Nils Frahm may not care about your ears in particular, he may not even care if you ever hear his work, he may not take notes or know how to read music but his ear is sharp and his mind is on the task of creating something beautiful and something challenging and at moments in his arrangements every part of your musical historical knowledge may tell you it’s against the grain. He does this with all the effortlessness of a light snow fall.
Frahm is living on the island of improvisatory, but his most recent release, Spaces—an accumulation of contrasted, various live recordings—has found a growing audience. This year has been a watershed period for the Berliner, not the least of which includes his first commissioned piano, constructed by master craftsman David Klavins. Named UNA CORDA, the instrument is an extension of Frahm’s simplicity—relying on a single string rather than the customary three.
Mr. Frahm was in the middle of an offline Eastern Hemisphere tour when we determined to speak with him, so perhaps that exchange is best slated for the next life.
Photographer: Robert Klebenow at klebenow.de.