Screws Nils Frahm
Info for Screws
While a musician’s ability to overcome the temporary loss of a thumb certainly doesn’t match the achievements of the Paralympians last summer, there’s something similarly uplifting about the genesis of Nils Frahm’s latest, delicate album.
Provoked by an unfortunate accident involving a bunk bed and gravity, Screws – named after the four pieces of metal doctors used to hasten the healing process – finds the increasingly acclaimed pianist inspired by his predicament to compose within his limitations rather than follow doctor’s advice and leave his instrument alone during his recovery.
The back-story is, arguably, unimportant: it’s likely only trained musicians would be aware of the hindrances he faced. In keeping with much of Frahm’s work to date, these are deceptively simple, minimalist sketches in which the personality of the piano – its timbre, the creak of its hammers – is of as much importance as the performer’s.
But these nine pieces – one for each finger, presumably, written and recorded over nine consecutive evenings – are meditative celebrations of his love for his instrument, one from which he (as he himself says) “pathetically” thought he might be separated.
They are, accordingly, full of a tender emotion that more often than not overcomes the fact that they’re sometimes closer to the New Age avenues explored by George Winston than, say, the work of Erik Satie. Frahm himself initially only deemed the collection worthy of a free download rather than a commercial release.
However, as with the latter composer’s Gymnopédies, the atmosphere they evoke is no less significant than their melodies, and there’s a gentle melancholy at the heart of the best tracks – like You, the album’s opener – that is impossible to ignore.
Re, too, is imbued with a sadness that lifts towards its end as his undamaged right hand sweeps briefly up his keyboard, while Me – enveloped in tape hiss – is at times so insubstantial as to be barely there. But, though these 28 minutes drift by almost imperceptibly, they’re evocative, intimate and surprisingly moving. Sometimes it’s about what we do with what we have rather than what we lack. (Wyndham Wallace, BBC Review)
was born in 1982 and from a very young age, he really enjoyed piano lessons, amongst others those given by Nahum Brodski, one of Tchaikowsky ́s last pupils. In his early days he also discovered Keith Jarrett ́s epochal improvisational music and the boundary-pushing musical worlds of the exceptional label ECM. Classical and jazz music have since become equal sources of inspiration for the pianist, alongside minimalist music and pop.
Nils Frahm had an early introduction to music. During his childhood he was taught to play piano. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of the classical pianists before him as well as contemporary composers.
Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer from his Berlin-based Durton Studio. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around the world. For a musician this early in his career, Frahm displays an incredibly developed sense of control and restraint in his work, catching the ear of many fans.
As the recognition continues to grow for his previous solo piano works 'Wintermusik' (2009) and ‘The Bells’ (2009), 2011 saw the release of his critically acclaimed record 'Felt' on Erased Tapes Records. The album was followed by the solo synthesiser EP 'Juno' and 'Screws' (2012) – a birthday gift to his fans he recorded while recovering from a thumb injury. Nils released his follow up to Juno titled 'Juno Reworked' (2013) with guest reworks by Luke Abbott and Clark.
Nils returned with his new album 'Spaces' in 2013, expressing his love for experimentation and answering the call from his fans for a record that truly reflects what they have witnessed during his concerts.
In 2013 Nils Frahm released his first music book, entitled 'Sheets Eins'. Nils is currently on his worldwide 'Spaces Tour 2014'.
This album contains no booklet.