Old Friends New Friends Nils Frahm
Label: LEITER Verlag GmbH & Co. KG
Artist: Nils Frahm
Album including Album cover
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- 14:33 (A Tribute to John Cage)03:49
- 4Rain Take04:16
- 5Todo Nada02:42
- 6Weddinger Walzer03:17
- 7In the Making02:26
- 8Further in the Making01:48
- 9All Numbers End01:35
- 10The Idea Machine02:21
- 11Then Patterns03:31
- 13New Friend03:22
- 14Nils Has a New Piano04:05
- 16As a Reminder04:19
- 17Iced Wood03:08
- 19The Chords03:22
- 20The Chords Broken Down03:52
- 23Old Friend04:38
Info for Old Friends New Friends
Nils Frahm’s double album ‘Old Friends New Friends’ gathers together 23 solo piano tracks recorded between 2009 and 2021, almost all hitherto unreleased but, for one reason or another, omitted from previous projects. The album offers “an anatomy of all my ways of thinking musically and playing,” Frahm says, adding with a smile, “Maybe I could say it’s an album I worked on for twelve years, and finally I have enough material?”
‘Old Friends New Friends’ was pieced together during the pandemic as Frahm used the time to arrange his archives, conscious of the sheer number of recordings he’d accumulated. Having selected his favourites, he realised how, when he listened to them together, they offered “a different spectrum of freedom for me. I forgot that some tracks are ten years old, some two, and they’re all played on different pianos. Instead I remembered how, as a fan, I love albums like this. With a lot of my records there’s a point where you feel, ‘This is the centrepiece,’ but here I wasn’t really worrying about that. It still feels like my universe, though, and I’m proud that all these things which I never found a way to unite before now work together. It’s like I tossed flowers indiscriminately into a vase and then realised it looked exactly right.”
One can only guess how difficult it may initially have been to narrow down candidates for public consumption from the wealth of choices, because even selecting highlights from ‘Old Friends New Friends’ is a challenge. Nonetheless, among its almost 80 minutes of music are the fluid ‘Rain Take’, in which his instrument’s glistening ripples are married with the distant sound of a deluge outside; ‘Wedding Walzer’, a Satie-esque piece so intimate Frahm’s pedal-work threatens to overshadow its delicate melody; the unexpectedly touching ‘Then Patterns’, the exquisitely graceful ‘Acting’, and the redemptive, radiant ‘The Chords Broken Down’. Clearly, these are much more than outtakes, something Frahm has no trouble explaining. “Often tracks that don’t make it onto an album are the ones with the most boldness and bravery.”
Frahm has other reasons to release this record, too, among them a craving to protect his legacy in an era where ‘bonus material’ is in constant demand. “The nature of the mind – and a hard drive – is that you forget a lot of stuff,” he says, “and I hate the idea that somebody might browse through my things trying to find something I’d forgotten. I’ll probably burn everything before I go, but these are pieces I wanted to put out. So this is an original ‘Nils Frahm’, so to speak, not somebody curating a leftover meal.” Furthermore, Frahm felt an urge to clean the slate before making his next move. “My intuition,” he says, “is that it’s easier for me to start over if the body of work from the last ten years or so is organised enough that I never need worry about it again. It’s time to forget about the past, but in order to never think about it again I have to address it first.”
As for how he feels letting the music loose into the world, Frahm simply chuckles. “It’s like if your kids finally move out when they’re 23, and you realise, ‘Shit, this could have happened years ago!’”
"A 23 track double album, the compositional sense at show on ‘Old Friends, New Friends’ is worthy of Satie or Sakamoto; opener ‘4:33 (a tribute to john cage)’ blushes with intimacy, while ‘Late’ and ‘Berduxa’ are blessed with a twilight pensiveness." (Clash Music)
"Old Friends New Friends sees the artist settle his legacy thus far and clear the way before he gets stuck into another project." (musicOMH.com)
Nils Frahm, piano
was born in 1982 and from a very young age, he really enjoyed piano lessons, amongst others those given by Nahum Brodski, one of Tchaikowsky ́s last pupils. In his early days he also discovered Keith Jarrett ́s epochal improvisational music and the boundary-pushing musical worlds of the exceptional label ECM. Classical and jazz music have since become equal sources of inspiration for the pianist, alongside minimalist music and pop.
Nils Frahm had an early introduction to music. During his childhood he was taught to play piano. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of the classical pianists before him as well as contemporary composers.
Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer from his Berlin-based Durton Studio. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around the world. For a musician this early in his career, Frahm displays an incredibly developed sense of control and restraint in his work, catching the ear of many fans.
As the recognition continues to grow for his previous solo piano works 'Wintermusik' (2009) and ‘The Bells’ (2009), 2011 saw the release of his critically acclaimed record 'Felt' on Erased Tapes Records. The album was followed by the solo synthesiser EP 'Juno' and 'Screws' (2012) – a birthday gift to his fans he recorded while recovering from a thumb injury. Nils released his follow up to Juno titled 'Juno Reworked' (2013) with guest reworks by Luke Abbott and Clark.
Nils returned with his new album 'Spaces' in 2013, expressing his love for experimentation and answering the call from his fans for a record that truly reflects what they have witnessed during his concerts.
In 2013 Nils Frahm released his first music book, entitled 'Sheets Eins'. Nils is currently on his worldwide 'Spaces Tour 2014'.
This album contains no booklet.