MUSIC NEWS- Ben Folds has announced the release of his landmark new album, So There. Arriving in stores on September 11, the album is the multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/producer's first for his new label New West Records, and showcases eight new pop songs recorded and arranged in collaboration with yMusic -- a critically acclaimed NYC-based sextet -- along with the debut recording of Folds' 21-minute "Concerto For Piano and Orchestra," with the Nashville Symphony conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero. Recorded in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and his own historic Grand Victor Sound (aka RCA Studio A) in Nashville, the album is marked by its forward-thinking studio craft and creative spontaneity. NPR recently unveiled Folds' "Capable of Anything", listen below.
Bob Boilen at NPR said: "Ben Folds' music has taken another turn, firmly embracing strings and chamber music yet still maintaining a passion for his love of pop... I find this to be the most lovable piece of music I've ever heard from Ben Folds." "I don't recall ever being quite so excited about an album I'm making," Folds said. "I'll let you decide if that's a good thing or not. It's just that we don't often get to make a record that we've never heard before. The arrangements you will hear on this record are straight up rock - not ornamentation. The odd instrumentation - piano, cello, viola, violin, flute/piccolo/alto flute, trumpet/French horn, and clarinet/bass clarinet, with no bass and more often than not, no drums - is yielding something that I can't wait to release. It's a pop record, if that's what you call what I write."
The three-movement Concerto, which premiered in March of 2014, was initially conceived as the result of a commission from the Nashville Ballet along with the Nashville Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, to create original music for a brand new ballet. While Folds has spent many years performing in regional symphony halls, challenging the perceptions and traditional constraints in the classical world, the creation of the concerto still presented a new challenge for him. What he ended up creating is a playfully modern, nuanced and beautifully dynamic work of art. After having spent much of 2014 performing the Concerto with some of the world's greatest symphony orchestras around the globe, Folds was eager to continue exploring new sonic landscapes, but with the feeling and flexibility of playing with a "band." Meeting and recording with yMusic became the bridge between the classically themed Concerto and the modern chamber rock songs on So There.