Ben Folds: A Dream About Lightning Bugs (with Sara Bareilles)
Where: The Cooper Union
7 E. 7th St. | 41 Cooper Sq.
212-353-4100 Price: $35 Admission & Signed Copy grants you admission for one, plus one signed copy of the book. $20 Admission grants you admission for one (no book included).
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Join us in the Great Hall at Cooper Union as Ben Folds, singer-songwriter beloved for songs such as “Brick,” “You Don’t Know Me,” “Rockin’ the Suburbs,” and “The Luckiest,” former frontman of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five, shares his brand-new story of growing up and into his voice.
Folds will be the first to tell you he’s an unconventional icon, more normcore than hardcore. Now, in his first book, Folds looks back at his life so far in a charming and wise chronicle of his artistic coming of age, infused with the wry observations of a natural storyteller.
In the title chapter, “A Dream About Lightning Bugs,” Folds recalls his earliest childhood dream—and realizes how much it influenced his understanding of what it means to be an artist. In “Measure Twice, Cut Once” he learns to resist the urge to skip steps during the creative process. In “Hall Pass” he recounts his 1970s North Carolina working-class childhood, and in “Cheap Lessons” he returns to the painful life lessons he learned the hard way—but that luckily didn’t kill him.
In his inimitable voice, both relatable and thought-provoking, Folds digs deep into the life experiences that shaped him, imparting hard-earned wisdom about both art and life. Collectively, these stories embody the message Folds has been singing about for years: Smile like you’ve got nothing to prove, because it hurts to grow up, and life flies by in seconds.
Don’t miss this evening with one of the great songwriters of the modern era as he shares the stories and songs of his life!
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation. He’s created an enormous body of genre-bending music that includes pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple solo albums, and numerous collaborative records. His last album was a blend of pop songs and his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra that soared to #1 on both the Billboard classical and classical crossover charts.
For over a decade he’s performed with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras, and was named as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. He is also no stranger to television, having been featured for five seasons as a judge on NBC’s critically-acclaimed a capella show The Sing Off, and continues to appear in cameo roles on cable and network TV shows.
An avid photographer, Folds is a member of the prestigious Sony Artisans of Imagery, completed an assignment in 2017 as a photo editor for National Geographic, and was recently featured in a mini-documentary by the Kennedy Center’s Digital Project on his photographic work.
An outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy funding in our nation’s public schools, in 2016 Ben held the distinction as the only artist to appear at both national political conventions advocating for arts education, and has served for over five years as an active member of the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans for the Arts.