Watch Ben Folds compose a song live for orchestra in 10 minutes
Kennedy Center

Ben Folds has never been one to shy away from a potentially exciting music project. The songwriter, pianist and producer has made a career of going after musical ventures ranging from producing albums for William Shatner to releasing his own LP made up entirely of the best collegiate a cappella groups in the country. Folds’ most recent project alongside the National Symphony Orchestra however, may be one of his best accomplishments to date.

As seen in the video above, Folds and conductor Edwin Outwater compose a brand new, never-before-rehearsed piece of music in a live setting with the National Symphony Orchestra. The project was part of the Sound Health in Concert: Music and the Mind, an event presented by The Kennedy Center and National Institutes of Health late last week.

As Dr. Charles Limb points out in the introduction, the orchestra had no idea what Ben was going to present to them to perform. In fact, Mr. Folds also had no idea what his game plan was going to be until the moment he arrives on stage and begins asking audience members which key, theme and tempo the piece should be based around. Ben is given the theme of “Spaces that are designed to be flexible” from an audience member, and the rest was in his hands.

Folds was also recently named the new artistic advisor for the National Symphony Orchestra through their 2019-2020 season.

This latest fun project should be no surprise to Ben Folds fans, as the pianist recently announced he’ll be taking audience requests on his upcoming tour by means of paper airplanes thrown on stage. Tickets to select shows on his upcoming summer and fall tour are on sale now, and can be purchased by clicking here.