The Genius of the sound of the life of the mind.
I've listened to Ben Folds Five and Ben alone since the first major self titled album. I feel that yes the three geniuses just mesh together with a special sound that goes beyond their individual talent. Having said that I sincerely was deeply overcome with joy and awe when i heard SOTLOTF. I can hear the wisdom pain and refined getting older and having to be more mature type of thinking in these pieces. They really know how to sum up who they are in this album. Not necessarily through words or over all themes but in the control over the music. Its almost too in its dynamics, technique, tempos and harmonic execution. I guess i'm saying nothing on this album say from the organ to the vocal harmonies to the piano solos or drum style chord changes melodies and bass tone choices ...none of the things are one bit overdone or lacking. I believe it to be an example of a genius group developing still into something so musically rounded and so sensitive to their instruments and exactly when and where and how to execute the parts of their music that the soul and depth that has always been in the music can now not only express the soul but the truth behind the pain the love and the swift comes and goes of life. These always genius 3 now have found a way to go even beyond that. Their music is executed perfectly in every sense and their sensitivity to their music pulls its back enough for you to hear a mature voice with years and hard lessons learned. This album speaks truth on every track. Their is truth is the execution of every one of their parts now so that is almost flawless. Thank you Ben Darren and Jesse. You are real musicians that have soul. I can tell the music is def in you and the playing i heard on this recently album showed that geniuses can go beyond to even more important things to include with their genius. These songs would speak their truth without the lyrics but simply by the way you guys speak through the instruments. I once that only so very few songs come from whats inside. When your'e writing or playing from the things inside of you...the things that need to be released somehow ....then you are speaking without words and telling the truth. Thank You Guys. ps Note to Ben ... i'm stephen soles and that means i'm a face in a crowd. But I'd like to say i've been playing piano for close to 25 years now(just turned 29 on the 8th of january), i was considered a child prodigy, i've attended a state school of the arts for piano performance, performed at carnegie hall when i was 17, received full scholarship to an in state college for my BM in piano performance, while i was the pianist for the jazz band at that college I was able to have a one on one 15 minute talk with Dave Brubeck about anything i felt i'd like to ask the legend, and last to mention I was able to play two jazz standards on stage with Louie Bellson at the beginning of a show he did at the opera house in my college town. All of this would sound like an add up to something like I could do things you or other famous pianist do. But I say all of the accomplishments i have in piano to tell you i know what makes a real musician and as much as i try i can't imagine ever being able to express myself or let what inside of me talk or write from in me to release those things inside. You have the acute ability to take your life or a story you know and feel something for and let it out as notes melodies chords then lyrics. Ex that as far as writing music, the huge diversity of generes and styles, the melodies, the harmonies, the chords changes, and i know your lyrics are what the songs says coming from the melody but all the same this has made you a better lyricist over the years so ....your lyrics, all of these things I have struggled and barely scratch the surface of being the musician that you are. I learn to play everything you come out with and i'm always thrown for a loop and impressed but the things you come up with. You'd be considered a role model then in that i don't like most music thats mainstream these days. I generally know of a few people i like to listen to and wait for them. Even if you were to include elton or billy joel...the ones most people ask for at bars which is sad because they only ask for the least inspired pieces by them that they've probably heard on the radio, with all that I like your style of playing, and the generes that you use. I appreciate the Gospel sounding like Lullaby or the ballads like Boxing or thank you for breaking my heart, sometimes straight forward rock changes, jazz used everywhere...you are just all over the place but with total understanding and mastery of these directions in music. That would easily clarify why i love your music and i try to learn from every single piece you write. I feel i'm getting better. But piano is too far in me now to the extent that i would probably die within 6months if i lost ability to play ......so that means it'll never stop but. To hear your music makes a difference in my life on a level of real musicality and the soul. Of course as everyone would say, meeting you would be an incredible thing to me for a few reasons. I listen to your music and learn it and play it in and out. And after doing this for years i've felt i could determine or conclude little things about how you feel towards a certain song or i suppose more specifically i felt your music spoke for you enough to almost know your personality. I was a little reassured when I've listened to interviews and heard you confirm many things about yourself that I had taken from your musics ability to communicate(again without their lyrics). For example the sound of the life I felt to be the best Ben Folds Five yet. I thought that given the years apart the the experiences that life puts us though, and how getting older usually broadens the perspective on already great music, and the closer the connection between mind and heart growing with age( as in ability to know w/o a doubt what is in the heart and how to perfectly translate that in a phrase that tasteful and perfectly restrained in dynamics and the feel of style). When I heard the album I was hearing what I thought might have happened. A great band becoming a now mature incredible band that obviously has closed the gap between the real stuff inside becoming the music that is truth on the outside. I listened an interview with you regarding this album recently and was happy to hear you confirm many of these ideas I had with your own voice. Thus if there were a way to have fan meet his role model and have a lesson with on piano...say one hour lesson, I would never be able to explain to you how the mind of the music being there going over his music with or talking about harmonic decisions in certains down to you showing me some riffs that come in handy. I have to say though that if i were blessed to have an hour of your time that I'd have bring up Weather Channel Music at some point. I like to ask you where would come up with an idea like that. Its an incredible song. I'd love to learn how to play it. I feel that the audience was pushing you. so you did almost exactly what i'd do. you played it in a way that you knew they'd have to bare music they didn't want or that might cause them to be bitter for at least the evening. But weather channel music i would have given them the smart ass "i'm not going to play this song anymore etc" intro .....then you do a little rock this b**** ...enough to define and then you laid it on them. Let's kick out some of that weather channel s***. Perfect ex of that style of jazz btw. I really really loved it and would die to have a transcription of it. Point of points Ben I know you're famous. I know everyone wants your time. I want a little bit just a little bit of access to that spark you have knowing i'd learn things i would have never dreamed of. Please requesting if a man of your schedule ever clears a rare day or few hours to meet a few ( not really the meeting you but) minutes of piano instruction. I know that a lot to ask. But i can offer a reason that I'm worth it. I can hear the difference between real inspired and fake....as i can tell the difference between a song written for high sales and mainstream radio time and music that talks from the soul..music thats real. music that can only tell the truth. I need help developing those things in myself and I know could offer me a step if not two in that direction or at most an hour of lesson time. At the very least I could make leaps and bounds if I could have only a phone call. I could ask the Ben Folds whose music i've memorized every single of note of a few questions about the subject and On my life and given my deep respect for you obviously i'd not make a big deal as to not give you the crazed over the top fan scenario who wants to meet...think they could be friends with the famous person, try to hang with them again , try to call back ,and harass them. I'll give you my words on that Mr. Folds. One lesson or one phone call. I'll help with fanpage work....do whatever you could have use for me to do in order to try to pay back the favor. And of course the promise of privacy and professional relationship respected to the full degree. Mr. Fold please help become a better musician. How to speak from the inside more. I'm stephen ray soles 5317 Helene dr, north charleston, sc, 29418 phone 843-864 8294 house line 843 225 0305 I don't know how something like this would go down in the infinitesimal chance it does. But i'm completely fine with background checks being ran or any other procedures that might be required to make it possible. whatever needs to be done to show who i am or security agreements consents......etc if this somehow happens i realized you'll need my social security # and probably some other numbers.. Thats all cool with me man. Please Mr. Folds. Im in dire need of your music writing instructional help. stephen soles