Nils Frahm (Modern Composition)

Who is Nils Frahm?: German composer Nils Frahm has been releasing modern classical music since 2005—utilizing a peculiar combination of traditional (grand and upright pianos) and electronic (Roland, Rhodes, Moog synthesizers) instruments to record and perform his sweeping pieces.

Frahm grew up in a musical household—both of his parents being self-taught musicians. By the age of eight, he started taking piano lessons from Nahum Bradski (who was a student of Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovksky‘s last protege). These initial years of classical training have heavily impacted Frahm’s technical abilities.

However, Frahm nonetheless embraces improvisation and the idea of the sacred ‘happy accident’ when creating his music.  His album “Spaces” is comprised of segments of over thirty live ‘field’ recordings (as opposed to the usual perfected studio recordings most artists use for their physical releases). Frahm, after performances, would listen to the recording and (during post-production) turn up the sounds of the audience and ‘the room’ (as he puts it in an interview with Mojo Music) so as to achieve a more genuine sound that cannot be replicated in a studio environment.

Interesting Fact: A custom-built “21st Century Piano” was made specifically for Frahm.

Recommended Listening: A live performance of “All Melody” and “#2”

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