Vancouver music lover Rod Matheson completed his Every Day Music project last month by recording 1,000 bands performing 1,000 different songs – one a day for the past two and a half years.
[pullquote]”Most people seek music that excites them rather than things that might confirm them, or encourage them. Going to shows is like going to church. I want to encourage people to go out and experience everything. Connect with people. Converse with people. Its food for the soul.” – Every Day Music creator Rod Matheson[/pullquote]Recording everywhere from the back row at the Vogue to the bathroom of a backstage greenroom, Matheson has captured performances from Mathew Good to local acts that are unknown beyond our city limits.
“It began as a conversation between my head and heart.” says Matheson. “As an entrepreneur I spent most of my time in front of the computer and yet I felt disconnected.”
Asking himself what he would do if he could do anything, Matheson settled on experiencing more live music – the number 1,000 popped into his head soon after. He posted his first artist, Maria in the Shower at the Vogue, on April 1, 2012 and his last, Jeff Gladstone and the Bad Ideas, on December 26, 2014.
“The mainstream scene didn’t see me as media so I spent the majority of my time exploring the indie music scene in this town,” he says.
The deeper he dug into the project, the more the project began to affect him personally, including his musical tastes.
“I ended up filming and posting music I had never really listened to before.” says Matheson. “I was a rocker my whole life and now I’m into the folk/country scene. Bluegrass? Country music? I had never listened to it in my life. And now I’ve realized that the live experience is so different than the recorded music. It also attracts a different kind of audience.
During his two and a half year odyssey, Matheson also used the opportunity to explore the various venues in which music is made.
“The big rockin’ venues are not always the most inviting places. I’ve experienced backyards, garages, and interesting little spaces where people are having music, and really been excited by the intimate acoustic music experience where people feel like they’re a part of something,” he says. “They’re connected, like they’re sharing something. It’s a part of the experience that I’ve come to really love.”
One particular moment stands out for Matheson. Trailing Welsh singer-songwriter Martyn Joseph for years, he finally met up with him at his Vancouver hotel and took Matheson to his rental car to record his favourite song.
“He got in the back seat, I got in the front seat with my butt on the steering wheel and I asked him for a song. And he did it, it was called “Kiss the World Beautiful”, a gorgeous tune. But it was the first song of the day. His voice wasn’t warmed up and he was tired. It just was not a great rendition for the tune,” says Matheson.
Not sure what to do with the less-than-stellar recording, Matheson and Joseph decided that it would look cool to film the video in black and white. ” So he did a tune I’d never heard before and it just blew me away. While I was taping it I was having one of those absolute wow moments with an artist I admired. It gave me a huge thrill.”
The project began as a quest to find connection and meaning in a world filled with screens and Matheson sums up his experience with a simple message: put the phone down, put the computer aside, and go connect with other people.
“This is something we need in our lives and don’t realize it,” he says. “Most people seek music that excites them rather than things that might confirm them, or encourage them. Going to shows is like going to church. I want to encourage people to go out and experience everything. Connect with people. Converse with people. Its food for the soul.”
Matheson’s project may have ended, but all one thousand videos can be found online at https://www.youtube.com/user/EveryDayMusicTV. You can also find out more at the Every Day Music website at https://everydaymusic.ca.