Hello and welcome to Discovery Corner on BTR!
As a child, Ben Seretan spent his summers attending a music camp in his home state of California. One year, the sweltering summer heat melted the glue that held his cello together, snapping the neck in two and leaving Seretan without his instrument of choice. While his cello spent time at the repair shop, Seretan’s older brother offered up his guitar to his ambitious sibling. From that point on, the then cellist traded his title for guitarist.
Eventually, Seretan traded coasts as well, moving from California to Connecticut and then to New York. Spattered in between, he embarked on extended trips to Alaska as an artist in residency through the Sitka Fellows Program. For seven weeks, Seretan worked on testing out a rigorous proposal.
“It’s really difficult in modern life to focus on your work for more than a couple of hours,” says Seretan. “I proposed that I was going to try and rehearse for a certain amount of uninterrupted time each day, building it up until I as playing for more continuous hours each day.”
Photo courtesy of Ben Seretan
He recently set out to work on another record with a projected release for the new year. He recorded the songs at various studios across the country, making it feel—as he describes it—like a greatest hits record. This mentality became inspired by the first record Seretan purchased with his own money, “The Very Best of Violent Femmes.”
“The concept emerged that I was going to make a greatest hits record. Not that any of these songs have been heard before, but it was recorded at different times by different personnel. You mash these songs together and it becomes listenable as an album.”
Some of the songs on the forthcoming record feature only Seretan and his guitar, while other tracks have upwards of nine musicians accompanying his thoughtful vocals. Overall, Seretan claims the album focuses on gratitude for the people in his life.
“These songs are like little Christmas cards for people,” says Seretan. “In this age of social media and endless content creation, we all project an image of ourselves that is happier, fitter, more fulfilled, and more wonderful than who we might actually be. This record is vulnerable and it’s about gratitude for friends and affection and people who make you feel good.”
Photo courtesy of Ben Seretan
And when it’s not the people in Seretan’s life who make him feel most comfortable, it’s the music.
“I say this a lot, but I can be the person I want to be in my day to day life when I’m singing or playing my guitar.”
Some people may use their instruments as a shield; for Seretan, his guitar rivals that sentiment, working in a way that brings his true self out of hiding and allowing his sincerity to shine.
But enough words, have a listen for yourself!
And don’t forget to check out the Discovery Artist feature on Ben Seretan!
0:00 Introducing Ben Seretan
0:53 Ticonderoga – Ben Seretan
8:44 Light Leaks – Ben Seretan
16:15 Meadowlark – Ben Seretan
23:57 Blues for Ian M. Colletti – Ben Seretan
30:19 Mic Break
30:29 Interview with Ben Seretan
49:32 Mic Break
50:07 The Confused Sound of Blood in a Shining Person – Ben Seretan
55:37 Two Black Wings – Ben Seretan
59:35 My Lucky Stars – Ben Seretan
62:03 Swing Low – Ben Seretan
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