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Nils Frahm

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Nils Frahm born 20 September 1982 is a German musician, composer and record producer based in Berlin He is known for combining classical and electronic music and for an unconventional approach to the piano in which he mixes a grand piano, upright piano, Roland Juno-60, Rhodes piano, drum machines, and Moog Taurus

As well as his solo work, Frahm has released collaborations with such notable performers as Anne Müller, Ólafur Arnalds, F S Blumm and Woodkid Together with Frederic Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald he records and performs as Nonkeen


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Core attitudes
  • 3 Equipment
  • 4 Discography
    • 41 Solo albums
    • 42 EPs
    • 43 Compilation albums
    • 44 Soundtrack albums
    • 45 Collaborations
    • 46 Theatre collaborations
    • 47 Print
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Frahm had an early introduction to music His father, Klaus Frahm, was a photographer who also designed covers for ECM Records He grew up near Hamburg, where he learned the styles of the classical pianists as well as contemporary composers At school he used mixing boards and was very interested in the quality of recorded sound Frahm was taught to play piano by the protege of the protege of Tchaikovsky, who happened to live in a neighbouring village In 2006, rather than pursue an orchestra-playing career, he moved to Berlin as a jobbing technician

Frahm's earlier solo piano works Wintermusik 2009 and The Bells 2009 gained him attention, but it was his 2011 release Felt that was met with critical acclaim It was his first studio album on Erased Tapes, which has been releasing his music since The album was followed by the solo synthesiser EP Juno and by Screws 2012, recorded while Frahm was recovering from a thumb injury, and offered as a free download to fans on his birthday His follow-up to Juno, titled Juno Reworked 2013, featured guest reworks by Luke Abbott and Chris Clark

Frahm's album, Spaces 2013, was made of live recordings from various venues spanning over two years

In December 2013, Frahm released his first music book, Sheets Eins, published by Manners McDade In 2016 the follow-up Sheets Zwei was released

In 2014, Frahm announced his new piano "Una Corda", specially designed and made for him by David Klavins The piano weighs under 100 kg and has one string per key, rather than the commonly used three strings

His album Solo 2015, an improvisation single take without any overdubs, was later recorded on the "Modell 370", a 370cm high vertical piano also made by David Klavins It was one of the 19 records nominated for the IMPALA Album of the Year Award

A condensed version of his single "More" was featured in the Assassin's Creed Unity gamescom trailer

In 2015 Frahm composed his first original score for the German film "Victoria" which is a 140-minute continuous take directed by Sebastian Schipper

Nils Frahm also collaborated with Woodkid on the critically acclaimed short film ELLIS directed by JR which was released in October 2015

In the same year Nils Frahm created the "Piano Day" which is celebrated at the 88th day of the year due to the 88 keys of a standard piano The first project was the construction of the "Modell 450" together with David Klavins It is the successor of the "Modell 370"

In February 2016 Frahm released The Gamble, followed by its companion release Oddments of the Gamble in August 2016 Pitchforkcom described the album "as charmingly patched together and messy as it is well-paced and dynamic" The material was recorded over eight years while the artwork was produced by Frahm's father

Core attitudes

Frahm has said "I’m interested in how human beings react in certain situations, and what music does to people’s emotions How we can change people’s attitudes with tones After I’ve played a good concert, people leave the room happy This is something we can give back to the world When people feel down and like it’s all going to shit, at least we can give them some music and change their attitude so people don’t think it’s all shit That’s my religion"


Nils Frahm and the Una Corda front, Roland Juno-60 behind him, Fender Rhodes under the Juno-60, Roland RE-501 on top behind the Juno-60, Moog Taurus on the floor behind him and other equipment

Nils Frahm is known for using vintage gear on his songs and live performances This is a list of some of his main equipment:

  • Roland Juno 60
  • Fender Rhodes
  • Oberheim Four Voice
  • Korg PS-3100
  • Mellotron M400
  • Roland RE-501 Chorus Echo
  • Studer A80 Tape Recorder
  • Nagra IV-S
  • Binson Echorec 2
  • Universal Audio 1176 Blue Strip Fet Limiter
  • Melodium 42b
  • Electro-Harmonix XO Germanium OD Overdrive
  • Electro-Harmonix #1 Echo Digital Delay Guitar Effects Pedal
  • Moog Taurus Bass Pedal Synthesizer Version 3
  • Ernie Ball Volume Pedal
  • Moog MF-102 Moogerfooger Ring Modulator
  • MFB-522 drum machine
  • Vermona DRM1 drum machine


