The final song from ‘Remembering Jay Smith’ concert at The Imperial – April 1, 2015. Matt Mays shares a mic to sing “Chase The Light” with Jay’s sister Chelle.

EveryDayMusic is my way of ‘chasing the light’ and not succumbing to the darkness of depression and hopelessness. That’s why I started (& finished) the project and that’s why I’ll continue to seek out songs of hope and perseverance and support independent music in my own way (with my camera and unique one-shot skills).

After finishing my 1000 day exploration of live music in Dec, 2014, I fell into a deep funk and disappeared from ‘the scene’ entirely for over a month. I didn’t feel missed (or like anything I had done during my project mattered). I was broke and feeling like I had ‘no value’, so I just crawled back inside my dark cave of despair. In February I started to venture out a bit. I attended a couple concerts, shot a couple events but being broke kept me feeling like I should just stay home. I was missing my medicine (live music)… badly.

When I saw Dustin Bentall was putting this event together I felt the need to offer to shoot it (so I reached out via Facebook). There were a bunch of photographers in attendance, but I was the only one to ‘video the experience’ and as I did, I felt alive again! I was overwhelmed by joy and tears streamed down as I heard songs like this… because they confirmed what I need to do – keep doing what makes me happy… keep filming music. To witness these artists celebrate Jay’s life (and urging people to take care of each other) and raise money for Unison (a charity that helps musicians in trouble) helped me realize the importance of documenting events/moments like these and sharing them with others. Moments like these can be ‘left on the stage’ or preserved with stills and stories, but video (and a steady hand) can capture them in a way that gives it eternal life.

Now I can share it with everyone that performed (and Nimbus can add the killer sound they recorded during the show) and they can have a not only a permanent record they can enjoy and share for years to come. Something to watch and enjoy with friends when they want to smile and remember. The videos will probably be used to promote next year’s event (it’s going to be annual) and encourage people to support mental health initiatives.

And I will continue to document music (of this kind) as long I’ve got breath in my lungs (and share the highlights with you) because it’s one of the only things in life (aside from my daughter) that gives me a sense of purpose. This is how I ‘chase the light’ (by helping others preserve these moments like these)…

For many, a career in music is a dream come true; however, the reality is that many members of the Canadian music community do not have access to the services that can make all the difference in a time of need: sick leave, medical benefits, pension plans, and unemployment insurance. Music makers can easily find themselves unprepared to deal with the financial and emotional burdens of an unforeseen emergency or illness. The Unison Benevolent Fund provides a lifeline in these times of crisis, and is there to ensure in the health of our friends, colleagues and collaborators.

“I’m searching for something that won’t change
As pure as the midnight snow on the Jasper ranges

Into the everlasting night,
I’ll chase the light

Got to keep on moving, gotta take the chance
Cause I’m losing my rhythm with every step of the dance

Further and further, until there’s strange land
I can’t let my shadow determine where I’ll stand

And when it shines, it’s gonna shine (shine) like a million suns
Rises ignite the fire, glow, coming sweet as golden goods
As thick as thieves, we shall receive, burning bright sin from the king. Shine your light and save my soul

I wish I was with you, holding you tight
Cause my angels get sullied by the demons of the night