December 3rd 2012 saw the official worldwide release of Nils Frahm’s free birthday gift to his fans, entitled Screws.
Nils experienced an unfortunate accident, which saw him fall from his bunk bed located directly above his studio, which resulted in a broken thumb. But through inspiration from his fans and despite the 4 screws that had just been surgically placed inside his thumb, he started recording with 9 fingers, which later resulted in 9 intimate piano recordings.
Nils chose his 30th birthday to offer these recordings as a free download to his fans via screws.durtonstudio.com where they have been freely available since.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
I am sitting in front of a sheet of paper. My right hand is bending over my left thumb. The first day I got out of my cast I could bend it by 15°. Now I am already at 50° and that makes me happy. Things are going uphill…
As you can imagine, it is really bad news for a pianist when he gets diagnosed with a broken thumb. That day I was sitting in the emergency room, feeling rather dizzy while thinking of a zillion shows coming up and all the people involved around it. I realised in that moment how busy things have become. It is hard to turn down interesting projects and opportunities, since I surely love my work. It actually never felt like work. Playing piano and playing it for wonderful people is the greatest joy I can imagine.
For a couple of days I felt like this could all be over. How pathetic, but hey – also feeling sorry for yourself has its place somewhere. All of a sudden I had so much time, an unexpected holiday. I cancelled most of my schedule and found myself being a little bored. Even though my doctor told me not to touch a piano for a while, I just couldn’t resist. I started playing a silent song with 5 fingers on my right and the remaining 4 on my left hand. I set up one microphone and recorded another tune every other night before falling asleep.
The day I got rid of my cast I had recorded 9 little songs. They have helped me feel less annoyed about my accident and reminded me that I can only achieve something good, when I make the most of what I’ve got.
– NILS FRAHM