Solo albums

  • Streichelfisch 2005, AtelierMusik
  • Electric Piano 2008, AtelierMusik
  • My First EP 2008, AtelierMusik
  • The Bells 2009, Kning Disk, Erased Tapes
  • Felt 2011, Erased Tapes
  • Screws 2012, Erased Tapes
  • Spaces 2013, Erased Tapes
  • Solo 2015, Erased Tapes
  • All Melody 2018, Erased Tapes


  • Wintermusik 2009, Erased Tapes, EP
  • Unter/Über 2010, Erased Tapes, EP
  • Juno 2011, Erased Tapes, EP

Compilation albums

  • Screws Reworked 2015, Erased Tapes
  • Late Night Tales: Nils Frahm 2015, Late Night Tales

Soundtrack albums

  • Music for the Motion Picture Victoria 2015, Erased Tapes
  • ELLIS 2016, Erased Tape, with Woodkid


  • Dauw Split 2009, Dekorder, with Machinefabriek
  • Music for lovers Music versus time 2010, Sonic Pieces, with FS Blumm
  • 7Fingers 2010, HUSH, Erased Tapes, with Anne Müller
  • Mort Aux Vaches 2011, Staalplaat, with Peter Broderick, Machinefabriek, Romke Kleefstra, Anne-Chris Bakker, Jan Kleefstra
  • Stare 2012, Erased Tapes, with Ólafur Arnalds
  • Music for wobbling Music versus gravity 2013, Sonic Pieces, with FS Blumm
  • Life Story Love And Glory Erased Tapes, with Ólafur Arnalds
  • Loon 2015, Erased Tapes, with Ólafur Arnalds
  • Collaborative Works 2015, Erased Tapes, with Ólafur Arnalds
  • Trance Frendz 2016, Erased Tapes, with Ólafur Arnalds
  • The Gamble 2016, Durton Studio, with Frederic Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald
  • Tag Eins Tag Zwei 2016, Sonic Pieces, with FSBlumm
  • Bergschrund 2016, Mass Appeal, with DJ Shadow

Theatre collaborations

  • Laughter in the dark 2014, with Hotel Pro Forma


  • Sheets Eins 2013, Manners Mcdade/Erased Tapes
  • Sheets Zwei 2016, Manners Mcdade/Erased Tapes


  1. ^ a b Simpson, Paul "Nonkeen | Biography & History" AllMusic Retrieved 2016-08-08 
  2. ^ a b Andrew Male 9 October 2013 "Nils Frahm Flaunts the Imperfection" Mojo Magazine 
  3. ^ Rachel Wakefield 30 April 2010 ""The music I play inspires my life": Nils Frahm" Wessex Guardian 
  4. ^ a b "The Quietus - Features - A Quietus Interview - The Listener Is The Key: Nils Frahm Interviewed" 
  5. ^ Jones, Charlie Robin 2016-06-28 "Nils Frahm: 'My music can be quite heavy Some people faint'" the Guardian Retrieved 2018-02-25 
  6. ^ Ro Cemm 6 December 2013 "Album Reviews: Nils Frahm - Screws" The Line of Best Fit 
  7. ^ "SHEETS by Nils Frahm" 
  8. ^ SHEETS ZWEI by Nils Frahm 
  9. ^ Peter Kirn 16 June 2014 "Acoustic Revelation: Inside the Una Corda, the 100kg, 21st Century Piano Built for Nils Frahm" Create Digital Music 
  10. ^ "SOLO | Nils Frahm" wwwnilsfrahmcom Retrieved 2017-03-08 
  11. ^ "Young labels featured in shortlist for IMPALA Album of the Year Award" sur impalamusicorg 
  12. ^ "'Assassin's Creed: Unity:' Brand New Trailer Released At Gamescom 2014 " 2014-08-15 Retrieved 2016-08-08 
  13. ^ "Music for the Motion Picture Victoria | Nils Frahm" wwwnilsfrahmcom Retrieved 2017-03-08 
  14. ^ "ELLIS" wwwellis-themoviecom Retrieved 2017-03-08 
  15. ^ Cook-Wilson, Winston 9 February 2016 "nonkeen: The Gamble Album Review | Pitchfork" pitchforkcom Retrieved 2016-08-08 
  16. ^ http://thefourohfivecom "Friends First: An Interview with nonkeen" Retrieved 2016-08-08 
  17. ^ Inc, Equipboard "Nils Frahm's Equipboard" Equipboard Retrieved 2017-03-08 

External links

  • Official website
  • Frahm on Erased Tapes's website
  • Frahm's music book Sheets Eins
  • 2013 interview with Interview

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