Composing an orchestral piece is not easy by any means.
Some people spend weeks just composing one piece—but not Ben Folds. In this video, he composes a song live with an orchestra in just 10 minutes and the crowd can’t believe it. This is amazing, and any music lover will be able to appreciate this.
This will blow you away—I’ve never seen anything like it!
Talented musician Ben Folds is joined by conductor Edwin Outwater to compose a full orchestra piece in 10 minutes.
For those who don’t know, Ben Folds is an American singer-songwriter and record producer with an all-around ear for music. His last album made it to #1 on the Billboard for classical and classical crossover charts.
He now serves as the first-ever Artistic Advisor for the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. During a performance called Sound Health in Concert: Music and the Mind, Folds created this orchestra piece on the spot.
Dr. Charles Limb takes suggestions from the crowd on what key Ben should use and someone yells out “A-minor.”
After choosing A-minor for the key, Dr. Limb asks if the crowd wants a slower song or something upbeat? The audience screams upbeat in unison—so they have A-minor with an upbeat song so far. As if that’s not enough, Dr. Limb picks someone to recite a random sentence out of the program’s booklet.
“These new spaces are all designed to be flexible,” is the random sentence the crowd chooses.
Now it’s up to Folds to improvise an upbeat song, in the key of A-minor with the random sentence: “These new spaces are all designed to be flexible.”
Folds starts going from instrument to instrument, composing the sound he wants them to play. He directs the cellists, violinists, and flautists exactly what he wants them to play in the A-minor.
Conductor Outwater walks from group to group conducting them for Folds. He’s coming right up to the 10-minute mark when they’re ready to play the whole song.
All the musicians take the direction perfectly and begin playing the orchestra piece on the spot.
Next, it’s up to Folds to use the random sentence and freestyle the rest. It’s as if it were a song they’ve practiced for years! The live orchestra beautifully plays the piece in the A-minor while improvising, and Folds starts making up the words off of the top of his head. He talks about the history of the Kennedy Center during the first verse before breaking out into an incredible piano solo.
Folds uses the random sentence as the chorus, then he breaks out the second verse on the spot. The whole time, the crowd is in disbelief! They watch in awe as he’s able to do something totally unprecedented in music.
When Folds finishes the song, the audience goes crazy and cheers loudly for the impressive performance!
It’s no surprise this video went massively viral… after all, Folds’s creativity knows no bounds. Almost 2.4 million people viewed the epic 10-minute composition with 82,000 likes and thousands of comments praising his musical chops. Folds is very impressive, but so is the rest of the orchestra! Everyone involved is beyond good at what they do.
This truly is something that not many people could pull off. It’s easy to see why Folds is the first-ever Artistic Advisor for the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
To see the brilliant piece, watch the video below!
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