Skip to main content

What's Up Magazine

Musician Seth Glier Finds Inspiration in Unexpected Places

Sep 14, 2017 04:00PM ● Published by Nicole Gould

Photo by GMD Three

Interviewed by Chanice Lee // Written by Nicole Gould

When putting together an album, artists can find inspiration from the unlikeliest of places. For Grammy nominated singer/songwriter, Seth Glier, that inspiration was his brother…and birds.

The Massachusetts native recently released his newest album, Birds, which follows the success of If I Could Change One Thing released in 2015.

“The process started when my brother passed away from autism. I was his legal guardian, so my life was involved with his care. After he passed I had a ton more time and I needed to find an outlet. My brother was thirty years old and his passing was random, it was like I had an emotional vacancy. I didn’t want his passing to be over. I wanted it to be meaningful. I began to talk to birds that came to my window sill because my brother’s nickname was ‘Bird.’ I didn’t feel weird at all because I felt like the birds were my brother’s spirit.” -Seth Glier

Glier uses his musical talent to give listeners insight to the issues Americans are facing today. This can be heard in his newest single, “Water On Fire,” which confronts today’s controversy of fracking, exploring the falsehood between freedom and capitalism. “Justice For All,” challenges the death penalty while “For What It’s Worth,” is a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s protest song.

Throughout the 11-song track list, Glier expresses a virtuoso use of emotions from grief and loss to strength and optimism.

Catch Glier on Thursday, September 21st, 8 p.m. in the Stoltz Listening room at the Avalon Theatre as part of his headlining tour through the U.S. Tickets are $25.

 

Can you tell me more about your single “Water On Fire?” Within the track you speak about today's controversy of fracking and the underlying damages that result from it. What was your main objective in exploring the falsehood between freedom and capitalism?



My main objective was to unpack this line that everyone has taken as Americans. What is good for the country isn’t always what’s good for people. It’s an exploitation of land and we’re at a tipping point. The song started from a place of feeling powerless and voiceless. The song also came about from a conversation that I had with an old friend in Oklahoma where he talked about the different struggles because of fracking.


As an artist who focuses on humanity and politics, what is your ultimate goal when you release a track or album that speaks volumes to you personally? How do you feel your music reaches your audience?



I do my best to explain my intentions. That’s the wonderful thing about songs is that it’s so much different than other art forms. When I go into a museum, I abandon my own reality to understand the painting. It’s an experience that seeks into a place of objectivity. With music, I believe it seeks into the conscious and I want that state of music to become a part of others’ lives.


When you were studying at the Berkley School of Music, what gave you the final push to leave the largest college of contemporary music just after one year to pursue your career?



Two things really played a part in my decision. In that first year of school I was just writing songs constantly, a lot of elastic bands being stretched, and that’s when I started to feel very confident in my voice as a writer.

When I was 11 years old, I was always mesmerized about what happens when an artist steps on stage and performs and what actually happens on stage. As I thought about those things, it was like, why wait and finish out the last three years of school? I knew that I would do a lot better just riding down the street in my car and getting my voice heard.


Most songwriters are inspired by other artists, but you took to the music industry being inspired by poetry and other things. Can you explain how outside experiences in your life have molded you to be the writer that you are today?



I was inspired by found sound. I love to walk around abandoned buildings or car graves with my stick and see what music I hear. Music is in everything and everything has a unique sound.


In the music industry, it’s very common for artists to stay up to date with the latest trend or write songs for a hit single without any passion. Can you explain the importance you place into connecting with your audience instead of chasing the newest trend?



I feel connected with my audience, which allows for a creative freedom. I love pop music, very catchy music, and music should never be demeaning. The connection with my audience allows me to bring up tough topics like the death penalty, spirituality, fracking, and I can feel safe saying it.

I feel like I have 10 years of a relationship with my audience and they don’t have to agree with everything that I say, they just give me the freedom to express myself and have a voice.


Who would be your ideal artist to collaborate with and why?



Harry Partch would be my ideal artist to collaborate with. He invented instruments that were so different than what we are used to. I love how different and dangerous his music sounded. Harry chose to change the way music sounded and I loved that.


Your new album Birds has a taste of grief, resilience, darkness, and empowerment. Can you explain the album and major events that contributed to the configuration of the album?



The process started when my brother passed away from autism. I was his legal guardian, so my life was involved with his care. After he passed I had a ton more time and I needed to find an outlet. My brother was thirty years old and his passing was random; it was like I had an emotional vacancy.

I didn’t want his passing to be over. I wanted it to be meaningful. I began to talk to birds that came to my window sill because my brother’s nickname was “Bird.” I didn’t feel weird at all because I felt like the birds were my brother’s spirit.

Of course, I never received an answer from them, but over time my questions started to change. I started to ask them if there was a connection between them and my brother. I would also ask them for melodies and I felt like they were singing back and connecting with me. It was more of an outlet for my grief.

Arts+Entertainment interview avalon theatre live music September Annapolis 2017 September Eastern Shore 2017 September West County 2017 Seth Glier
  • Mini Masters at the Academy Art Museum

    01/27/2018
    08:00AM — 05:00PM

    Mini Masters Academy introduces young children (ages 2-4) to new ideas through a thematic approac...


  • Her Stories: A Women’s Art Show

    01/27/2018
    08:00AM — 04:30PM

    Local women artists of all experience levels, from first time exhibitors to veteran professionals...


  • Winter Group Show

    01/27/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    A rotating group show featuring an eclectic mix of artwork including oil paintings, pastels, orna...


  • The U.S. Naval Academy museum welcomes more than 100,000 visitors annually from all over the work...


  • 1967: Civil Rights at 50

    01/27/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    1967: Civil Rights at 50 tells the dramatic story of the growing militancy of the struggle for ra...


  • Indoor Mini Golf at Linvilla Orchards

    01/27/2018
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Linvilla Orchard’s ‘Fore! The Planet’ is a highly interactive and playful museum exhibit created ...


  • The Chesapeake Fine Art Studio in Stevensville brings in the best artists in the country to prese...


  • Free Ballet Classes for Beginners

    01/27/2018
    09:30AM — 10:30AM

    Free Trial Ballet Classes for beginning students. Ages 3 - 6 Saturday, January 27th 9:30 - 10:...


  • Game on! Learn how to create a video game. This interactive exhibition allows visitors to immerse...


  • Backyard Birds & Birdhouses

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM

    Opening reception May 20 in conjunction with the Delmarvalous Festival The beauty of nature is j...


  • Reinvention: The Work of Chris Bathgate

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Featuring 28 works of art, Reinvention: The Work of Chris Bathgate explores how modern and tradit...


  • Annet Couwenberg: From Digital to Damask

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This intimate exhibition of approximately 11 works by Maryland-based artist Annet Couwenberg reve...


  • Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Utopian Projects

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:30PM

    Acclaimed Russian-born American artists, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, have been working collaborative...


  • Edvard Munch: Color in Context

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    In the second half of the 19th century, advances in physics, electromagnetic radiation theory, an...


  • Black Box: Kara Walker & Hank Willis Thomas

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Salvation by Kara Walker, one of the most significant works in the BMA’s contemporary collection,...


  • Parallax Gap

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:30PM

    Parallax Gap transforms the Renwick Gallery’s Bettie Rubenstein Grand Salon into a visual puzzle....


  • Tomás Saraceno

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Tomás Saraceno is creating an ambitious, site-specific installation that will be suspended across...


  • In the Tower: Anne Truitt

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    The studio life of Anne Truitt (1921–2004) is explored in the first major presentation of her wor...


  • A Soothsayer is a person who predicts the future by magical, intuitive, or more rational means; s...


  • Spiral Play: Loving in the ‘80s

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    For 40 years, Al Loving experimented with materials and process to expand the definition of moder...


  • After Faberge

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM

    After Fabergé, an exhibition of five digital prints by artist Jonathan Monaghan, runs concurrentl...


  • The Message: New Media Works

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:30PM

    The Message: New Media Works is a transformative journey through five contemporary film and video...


  • Mural

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    A special installation in the Gallery’s East Building features Mural (1943) by Jackson Pollock, o...


  • Crossing Borders: Mexican Modernist Prints

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    This is the BMA’s first exhibition to highlight the Museum’s rarely shown collection of prints an...


  • This exhibition explores the Russian crafts tradition that culminated with the world-renowned Hou...


  • Dressed for Work

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The way we dress for work can offer clues about what we do for a living, where we are employed an...


  • Second Wind

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM

    Second Wind will feature the artwork of Anne Arundel County Public School retired art teachers. I...


  • Baltimore Boat Show

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 08:00PM

    The Baltimore Boat Show, held at the Baltimore Convention Center is the ultimate stop if you're l...


  • Bob Grieser’s Lens on the Chesapeake

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Bob Grieser’s Lens on the Chesapeake is a photography exhibition featuring both black and white a...


  • Annual RiverArts Members’ Show

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    The annual RiverArts Members’ Show highlights the quality and diversity of the Chestertown arts c...


  • Renowned artist, H.C. Porter, lives part-time in Annapolis when she’s not residing in Mississippi...


  • Beth van Hoesen: Prints

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM

    Beth Van Hoesen (1926–2010) was an American artist who was born in Boise, ID. She earned a BA fro...


  • Delmarva Visions: The Works of Patrick Henry

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Patrick Henry is a painter and photographer who has been living and working on the Eastern Shore ...


  • Freedom: Emancipation Quilted & Stitched

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Freedom: Emancipation Quilted & Stitched is an exhibition of documentary-style story quilts that ...


  • Winter Splendor

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 05:30PM

    McBride Gallery is hosting its annual winter-themed show, Winter Splendor. Pennsylvania painter L...


  • The Great Mystery Show

    01/27/2018
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Welcome All Ye Passionately Curious! The Great Mystery Show beckons you – each the star of your o...


  • Saturday Wine Tasting

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join us every Saturday at The Wine Cellars of Annapolis for our free wine tasting! New theme ever...


  • Claymation Animation Ages: 9 to 15, Limit 8 Instructor: Cher Pizzi Length: 8 Weeks Saturday...


  • Billy Goats Gruff

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM

    This exciting adaptation of a classic fairy tale, set to favorite opera arias, is the perfect way...


  • Polar Bear Plunge

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 05:00PM

    More than 10,000 people from across the state will plunge into the chilly Chesapeake Bay at Sandy...


  • Tamayo: The New York Years

    01/27/2018
    11:30AM — 07:00PM

    Tamayo: The New York Years is the first exhibition to explore the influences between this major M...


  • Stanley William Hayter (1901–1988), a preeminent, influential printmaker, and founder of Atelier ...


  • GUIDED HIKE

    01/27/2018
    01:00PM

    Join us for a guided hike on CBEC’s 510 acre peninsula for this unique opportunity to discover so...


  • Open House

    01/27/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    School of the Incarnation is a fully-accredited Catholic school that educates over 800 students i...


  • No Limits! Monster Trucks

    01/27/2018
    01:00PM

    JANUARY 26 & 27 - Three shows in two days! FRIDAY 7:30 P.M., SATURDAY 1 P.M., SATURDAY 7:30 P.M...


  • Open House at School of the Incarnation

    01/27/2018
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    Come see the opportunities that are waiting for your child at School of the Incarnation where lea...


  • Fiddler on the Roof

    01/27/2018
    02:00PM

    Winner of nine Tony awards, this musical play tells the story of the village of Anatevka, a Jewis...


  • The Humans

    01/27/2018
    02:00PM

    Stephen Karam’s The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place ove...


  • Beauty and the Beast

    01/27/2018
    02:00PM

    Children's Theatre of Annapolis presents the beloved musical Disney's Beauty and the Beast at its...


  • Blithe Spirit

    01/27/2018
    02:00PM

    The smash comedy hit of the London and Broadway stages, this much-revived classic from the playwr...


  • Take an enlightening journey through 5,000 years! Shen Yun’s unique artistic vision expands theat...


