Nils Frahm had an early introduction to music, learning the piano throughout his childhood. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of classical pianists from previous generations as well as the music of contemporary composers, before forging his own musical path through composition.
Today Nils Frahm continues to work as an accomplished composer, producer and celebrated performer from his Berlin-based studio at the renowned Funkhaus. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, and on a mesmerising scale through his vast stage shows, has won him many fans around the world. Nils has gained global notoriety for his highly developed sense of control and restraint in his work, as well as a breath-taking level of emotion and personality.
Following on from his first solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells in 2009, and 2010’s 7fingers in collaboration with cellist Anne Müller, 2011 saw his break-through album Felt on Erased Tapes. Created by placing felt on the hammers of the piano, the record defines Frahm’s signature sound which was a further development of the two-track experiment Unter/Über. Felt was followed by his solo synthesiser EP Juno and Wonders — a record by Oliveray, his duo project with long-time musical companion Peter Broderick. Nils then recorded the 2012 works Screwswhile recovering from a thumb injury, which he gifted to his fans on his birthday. Erased Tapes also released Juno Reworked featuring remixes by Luke Abbott and Clark.
2013 saw Nils return with his new album Spaces to critical acclaim, expressing his love for experimentation and answering the call from his fans for a record that truly reflects what they have witnessed during his live shows. Recorded over a period of two years the album captured live performances from various of his concerts worldwide. Nils also released his first music book in the same year, Sheets Eins, publishing the sheet music for tracks such as Ambre and Said And Done for the very first time.
In 2015 Nils launched Piano Day, an official global body created by Nils and his closest friends to celebrate the piano via various innovative, piano-related projects around the world. The first project revealed by the Piano Day team was the building of the world’s tallest piano: the Klavins 450. It was on the slightly smaller version built by piano inventor David Klavins that Nils recorded eight improvised piano motifs in one sitting, which formed his Solo album – presented to the world on the first celebration of Piano Day.
During the same year Nils’ first film score release Music For The Motion Picture Victoria written for the one-take feature film by Sebastian Schipper, won the esteemed German Film Prize for Best Soundtrack; the soundtrack opens with an edit of Burn With Me by German producer DJ Koze. And in the Summer, the BBC Proms presented a memorable performance at London’s prestigious Royal Albert Hall curated by BBC 6 Music radio presenter Mary Anne Hobbs.
Nils celebreated his continued musical partnership with fellow artist Ólafur Arnalds with the release of their Collaborative Works that October and included their three previous EP releases Stare, Loon and Life Story Love And Glory, plus Trance Frendz — the audio recording of their intimate 45-minute studio film.
Following a Nils Frahm-curated Weekend Festival at London’s Barbican Centre and the release of his second published music book Sheets Zwei, 2016 saw a collaborative score with Woodkid for Ellis, a short film by French artist JR, starring and featuring spoken words by Robert De Niro.
Frahm has been touring extensively following his masterful 2018 release All Melody, bringing his spectacular live show all around the world with sold out performances including the Hammersmith Apollo in London, L.A.’s Disney Hall, Brooklyn Steel, Le Trianon in Paris and several nights at Funkhaus in Berlin.
In late 2019, Nils Frahm released Encores 3, the third and final instalment of his Encores series. The three EPs are now also available as one full length release titled All Encores featuring 80 minutes of music. While Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.
To mark Piano Day 2020 and as an acknowledgement to these unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, Nils released a surprise album of eight solo piano pieces, titled Empty on March 28.
On December 3 he will release the live album Tripping with Nils Frahm on Erased Tapes. The concert film by the same name is produced by Leiter in association with Plan B Entertainment, and will premiere on the curated online cinema MUBI.
Nils Frahm – Hammers
Nils Frahm – Says