciting part of making electronic music compositions, knowing you can draw from a universe of sound and make something unique and original.

Can you name any factors that influenced the course of your musical life? Heroes, role models, moments, interactions, etc?

I would say the most influential time would be the 90’s, there was so much original electronic music coming out that can only be described as creative and consistent. I was living in Glasgow and shopping at Rub a Dub records, going out to see artists play sets that were life changing. Andrew Weatherall played a huge part in my life and I am happy to call him a hero and role model, Smokebelch II is one of those tracks that stands out emotionally and his ability to DJ was truly unique and inspiring. I briefly worked for Andrew in London years later and his gentlemanly approach to music, people and work ethic has always played a part in my role as a creative. I feel very fortunate to have met some great minds over the years from music to science that have helped shape a future in the arts.

Can you briefly describe a moment of frustration from your past work, and what you may have done to overcome the obstacles? Would you approach it differently now?

Creative block is a taboo in the entertainment industry likened to a particular word in Shakespeare that must not be spoken. I would put this down to stress in all its colourful forms and in hindsight I should have changed the coping mechanism many years ago. Meditation and in particular mindfulness has helped minimise frustrations in music production and creativity combined with a healthy well balanced diet, brain entrainment, breathwork and exercise supports my ability to accept the challenges faced and move forward.

Is there any gear you find yourself turning to most when working on a project? What are some of your favorite tools/instruments recently?

Ableton Live has been my go to since its inception and I am very happy with the progression and creative tools it has consistently delivered by a team who understand what is needed in electronic music production. I love the Push 2 for hands on control and max for live plugins seem to get better and better. The plugins by Fors get used a lot in my productions, Chiral and Glanta are definitely interesting max instruments exploring both FM and Phase shaping. I am also a fan of reverb and use a variety of plugins including Eventide Blackhole, Valhalla Supermassive and the built in Hybrid and convolution. Recently I found a free tape recorder plugin called Maze and this has become an essential in the tool kit. I love to work inside the box, it means I can take my MacBook Pro anywhere and find inspiration for writing music. I live in the countryside in Wales and like to take a walk by the river, find somewhere to sit and make music. It can be a truly liberating experience.

Do you have any words of wisdom for people who might aspire toward a similar path for their own careers?

Take advantage of your brain’s natural and unique ability to tune in and follow this path in creativity.

How long have you been working with headphones, and how do you typically use them in your workflow?

Headphones have played a role in my life from childhood with a Sony Walkman sport and then as a DJ in my teenage years. On my 25th birthday I was treated to a pair of very unique cans, Sennheiser HD 540 Gold and from this a love for detail and sonic composition was born. Sadly they were stolen a few years later but I have never forgotten how much joy I found in having these open back headphones in the studio. The majority of my workflow today revolves around the use of headphones, testing music on various pairs for the purpose of the sessions created for clients, the Roxiva RX1 lamp and music compositions for meditation use. I love to create spaces we can escape to, and live in for moments at a time.

Do you have any additional comments or stories you want to share?

I hope to contribute to the ongoing dialogue between creativity and technology, unlocking new methods of understanding that can enrich the lives of creative sector employees, artists and musicians expanding on the current knowledge and developing new and exciting ways to listen to music that support the mind.

How have your Audeze headphones affected your work? Can you tell us what you've been working on with them recently?

From the first experience of using the LCD-X I knew this would be a game changer for the music I’m working on. Detail and space is everything when composing immersive audio tracks on headphones and I found the LCD-X a perfect fit for binaural soundscapes. Currently I am testing various methods including data sonification and the outcome is more than I could have hoped for, allowing the opportunity to push the imagination and create new ideas. When in combination with the Roxiva RX1, Ableton Live, Muse 2 and Subpac there is a significant difference in experience and I look forward to sharing more information as it transpires.

Audeze LCD-X headphones on the table