Ben Folds and William Shatner join National Symphony for NSO Declassified concert at the Kennedy Center

Posted on: April 21, 2022

“Captain Kirk is about to transform the Kennedy Center into the final frontier,” writes Jason Fraley in Wednesday’s (4/20) WTOP radio (Washington, D.C.). “The ‘Star Trek’ icon unites with musician Ben Folds and the National Symphony Orchestra for ‘NSO DECLASSIFIED: Ben Folds Presents With William Shatner’ on … April 29.… Folds and Shatner have collaborated on music together for nearly two decades … [including] the 2004 album [that marked] the first musical album that Shatner had recorded since ‘The Transformed Man’ in 1968…. This time, Shatner recites lyrics that he co-wrote with a friend. ‘I push back on “spoken word” because that’s poetry; this has a vast element of music,’ Shatner said…. Folds added, ‘Bill is somewhere between singing and speaking. He has a rhythmic sense.… It’s symphonic music. The closest thing that I can compare it to is “Lincoln Portrait” by Aaron Copland.’ … The first of the six songs kicks off with the lyric, ‘Music is everywhere.’ … ‘Imagine organizing 90 people in a rock band to bring them into a garage to play,’ Folds says. ‘I always liken the symphony orchestra as the greatest symbol of civilization … because it organizes people to be something greater than all of the parts.’ ”