Following an already busy start of the year for Berlin-based pianist and composer Nils Frahm with the announcement of an annual Piano Day and the release of the free album Solo, Nils now takes the focus back to his live performance. Continuing in the tradition of his acclaimed 2013 album Spaces, which featured a grand piano, upright piano, synthesisers, electric piano and tape delays, he will now add drum machines, a Mellotron (tape replay keyboard containing pre-recorded self-made sounds), his very own upright called Una Corda and a custom made, electronically-controlled wind organ to his new live set.
With these new instruments Nils will premiere brand new material, which will be developed from show to show on his tour across Europe and which will lay the foundation for his next studio album. The audience can also expect existing pieces being reworked live as Nils makes use of his new setup. So instead of writing and recording his future album locked away in his studio before taking it on tour, Nils decided to do things differently. Having enjoyed the lively process of capturing Spaces over the course of two years, it seemed natural to develop new ideas live on stage, thereby involving the audience in the process of production.
“As most of my better songs have been shaped and crafted in a live set, I wanted to invite my audience to be part of this next big creative step of developing new material on new instruments. My audience, as always, will tell me without speaking which parts need to be shortened, which breaks should be longer, or louder, or or or… The stage will tell me where this next big record should go.”
Bringing all these instruments and prototypes on tour is by any means pretty insane. The chance that everything works all the time is close to zero. Nils once said: “Making and planning this tour reminds me of base jumping, with the nice addition that it probably wont fail fatal. Some close friends and my family thought I went nuts when I told them about the tour. They are possibly right. It feels like a good kind of crazy so far…”
With only one string per note, the Una Corda was commissioned by Nils and built by David Klavinsin 2014 as a smaller, portable version of the 3.7 meter tall Klavins M370 on which his latest album Solo was recorded. The bespoke organ is the latest addition to Nils’s collection of rare instruments consisting of portable wind pipes, customly made of wood. The team around Feld.is, who are mainly responsible for Nils´s visual artworks helped him to design a completely new midi interface which controls the organ and enables new sonic possibilities.
With so much old and fragile gear and temperamental prototypes on stage, Nils’s travel party now also includes his studio engineer Matthias H. Franz Hahn who will be on hand with his soldering iron, ready to fix up any instruments from the side of the stage.
The Brooklyn-based trio and latest Erased Tapes signing Dawn of Midi are also excited to join Nils on this European tour which starts on April 25th and includes key cites such as Berlin, Paris and two nights at London’s Roundhouse of which the first date is already sold out.
· watch video teaser · hear 'Some' from 'Solo' · check all tour dates