Yesterday while I was cleaning my exceptionally messy 100 sq. foot art room, I caught an interview on Q with Sam Bean, singer/songwriter of Iron & Wine. I confess that many interviews with artists leave me feeling somewhat depressed and dis-empowered. There are already so many great visionaries out there, I am less than a drop in the very large ocean of artists. So when I hear that Jian Ghomeshi is interviewing an artist I assume I will be feeling a little dis-empowered by the end of the interview, and I make a decision to either listen (and then go cry) or to ignore the fact that I am such a small person and make my cards to the not-so-threatening BBC Radio.
Jian announced his Tuesday line-up and I decided to give the interview a listen. I have been a fan of Iron & Wine for a few years, but I would describe myself as an “arms length” fan. I “fell in love” with the music visually, if that makes any sense, after watching the video for his song, “Boy with a Coin”. I have attached this video to the end of this post so you can watch the flamenco dancers that so brilliantly give a visual idea to his music.
Yesterday I was transformed from arms-length fan to proper fan. I listened with interest as Sam Beam talked about his choice of “Iron & Wine” as a cover name for himself, describing the label on a can of food with the title “Beef, Iron & Wine” as “a little poem.” He talks about his art journey as a series of hijacks, from visual artist, to film professor, to singer/songwriter. The world of art is so full of competition and comparison and crippling jealousy, it is always refreshing to hear a brilliant artist talk about their experience in a way that empowers other artists.
If you are interested in listening to the interview, follow this link.
I think the empowering part of the interview is that he stays with his experience and by doing so, I as a listener am encouraged to stay with my experience as well. I don’t feel that I must reach out for his experience, but that art is all about being present and expressing our own unique visions and experiences.
So here is to all of us small people in our small studios. May we all be true to our experiences.
PS: Here is the music video I talked about: