Ben Folds is once again expanding his ever-evolving creative resume with today’s launch of a landmark new podcast series. Lightning Bugs: Conversations With Ben Folds sees the multi-talented musician/composer/photographer/author/activist interviewing an equally diverse range of special guests from the worlds of art, science, technology, public policy, and of course, music. As part of each episode, Folds will be collaborating with his guests to write and produce an original song from scratch for what he’s calling his #LightningBugSongbook, with each new song reflecting the guest’s own unique personality and creative perspective. Episode 1, featuring renowned anthropologist Agustín Fuentes, premieres today on Spotify and all podcast providers, with a special video simulcast streaming via YouTube; new episodes will follow each and every Thursday.
TO EPISODE 1: AGUSTÍN FUENTES –
“DISCOVERING THE EVOLUTION OF CREATIVITY AND WHY MONKEYS STEAL THINGS”
EPISODE 1 ON YOUTUBE
Inspired in part by Folds’ New York Times best-selling 2019 memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life Of Music and Cheap Lessons, Lightning Bugs: Conversations With Ben Folds will explore the myriad ways creative people from different walks of life define, capture and share their own unique points of view. Folds has lined up a truly divergent line-up of guests, including fellow multi-disciplinary musical artists Sara Bareilles and Jon Batiste, Princeton anthropologist Agustin Fuentes, music therapist Meagan Morrow, Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur Jeff Lawson, award-winning children’s author/illustrator Mo Willems, Canadian poet laureate Alice Majors, and political activist/spiritual leader Marianne Williamson. In addition to the one-on-one conversation and original song, each episode will also feature a Q&A from the “Peanut Gallery,” as well as “next week’s resolutions” from each guest encouraging listeners and viewers to undertake a specific creative exercise of their own.
Lightning Bugs: Conversations With Ben Folds is produced in partnership with and distributed by Kast Media, a leader in the creation and representation of premium quality shows, both audio and video, reaching over 12.5M unique monthly listeners and viewers.
LIGHTNING BUGS: CONVERSATIONS WITH BEN FOLDS
Agustín Fuentes – Discovering the Evolution of Creativity and Why Monkeys Steal Things
Jon Batiste – Matching Technique with Creativity and How Discipline Differs from Drive
Caleb Teicher – Living as A Part Time Artist and Expanding the Scope of Your Medium
To herald the premier of Lightning Bugs: Conversations With Ben Folds, Folds will introduce the show with a live taping of the podcast streaming free at On Air Fest
today, April 8. RSVP here
ABOUT BEN FOLDS:
Ben Folds is widely regarded as one of the major music influencers of our generation, a genre-defying icon whose expansive body of work spans legendary pop albums with Ben Folds Five, multiple critically acclaimed solo albums, and an array of collaborative records. Folds’ most recent album, 2015’s So There, blended new pop songs with his “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” and soared to #1 on Billboard’s “Classical Albums” and “Classical Crossover” charts upon release. Folds has spent more than a decade performing with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras and currently serves as the first ever Artistic Advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
Along with frequent touring, both solo rock and orchestral, Folds published his first book, A Dream About Lightning Bugs (Ballantine Books), in 2019. A collection of interrelated essays, anecdotes and lessons about art, life, and music, the inventive memoir proved a New York Times best-seller amid widespread critical applause around the world.
In addition to curating and hosting Lightning Bugs: Conversations With Ben Folds, Folds has spent much of the past year presenting live and taped virtual streams and recently began performing limited live shows in Australia, where he was on tour when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in early 2020. The always active artist has also begun preparations for a new TV series and hopes to perform a number of solo piano and orchestral tour dates upon his scheduled return to the US later this year.
A member of the prestigious Sony Artisans of Imagery, Folds is an avid photographer who has served as an assignment photo editor for National Geographic and whose distinctive work was featured in an original mini-documentary by the Kennedy Center’s Digital Project
Folds remains an outspoken champion for arts education and music therapy funding in US public schools, with more than half a decade serving as an active member of the distinguished Artist Committee of Americans For The Arts (AFTA) as well as Board Member of AFTA’s Arts Action Fund. Folds recently served as Chairman of the Arts Action Fund’s ArtsVote2020 national initiative encouraging voter engagement in the 2020 US elections, and continually advocates for improving public policies for the arts and arts education.
ABOUT KAST MEDIA:
Kast Media creates podcasts that entertain, inform, and inspire, and is a leader in multi-channel visual podcast shows, with a monthly reach of over 12.5M. As a top 10 network, and one of the only remaining independents in the podcast industry, Kast creates, distributes, and monetizes its shows across both audio and video platforms. Other shows under their growing portfolio include “And That’s Why We Drink,” “The Mindset Mentor” and “The Opportunist.”
CONNECT WITH BEN FOLDS