A serene intro develops into a song of epic proportions. Delicate piano notes are paired perfectly with the hypnotising sound of synthesizers, whilst unusual objects such as toilet brushes create a distinct and enigmatic atmosphere. This is the kind of track that transforms notes to electricity and makes the body vibrate.
The man behind this eclectic combination of sounds? His name is Nils Frahm and he is changing the concept of classical music forever.
Originally from Hamburg, Frahm moved to Berlin where he now works as a music producer and composer from his studio. Frahm´s musical journey started with piano lessons as a child, which allowed him to study classical pianists alongside contemporary composers. As a teenager, he began collecting old synthesizers, fuelling an interest in the electronic that, when combined with his classical background, helped to create his unique take on experimental music.
Today, Frahm has released 11 solo recordings, the majority of which he released under London-based record label, Erased Tapes. And yet, he continues to find creativity in collaboration, working with an array of musicians such as Ólafur Arnalds, Anne Müller and F. S. Blumm. Critical acclaim followed the release of his album ‘Felt’ (2011), and since this time Frahm’s fan base has increased exponentially. Albums ‘Juno’ (2011) and ‘Screws’ (2012), saw Frahm skilfully consolidate his musical proposal and unique style.
Frahm’s confident passion for rich instrumental texture distinguishes him from his contemporaries. As if rethinking the sound of classical music, he contributes to his genre with a refreshing use of instruments and objects that ensure his live shows are transformed into truly transcending experiences.
Seeking to capture this live magic, Frahm released ‘Spaces’ in 2013, a departure from his previous albums, which he admitted to Seattle radio station KEXP, he “was not sure…was going to work”. A compilation of live performances spanning two years and recorded during his tours, ‘Space’ was positively acclaimed for songs like ‘Says’, which effortlessly depicts calmness and pure bliss.
Last year signalled a return to his roots in the form of album ‘Solo’ (2015), a more serious piano album; wistful and paired back. However, continuing his electronic experimentation, 2015 also saw the composer write his first score, ‘Music for the Motion Picture Victoria’, which was later awarded the prestigious award for ‘Best Soundtrack’ in the Deutscher Filmpreis, Germany’s highest film award.
Never content with the status quo, this month sees Frahm release of ‘The Gamble’ by Nonkeen, a band he formed with his friends and fellow musicians Frederic Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald. Meeting at school and bonding over their shared music tastes, ‘The Gamble’ is the result of eight years of experimental sessions, which have come a long way from their original tape machine recordings.