Cover of Mathew Roth's album ImmersionI am happiest when I am creating; stringing words together and seeing how they stick, arranging them, playing with them. And this week I have a good deal to be happy about. This week I finished a new short story inspired by the last day I spent in D.C., leaving American University after 3 and a half years, one semester away from graduating. I’m been submitting pieces and poems to lit journals and querying lit agents about my novel. I went back and picked up a story I wrote several years ago that had been rejected by a number of outlets and, now able to clearly see its flaws, began reworking it.

Even if nothing I am working on now gets published, this work is completely fulfilling and satisfying in a way I have never experienced from anything else I have ever tried. I suppose that’s a pretty good sign that what you say is your passion truly is. For so long I was unable, due to both internal and external circumstances, to focus and concentrate on my writing. Now, simply being able to do it is an end in and of itself. It is a joy, a true joy, to clear my desk of everything but paper, pencil and a dictionary, (and generally a cup of tea), and, for lack of a better term, make shit up. That’s all writing is, after all, and it’s wonderful.

Chief among my playlist while writing this week was and old favorite, The Appleseed Cast. In fact I’ll go out on a limb and say I’ve written more fiction listening to them than to anyone else. (Perhaps not be the best, but likely the most). They’ve been an instrumental part of my writing process since their first album came out when I was in high school. But I’ve already profiled them on this site long ago. So for this week I’m going to turn back to what I’ve listened to a great deal lately, neoclassical. This time it’s Mathew Roth’s record Immersion which came out last year. In a word, it’s beautiful.

Made up of Mathew Roth on piano, Amy Peterson on violin and Suzanne Maerz on cello, Roth describes the music as “an attempt to convey the feeling of immersion into the natural world, using classical instruments with a modern style.” I’ve listened to it first thing in the morning and last thing before bed and everywhere in between and found it highly transportive and inspiring. The strings complement the piano perfectly. I don’t know if I have any favorite tracks, I’ve only listened to the album in its entirety and would recommend you do the same, but here are two. As always, if you enjoy it and have the means, please support the artist.

More on Mathew Roth:

For more in this series see Music To Write To