Ben Folds has been a predominant name in music for a long time. Since the mid-90s Folds has popped up on various Billboard charts and hipster (before being a hipster was cool) music scenes. I personally became a fan when I first heard his glorious cover of a Dr. Dre whose title I can’t print here. (If you search for this song, NSFW) While Folds has spent the last 20+ years making wedding guests cry with “The Luckiest” or simply rocking the suburbs, he reached a new level of greatness after the work of genius he pulled off last week.
Over the weekend a video made the rounds online which showed Folds creating a song for an orchestra in ten minutes. Seriously, he composed a piece for an orchestra on the spot on stage in ten minutes. It was hypnotic watching him work. To ensure that no pre-show shenanigans were done the crowd actually created the framework of the piece. The crowd provided the key, tempo, and subject matter for the piece. Once that information was obtained Folds was off to the races. He sets to work with the cellos and then works his way around the different orchestral sections, somehow managing to keep everything straight in his head. As he composes each piece Folds hears it all in his head, meanwhile I’m sitting there captivated and wondering what it’s going to sound like. He hears it as he’s doing it and that blows my mind.
The video below is 13 minutes long and it’s absolutely worth the time. I have watched it several times now and can’t get enough of it. Now, I’m aware of the fact that I’m a conductor on the hype train right now. I am aware that this composition is not likely to end up on any classical music anthologies for a Music Appreciation class. What the piece may lack in grandeur it certainly makes up for in skill. If you are a fan of Ben Folds, music, or just watching something really cool then check out the video below.