Moving Picture Show

Music has been a major influence on my life for as long as I can remember. So, when it presented itself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a dear friend of mine, Matt Sellick, perform while backed by the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. It was an experience I will never forget! Somewhere between his original pieces, an homage to The Beatles, and the ending duel with another guitarist, I got very lost in my own head – due to both overwhelming emotions, and sheer inspiration. (Prepare for emotional overload – this isn’t a review piece, this is a personal exclamation of admiration and respect.)


I can see music in my head. Not in notes, chords, keys, or staff notations (otherwise colloquially known as sheet music), but in pictures. I see music like one would see a movie – moving pictures trying to tell a story. On this night, stories were definitely being told – whether the musicians themselves knew it or not. (These stories have now become inspiration for my ongoing anthology project – stay tuned!)


The emotions I felt from the entire performance is something I will likely not forget for a very, very long time. It was overwhelming. I’ve known this talented, amazing musician for years, but I’d never heard him quite like this. Over the years, I took for granted how talented Matt is – I’ve been listening to him play, practice, record, and perform in local coffee shops for almost a decade. Nothing could have prepared me for this. With single-minded focus, Matt sucked me into a vortex of sounds, images, and feelings I did not prepare myself for. And that, my friends, is a sign of a passionate musician, keen on perfecting his craft.


Matt doesn’t play flamenco guitar for the fame and fortune. No, Matt plays to make the audience feel something – anything. Whatever it is that we feel when listening to his music is completely subjective. Throughout the performance, I ran through so many different emotions and images that my head felt like it was swirling. And that is exactly what makes Matt so good, and so unequivocally talented.


Through the bitterness and angst of his first piece, and well into the calming and giddy effects of his second piece, I never stopped feeling something. Most noticeably, I felt the fire and the passion flow through his playing. Fire and passion – two words I would not have used to describe Matt ten years ago. Now, those two words are the most fitting of descriptors – Matt is the embodiment of fire and passion, and his playing is how he shows the world.


I feel so lucky, so privileged, to have seen this person grow into himself – I’ve seen, first hand, what driven determination can do. I’ve had a front-row centre seat to the showing of progress, growth, maturity, and success. And I am completely, and utterly, overcome with emotion – I am elated, grateful, excited, and proud to see Matt excell. He’s spent his entire life fine-tuning his craft – and it shows. Matt is a musician whom I respect unconditionally – he’s also a musician whom I adore eternally.


No amount of technical musical knowledge can replace the overwhelming and incredible emotionality of Matt’s performance. There is nothing I can say other than this: Matt, it has been an incredible journey you’ve been on – and it’s just beginning. I have been extremely lucky to have been a part of it. I cannot wait to see where you go next, and which new heights you’ll reach. You’ve poured your entire essence into what you do – and you are meant for greatness. Keep playing, keep giving us that passion so many of us are lacking. Keep making us feel what we feel. And, of course, keep kicking musical ass. On to the next adventure. Allons-y!



~ by Aubrey Smith on February 16, 2017.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: