Joe Farrar shares his song ‘Potter’s Hand’ with us and answers our songwriters Q&A.
If you had to describe your music in three or four words, what would you call it?
Relevant Honest Worship.
I never want to write something that I don’t believe in my head or heart, I always want to speak and sing things that I know are true and that have impacted my life and the people that surround me.
How do you like to approach song writing?
I often start with an idea of what I want to write about, whether that is creation, God’s love or something that He is doing in my life that I am thankful for.Then I build on that idea, looking at scripture and talking to people to get their views and thoughts on it.
Once I have thought about that I get stuck in and sit in a room on my own with a guitar and just jam it out, sometimes it comes quickly to me but often it’s a long time before I get to the final product. I often come up with a basic structure of how the song goes and put down a rough idea of the words and then as I play the song more lyrics start to change.
So far in my song writing I have only had one experience of sitting down with no clue of what I was going to write on and 20 minutes later I had a song which I was really happy with (and still play to this day), more often I take a lot of time over songs starting with just an initial thought or melody.
What is your earliest musical memory?
My earliest musical memory (other than a church organ) was probably going to see ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ with my family. I remember just falling in love with the music and was amazed at how well a story could be told simply through singing. It definitely sparked my love for musicals which then led me on to get interested in all sorts of music.
What instrument(s) do you play? Which is your instrument of choice?
I sing, play guitar and dabble in banjo and harmonica (that’s my love of folk music for you). I started playing guitar about 3 years ago after I had been playing bass for a year and wanted to take on the challenge of guitar. I am self taught.
What is the story behind the ‘Potters Hand’?
What I really find interesting is, the plans God has for us and the sacrifice we make when we lay down our lives that He might use us for His good will.
I have explored this idea through song writing a couple of times expressing it through metaphors such as being led on a path, however for this song I wanted to express the actual reality of facing God and saying ‘This is my life Lord, use it for your will’.
As I started to play through this line and shape it a bit the idea of being moulded and shaped crossed my mind and the imagery of God being the Potter and we are the clay. I think it is one thing to offer our lives to God but it is another to ask him to mould you into who he wants you to become.
This song is almost a challenge for me, and I want it to be for others, that our time on this earth is short and we can live it our way or we can ask God to shape us and teach us how to live for His glory.
What’s next for you?
I am still really busy at my church doing lots of worship events and services over Easter which is great fun. I am off to Spring Harvest this week to co-lead at iScape which is the 15-18s age group which is a huge privilege and something that I am very excited about.