Ok, so Nils Frahm and his label, Erased Tapes, have announced that 29th March 2015 will be the first official Piano Day. It’s kind of sweet that Nils feels compelled to create a day celebrating everything piano and who better to drive such a day than one of the most gifted and talented modern piano composers around?
When I saw him in Glasgow back in 2010 I was blown away by him as a performer and pianist. Since that very small show at the Captain’s Rest, supporting Balmorhea, Nils has gone on to become something of a star. The Bells, his album of the time, was something quite magnificent but with each release Nils has not only changed his approach and sound but grown as an artist and musician. His reputation is on the up and up so I imagine that the interest in Piano Day will be significant. And so it should be. There are so many wonderful modern day pianists out there at the moment, creating stunningly beautiful work that will always fly under the radar of what is considered mainstream or popular. Possibly this has to do with the piano as an instrument as there is probably still the perception that it is an instrument synonmous with classical music. And perhaps it’s because often, the music that is being created predominantly using the piano, is instrumental and there is still a major misunderstanding of accessibility in instrumental music.
Regardless, to celebrate Piano Day we are going to feature a pianist who inspires us or that we love, every day for the rest of March.
So. To start – why not begin with the man himself, Nils Frahm.
As I said above, I fell in love with his work with his album ‘The Bells’ but have been an avid follower since. And possibly my favourite of his records his ‘Felt’, which I think captures the beauty of the piano in such special way. ‘Screws’ was similar in the simplicity that focused on the piano as an instrument and let it sing in a day and age when the piano is often a component of something bigger. There are not many who can take the piano, break it down into its most simplistic and still hold the attention for a whole record. Where ‘The Bells’ displayed the technical ability of Frahm as a performer, ‘Felt’ and ‘Screws’ highlighted his unquestionable ability to produce a heart breaking nostalgic melody. But there is more to Frahm than a simple pianist. His electronic work both with Anne Muller on ‘7Fingers’ and on his most recent record ‘Spaces’ is something very special indeed and not to be overlook. However, it is a pianist that I personally believe Nils Frahm excells. When I saw him, he was disappointed not to have a real piano to perform on. Any pianist who has that much passion for the instrument is a pianist at heart. So, please, take a moment and enjoy this wonderfully talented man and support his plans on 29th March.