This past week, I searched my local public library's database, to see what Ben Folds releases they stocked. I saw a couple titles that I was not familiar with, and placed a "hold" on them. Within a few days, the CDs arrived, and I picked them up. What I found were a couple of real treasures... at least for me.
The disc I want to mention, is called "BEN FOLDS PRESENTS: UNIVERSITY A CAPELLA"
When ordering this disc in, I had thought it was a new Ben Folds disc, as the copyright date was 2009. I had no clue what I was in for. What it actually is, is a collection of A Capella versions of Ben Folds songs, performed by a variety of collegiate vocal ensembles and choirs. It is absolutely amazing.
I guess my love for the album hails from the time I spent in a Madrigal choir, whilst in high school. I gained a real love for the beautiful sounds that can be performed by a group of 20-30 vocalists... and this CD has a variety of flawless vocal performances. On many of the tracks, human voices are used to create the sounds of instruments and beats.
Ben Folds had apparently heard that university choral ensembles across the United States had really taken to doing A Capella versions of his music. He sent out a request for groups to record their versions of his songs, submit them to YOUTUBE, and he would select a handful of them for a CD collection. The following documentary goes behind the scenes of the recording process of this album. If you have the time, it is definitely insightful into this amazing album.
The following is the video submitted by U.G.A.'s "With Someone Else's Money", who performed the Ben Folds/Regina Spektor hit, 'YOU DON'T KNOW ME'. This will give you an idea of what these groups did, in order to be included on the project.