By: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
so open up until you know
there’s more than EITHER/OR.
Yesterday was one of the most incredible experiences I have endeavored. In anticipation of their release, Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, Mae invited 12 fans to Schematic Studios for the first ever “Mae Day.” When we arrived to the studio, we were greeted by the band, who instantly made us feel welcome into their ‘home.’ There were snacks and refreshments, and although most people knew each other from Mae shows, we all started chatting and becoming friends. Mae gave us an overview of the evening, and then we went into the studio to watch a short film. Shortly after, we had dinner with the band. I was at the table with Dave [vocalist] and my friends, Amber and Jesse. I loved hearing Dave’s stories about their album, such as why songs are in the order they are in, and the importance of the bpm of the songs. Seeing Dave’s face light up as he talked about the album added an extra element to it. I could tell that he was so proud of this album, and I was eager to hear this piece of art.
Before we listened to the M.A.E., Jacob [drums] gave us an overview of the band’s way of thinking. Where they are now. How they got here. Why they write music. Why they think the way they do… It’s hard to explain how much this talk opened my mind. Jacob (as well as Zach and Dave) are absolutely brilliant. They brought up some incredible ideas that I would have never even thought about. Jacob explained how there is a “third view.” We are taught that it’s either/or, but if we have a different opinion with someone and can respectfully agree to find a third answer of something unknown, we can find a third option. Jacob also explained life and music, and the phases of living/dying/experiencing life in such a fascinating way. He explained how you can go through something really bad while your happy and it’s not so bad, and vice versa. This opened my mind to so much more.
This led to talking about Synesthesia: the phenomenon in which when one sense is stimulated, it leads to an automatic, involuntary stimulation of a second sense. Synesthesia is the core of Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, and Mae wanted to create art for the whole body. Without a doubt, their new album connects the fields of virtual reality, music, engineering, neuroscience, and animation; something that is the very first of ts kind. Before listening to album, we watched a video of Melissa McCracken demonstrating Synesthesia. This was one of the most fascinating things I have seen, connecting different forms of art into one. Melissa also designed the album art for Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, which depicts what she saw when she listened to the album. Finally, it was time to listen to Multisensory Aesthetic Experience. I can honestly say that it is such an incredible album. I don’t want to spoil it for you, but the songs are so damn good. We sat in a beautiful, candle-lit studio with some incense burning. It was truly one of the most magical things I have experienced. We were hearing this work of art for the first time and all of our senses were heightened. I sat on the studio floor across from Jacob. There were certain parts of songs that literally hit me so hard that I would just make a face to Jacob, and he would be making one right back at me. It was so authentic and pure. We literally felt the music.
After listening to Multisensory Aesthetic Experience, Mae played an acoustic set for us. Everyone shouted out some songs they wanted to hear, and the guys played a handful of songs that hadn’t been played in several years. It was an intimate jam session. At this point, we had been at the studio for nearly seven hours, but there was still one more special event. One by one, we went into a dark room inside the studio for Virtual Reality. Again, I don’t want to spoil too much for anyone going to future Mae Days, but my goodness. Listening to “Light” while fully experiencing it… I have no words. And that’s the point. You can feel music, sometimes is not linguistic, it goes beyond those boundaries. As Mae explained, words are just what we use to express how we feel because that’s what we know. There is so much more beyond words that we haven’t even thought about yet.
I am so incredibly grateful to have been part of the first Mae Day. Thank you David, Jacob, Zach, as well as Schematic Studios + the Mae Team for making this happen! Also, all of the lovely people that I met last night! Multisensory Aesthetic Experience is available November 30th and Mae’s EP 3.0 is available now. Please, pick up a vinyl, go to a tour date and experience these songs live. I promise you will re-think everything you thought you knew about music and you will feel it in a whole new way. Tour dates, ticket information, and VIP/Mae Day package can be found HERE.