Written & Unsent is an exploration into the versatility of the piano; an attempt to play the instrument in a unique way. Roth’s heavy influence in rhythm and percussion is obvious in this album, as it will, at times, embody the emotion of a percussive instrument more so than a melodic one.
W&U was recorded on the same upright piano that was played in his first release, Immersion. You can still hear the same nuances that are so endearing from the first album, but there is a unique quality in this album, which is in part because of recording techniques, but mostly because of Roth’s playing style evolving over time. In W&U the playing swings between extremes of soft and delicate melodies into a bass-drum-thumping rhythm which you will find yourself bobbing your head to. “When I first discovered my love for the piano it was because I realized that I could play it like a drum. I had been playing drum set for 15 years but grew tired of it. One day I started playing ‘drum beats’ on a piano and a little light bulb went off in my head. The subtlety and melody that was lacking was now here.” Says Roth of his playing style.
This album is unique for Roth in a few ways. In “Immersion” he favors a heavy reliance upon violin and cello structure to tie the pieces together; the piano is often simple to leave room for the strings, yet W&U is filled with powerfully driven solo piano which encapsulates the entire spectrum of sound. It was only because of the desire to play live shows, and the difficulty in finding strings players, that drove Roth to write more piano driven pieces.
“And I certainly have to thank my brother, Michael. He told me, after seeing me play solo piano, that he actually preferred the solo piano songs… I don’t think I ever would have recorded this album without his encouragement.” Roth says that he is happy with how the album turned out, but he still sees it as more of an experiment. “The next album, which I’ve been enjoying obsessing over for the past few months, will definitely incorporate more strings and other instrumentation.”