I first met Matt Lay when I partnered with Paranormal And Supernatural Team (PAST) during a paranormal investigation of Boards n Beans last summer. I've heard about Lay in prior work with PAST, but it wasn't until that night that I met him and saw some of the technological wizardry he creates.
Lay has been creating music since he was a child, with his focus being violin and electronic keyboard. Many of his musical inspirations include The Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd, Tangerine Dream, Gustav Holst and Mike Oldfield. He's always had a love for music, although his life has often led him down different avenues of expression.
Lay's story starts in the 1980s when he lived in Mobile, Alabama. Lay was very open about spiritualism and didn't agree with the mantra of mainstream religion. However, he found the culture in the southern United States very restrictive with religion and spiritualism. He would move to the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia in 1989 for a fresh start. However, when he was setting up his new life, the United States fell under the "Satanic Panic". Lay found himself once again harassed by hate groups and ridiculed by local churches, many misunderstanding his ideas, teachings and lectures. This was a difficult time for anybody pagan in the United States.
Lay would join the United States Armed Forces as a member of the Air National Guard. Quickly he would become the Pagan Liaison for several military bases. His role was to help educate military officials so they could meet the religious requirements of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. He did this for many years until he returned to the United States.
In the 1990s he would resume his love for music and create backbeats for hip hop artists. All this changed when he was struck by lightning. When he recovered, Lay's music took a darker turn and he started PsiVamp, an industrial techno band. PsiVamp would create eight albums, with their most popular being Necrogravercon (2006).
In 2013 Lay wanted to create music that was easier to listen to and he started up Alchemy Prophet. In the six years since then, he has released two albums Formulae (2007, which was released when PsiVamp was still producing music) and Manifest (2015). His third album Inim Bala comes out on October 31st, 2019.
When Lay isn't creating music, he's working on The Mudutu Effect, a personal journey for himself and anybody else who wants to join him. It is defined as a "group of individuals striving to find our own individual answers and realise that each of us hold a piece of the puzzle to someone else's questions". Lay has met hundreds of incredible people through The Mudutu Effect, and their stories became the inspiration for Inim Bala – which translates to "To Converse".
Although the album doesn't come out for a few more weeks, I got my hands on it about a month earlier. I wasn't aware of Lay's background in electronica so I was a little unsure of what the album would sound like, but I was pleasantly surprised with the opening notes. The first song "Messengers" is a repetitive four-beat track with overlaying instrumentals, showing off Lay's long-time love affair with the electronic keyboard. Many of the songs on the album have a similar format too, which I enjoyed listening too. Overall I really enjoyed the album, and I felt it very reminiscent to Daft Punk's orchestral works.
Once I was a few songs into the album, I looked at just how long the album was. To my surprise, it was 19 tracks long – which is almost unheard of these days. It's common to buy an album with a half dozen songs on it, but never almost twenty. Having such a large album gives Lay the opportunity to express himself and his music in a variety of different ways.
My favourite tracks on the album are "Healing", "Leviathan" and "Singularity" but I found many of them had a mystical feeling to them. I often had myself thinking of video game scenes where characters are wandering through a misty forest or ascending a towering castle.
This concept of mysticism in music is something Lay was going for. He calls it the "magick of musick", with the extra "k" being an homage to the religion Thelema. The extra "k" is used to differentiate between performance magic, such as pulling a rabbit out of a hat, and spiritual magic, such as something that moves a person towards their own destiny. In many ways, Alchemy Prophet's Inim Bala is a conversation between himself, the people he met and the listener – a conversation that is done without a single spoken word.
Inim Bala will be available at The Broom Closet (401 Dewdney Ave East, Regina) and Hecate's Magickal Marketplace (511G 33rd Street West, Saskatoon) on October 31st. It will also be available on digital platforms, such as iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, YouTube, Amazon or wherever else you get your music.
Thank you to Matt Lay for the opportunity to listen to your album and for helping me put together this article. You can follow the Alchemy Prophet and The Mudutu Effect on Facebook. Thank you to his wife, Alyson Ford, for supplying the images.
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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I don't often take blog requests, but a friend approached me recently and asked about Venice. He's traveling to Italy for a wedding this summer and is stopping in Venice for few days. He asked me if I knew what he could do in the Floating City, so I racked up a list of ten things for him to see.
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if I missed anything, what your favorite thing to see in Venice was, or if you plan to go visit Venice after reading this!
Cemeteries are a place of solace. All people, regardless of wealth, status, religion or creed are equals within a cemetery. It's a place of remembrance, respect and reconciliation. If you visit a cemetery, you are visiting the graves of lost loved ones. These may be children, pioneers, rebels or everyday people. Every grave has a story, and all are longing to be told.
Because of this, cemeteries are a library of knowledge. They hold the lessons of our past, and the wisdom of our future. As the leaves change and the days get shorter, cemeteries attract a much different crowd than that of just historians and family members. With autumn crisp in the air, cemeteries fill with thrill-seekers and paranormal believers. There is a fine line between what is and isn't acceptable within a cemetery and those who dabble into the affairs of the afterlife know this all too well. Few people go into cemeteries looking to disrespect the graves; instead, most are just hoping they can answer their own questions about life after death.
Not all cemeteries are haunted, but each holds their own stories. Keep this in mind while you read this article. If you end up visiting any of these sites, remember to step softly, speak quietly and respect the surrounding graves. You might not be as alone as you think.
For many of us in Saskatchewan, summer means it's time for an Alberta road trip. Although the endless stretches of prairie have their appeal, there is nothing quite like seeing the mountains rising over the horizon.
One challenge that comes with taking a summer road trip is the heat. Much like on this side of the border, it isn't uncommon for summer temperatures to get to the extreme. I know a few people who have had car problems in the heat, and my family is one of them. Nothing ruins a trip more than an unexpected visit to the mechanic.
Thankfully, Alberta has a myriad of places to go swimming, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding or fishing. This not only gives your vehicle time to cool off, but also gives you a chance to escape the heat as well.