We are starting December with a very special classical music record. Immersion is Mathew Row’s first endeavor into the world of modern classical music, and his first serious pursuit of album production as well. The result is just amazing, that’s why we felt a strong desire to get him in our label as soon as we listened to his pieces. We hope that you will enjoy this artist from Ithaca, New York as we do.
Immersion also has a very cosy feeling. For him, the experience of doing all the production work himself was “terribly important”. Mathew says “If I had sent the music off to be recorded / mixed / mastered by a professional which I was tempted to do many times, it would have come back to me in a different language, the intimacy would have been lost.”
Before talking more about the album, let’s have a look at his musical background. Mathew began his musical career behind a drum set. He played the drums for close to 15 years, playing out around town and touring with various metal acts. During these years he also taught himself to play guitar and a little bit later, he fell in love with piano, too, when he found an old electronic keyboard from his childhood. On this keyboard “Tiger Lilly” was written.
The kickstart to what happened next was on behalf of the kindness of Mathew’s great uncle, Harold, who, after talking with Mathew about his interest in the piano, bequeathed to him his wife’s piano; a Kranich and Bach upright console. The next year was spent in an intensive retreat into music, where Mathew wrote, practiced, recorded, and produced the album “Immersion”, on this very special piano, which was released in the summer of 2014. Harold was able to hear the finished version of the album, before passing away the next year.
After this Mathew embarked upon a 6 week journey with his aunt, Cathryn Smith, to walk the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile trek across Spain. He describes this as a very transformative event in his life and incorporates much of what he experienced into the current musical projects he is working on. You can easily pick up on this with Mathew’s more recent compositions in the walking tempo of the pieces and the frequent and repetitive motif’s that echo the slow, steady, and simplistic lifestyle on the Camino.
Mathew Roth’s debut album, Immersion, is an introspective journey into the more subtle rhythms of the Earth and the human experience. Written and recorded in “The Tea House”, as he fondly refers to the 10×10 hut where he resided in Virginia for the year that this album took to produce, Immersion incorporates many nuances and “imperfections” that add to the ambience of the experience, such as footsteps, sliding piano keys, a crackling fire, and bird calls. Mathew refers to the production of this album as “a way for me to bring what was hidden into the light.”
What made us made us fall in love with his music before signing him to the label was mainly his amazing piano / strings driven compositions which brings us to lands of other worlds. (Personally it makes feel walking on bare foot on a meadow made of grass and tiny little flowers.)
Let’s give the last words to Mathew Roth. “Every song on this album is about a very profound and particular experience for me. My writing process involved taking a freeze frame of a memory or emotion, and taking a magnifying glass to that very specific moment, and expanding it into music.”