Saturday, November 6, 2010

Two and a Half Questions with Nils Frahm

Tell us a bit about the Unter | Über pieces...
James, a good promoter friend of mine, who also runs the Brian Records imprint in Bath, got in touch with me last winter and proposed to produce a handmade lathe 5-inch vinyl. I first thought it was kind of a ridiculous idea, because each side only fits 2 minutes of music max. But I thought about it and just went for it. I knew that you can’t express much in 2 minutes, but I found it very challenging and interesting to try to express at least as much as possible. So I condensed a few ideas and actually rehearsed my pieces (!). This is kind of unusual and new for me, since all the other recordings were more or less improvised takes. So I played the tunes to James and also to Robert at Erased Tapes and they both liked them quite a lot. So we decided to release it digitally at the same time to make it available for more than just 75 people. This release helped me to find a new direction for my next album. I am working on the record right now and I think it will be akin to Unter l Über, but I don’t want to say too much about it yet :)

Talk a little about the piano that you play these pieces on. What is its history?
I have a Kawai CS40 piano at home. It is a big upright, which I got from the parents of my ex-girlfriend. They didn’t use it anymore, so I bought it off them. It traveled from Hamburg to Berlin and lives in my living room ever since. It has a nice view into my backyard and when I open my window it talks to my neighbors. They don’t seem to dislike each other so far. No complaints. I keep it in excellent shape and it gets all the love it deserves. I’ve heard from many friends and musicians that this is one of the best sounding pianos they have ever played. I agree. I never played a more beautiful upright piano. I am a lucky chap. It has a lot of bass and it’s really fun to play with it.

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Read the entire interview on Headphone Commute

Read also our Review of 7fingers and Unter | Über

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