Hello Ben. Thank you for doing this interview about music and libraries… Let me ask you:
How did a library ever make a difference in your life and (or) your community?
I grew up in a small village that didn’t have a permanent library but I remember very clearly for most of my early childhood a mobile library that visiting the village twice a month…I think it was every second Tuesday it came and parked at the seafront. So the visiting library always represented a little bit of excitement for me as a child, it was definitely something which I looked forward to arriving. This mobile library was an important resource to the village back then as it mean’t that the locals had access to books without having to travel long distances for them.
Is there a librarian in your life – for better or for worse?
No, not presently…
Your songs are stories and libraries are full of stories – Do you see other connections between your art form and libraries?
Stories are massively important to me and songs are basically stories in musical form. Stories help us communicate, break down barriers, allow us to find refuge in shared experiences and can give us strength and comfort at times when we need these. Libraries are filled with the works of writers who have used stories to share their experiences and that is what I’m trying to do in my songs. So yes, there is certainly a connection here.
You write love songs – Why is love so fascinating to write about ?
I believe there are two main forces at play in the human condition – love and fear. Everything else is sparked off by these two, therefore love is a massive well to draw from and write about. Love, or lack of it, is what shapes our relationships and our interactions with each other and these are the things that I like to write about. It’s a central theme to so many things that you can’t avoid writing about it.
What inspires you when you write and what is a good song?
A good song is one that resonates with the listener in a true and meaningful way. It’s something that hooks onto your soul and makes you feel something real.
I write to make sense of my own experiences, to find some order. It’s my way of working out and working through the core issues that I face in life. Songwriting is one of my main vehicles of self expression so I am inspired to write because I am inspired to attempt to interpret what’s going on in my world.
If you did choose to write a song about a library (hint!) – what would the title be?
That’s a tough one! What about “We’re On Borrowed Time.” I might go and start tinkering with it…!
Can a good song change the world? – or the life of an individual?
Individuals can change the world by changing themselves. It is very possible that a song can change an individual so it follows that a song can be the source of a change in the world. A good song can influence our lives deeply so it definitely has a power if we let it in close enough.
I know you have an interest in history and are inspired by good people like Van Morrison and Robert Johnson… Name a few more of the people you admire (Please)
Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, WB Yeats…the list could go on! I am drawn to people who’s work has stood the test of time and who’s art still speaks as powerfully in the present as it did in the past.
Have you ever performed at a library?
The school I attended sometimes put on concerts in the library and I played at some of those over the years. The school was formerly built as a stately summer retreat in the mid-1800’s and the current school library is in one of the oldest parts of the building . Maybe I didn’t appreciate it fully as a teenager but looking back now it was a grand room to perform in!
Thank you so much for participating Ben – and Thank you for your support for libraries and for your stories and beautiful music.
Ben’s new record, “Atlantic” will be released worldwide on September 1 – 2014. Until then PLEASE visit Ben Glovers website – and buy some of his wonderful music. You can also follow Ben on Twitter and like him on Facebook. Ben is one of my favorite Instagrammers… He takes awesome photos.