Maps & Music: Highlights from From The Vault with Ben Cosgrove

ArticleCheck out these highlights from last week’s edition of From The Vault with Ben Cosgrove

August 14, 2023
352 words / 2 minutes

On August 11, traveling composer-performer Ben Cosgrove performed live as part of the Boston Public Library’s Concerts in the Courtyard Series. We were thrilled to host Ben following the performance to talk through a handful of objects from our collections that relate to his work and themes of landscape, geography, and place. Below, you will find a selection of Ben’s songs paired with maps from our collections.

Meet Ben Cosgrove

Ben Cosgrove is a traveling composer-performer whose “compelling and beautiful” instrumental music explores themes of landscape, place, and environment. He has performed in every U.S. state but Delaware, collaborated with groups ranging from rock bands to research scientists, and held residencies and fellowships with institutions including Acadia National Park, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, White Mountain National Forest, Harvard University, Middlebury College, the Schmidt Ocean Institute, the New England National Scenic Trail, NASA, and the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology. Ben’s fourth studio album, The Trouble With Wilderness, an evocation of different expressions of nature and wildness within the built environment, was released in 2021. In addition to his solo work, Ben has performed and recorded with a long list of artists that includes Ghost of Paul Revere, GoldenOak, Darlingside, Max García Conover, and many more. To learn more, visit his website.

Rand McNally official 1920 auto trails map: District Number 6: New England, Eastern New York (1920)

Pairs with “When You Are a Road,” from Yankee Division (2011)

A plan of the salt marsh and upland in Roxbury, lying the east side of the Mill Creek (1852)

Pairs with “Salt” and “Slip,” from Salt (2017)

Map of Hawaii (1901)

Pairs with “Volcano,” from Bearings (2023)

Trade wind chart of the Atlantic Ocean (1851)

Pairs with “Aerial,” from Bearings (2023)

Geological map of Massachusetts (1832)

Pairs with “Hadley,” from The Trouble With Wilderness (2021) and “Nashua,” from Solo Piano (2015)

The Massachusetts interstate highway program (1964)

Pairs with “Overpass” and “Arterial #1,” from The Trouble With Wilderness (2021)

Changes in the bed of Boston Harbor from a comparison of the surveys of 1835-61 (1868)

Pairs with “Glass” and “Let,” from Salt (2017)

Our articles are always free

You’ll never hit a paywall or be asked to subscribe to read our free articles. No matter who you are, our articles are free to read—in class, at home, on the train, or wherever you like. In fact, you can even reuse them under a Creative Commons CC BY-ND 2.0 license.