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Ben Folds in concert with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Photograph: Christie Brewster

Ben Folds wants to turn your poem into a song

It's your time to shine, in six lines or less

Written by
Stephen A Russell

If you’ve ever found yourself a few wines in, whining away to Ben Folds' classic ‘Brick’ and riffing a few wailing improvisations of your own, then it’s time to harness that Bridget Jones “all by myself” energy and turn it into something creative.  

Folds wants to collaborate with you. Yes, YOU, screeching in the shower. Currently in town, in a super-cute team-up he'll join forces with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra once more, after performing live with them at the Town Hall in early March, way back in the Beforetime. They’re calling for you to compose a teeny weeny two- to six-line poem and submit it online here. And the poem doesn't have to be about going through the emotional wringer (though it is all the rage right now).

And if you think it’s too hard, you can grab some inspiration from Folds himself. After all, the first six lines of ‘Brick’ make for a pretty cool, cruel world poem as it is:

“Six am, day after Christmas

I throw some clothes on in the dark

The smell of cold

Car seat is freezing

The world is sleeping

I am numb.”

Alternatively, ditch the ex-cavation and focus on something fun, like your goofy pet’s silliest mishap, the bountiful beauty of your garden/pot plants, or the magnificently svelte form of your most-Instagramable sourdough.

So get writing, poets, even if you don’t know it yet, and wing some fine lines in here by 11.59pm (AEST) on Friday, July 24. The winner will be announced on July 27, and mind-blowingly Folds and the SSO will whip up a new accompanying composition on the spot, the way he often does in concert. The finished piece, with your swishy lyrics, will be shared on the SSO website and Facebook page sometime in August.

Don’t brick it. You can do it. 

Want more live music? Stream Gordi live from the Sydney Opera House.

This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas

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