  • Cloud 9

    01/27/2018
    02:00PM

    A comedy of manners that spans centuries, Cloud 9 is a smart, satirical look at gender politics a...


  • Sovereignty

    01/27/2018
    02:00PM

    Some wounds refuse to heal. Mary Kathryn Nagle’s daring new work, which debuts as the fourth prod...


  • Science Saturdays

    01/27/2018
    02:00PM — 03:00PM

    Amazing Air is a fun, interactive workshop that uses hands-on experiments to help kids learn abo...


  • Frank Brennan Solo Show

    01/27/2018
    02:30PM

    Frank Brennan, award-winning photographer and AAA Board member, has an exhibit and sale of his wo...


  • Register now for Creative Clay- Kid's Pottery Classes in Chester Springs, Chester County! Regi...


  • Looking for the perfect gift for a creative child? Kids love working with clay! Registration n...


  • Does your child enjoy art? Give the gift of creativity! Kids learn drawing and painting as they t...


  • German Saturday: Heidi & The Heimat Echo

    01/27/2018
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    Enjoy live music by Heidi & The Heimat Echor at Old Stein Inn!


  • Beauty and the Beast

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM

    Children's Theatre of Annapolis presents the beloved musical Disney's Beauty and the Beast at its...


  • With the football season near a close, keep your Navy spirit alive and head over to the McMullen ...


  • On Your Feet!

    01/27/2018
    07:30PM

    From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke throu...


  • On Your Feet!

    01/27/2018
    07:30PM

    From their humble beginnings in Cuba, Emilio and Gloria Estefan came to America and broke throu...


  • Take an enlightening journey through 5,000 years! Shen Yun’s unique artistic vision expands theat...


  • No Limits! Monster Trucks

    01/27/2018
    07:30PM

    JANUARY 26 & 27 - Three shows in two days! FRIDAY 7:30 P.M., SATURDAY 1 P.M., SATURDAY 7:30 P.M...


  • Rising Stars

    01/27/2018
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    Londontowne Symphony Orchestra and Arundel Vocal Arts Society Rising Stars Anna Binneweg,...


  • Beethoven and Brahms

    01/27/2018
    07:30PM

    If ever there was a perfect partner to Beethoven’s moody and dramatic C Minor Piano Concerto, it’...


  • The Concert Band of the U.S. Army Field Band’s elite 65-member instrumental ensemble has performe...


  • The Trial at Synetic Theater

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “It’s in the nature of this judicial system that one is condemned not only in innocence but also ...


  • The Trial at Synetic Theater

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    “It’s in the nature of this judicial system that one is condemned not only in innocence but also ...


  • Fiddler on the Roof

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM

    Winner of nine Tony awards, this musical play tells the story of the village of Anatevka, a Jewis...


  • Multi-Platinum selling Broadway star Ann Hampton Callaway fuses a unique blend of jazz and pop th...


  • The Humans

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM

    Stephen Karam’s The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place ove...


  • Christoph Eschenbach conducts Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Schumann's "Rhenish" Sy...


  • Quartet

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM

    Cecily, Reggie, and Wilfred reside in a home for retired opera singers in Kent, England. Each yea...


  • Blithe Spirit

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM

    The smash comedy hit of the London and Broadway stages, this much-revived classic from the playwr...


  • Cloud 9

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM

    A comedy of manners that spans centuries, Cloud 9 is a smart, satirical look at gender politics a...


  • Sovereignty

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM

    Some wounds refuse to heal. Mary Kathryn Nagle’s daring new work, which debuts as the fourth prod...


  • Tartuffe :: Presented by Perisphere Theater

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM — 10:00PM

    From the 17th century, this Moliere farce employs witty rhyming couplets and classic characters i...


  • Love-Nothing

    01/27/2018
    08:00PM

    "Love-Nothing" examines the ideals of faith, hope, and love as foundations for three different co...


  • The Shatners

    01/27/2018
    10:00PM

    Enjoy live music by The Shatners at Middleton Tavern!


 

 

Towne Social