Nils Frahm

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Nils Frahm
Nils Frahm.jpg
Portrait by Michael O'Neal (2013)
Background information
Born (1982-09-20) 20 September 1982 (age 31)
Origin Hamburg, Germany
Genres Instrumental, Ambient, Electronic
Labels Erased Tapes
Associated acts Peter Broderick, Ólafur Arnalds, Anne Müller, F.S. Blumm
Website Official website

Nils Frahm (born 20 September 1982) is a German musician, composer and 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, Juno 60, Rhodes and a drum machine and Moog Taurus without using any loops or playbacks.[1]

As well as his solo work, Frahm has released collaborations with notable performers such as Anne Müller, Ólafur Arnalds and F.S. Blumm.


Frahm had an early introduction to music. His father, Klaus Frahm, was a photographer who also designed covers for ECM Records.[2] He grew up near Hamburg and was taught piano by Nahum Brodski, one of the last proteges of Tchaikovsky. He learned the styles of the classical pianists as well as contemporary composers.[3]

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, who have 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.[4] His follow up to Juno, titled Juno Reworked (2013), featured guest reworks by Luke Abbott and Chris Clark.

Frahm's latest album, Spaces (2013), was made of live recordings from various venues spanning over two years.[2]

In December 2013 Frahm released his first music book, Eins, published by Manners McDade.[5]

In 2014 Frahm announced his new piano UNA CORDA, specially designed and made for him by David Kalvins. The piano weighs under 100kg and has one string rather than the commonly used three strings.[6]


Solo recordings[edit]

  • Streichelfisch (2005, AtelierMusik)
  • Electric Piano (2008, AtelierMusik)
  • My First EP (2008, AtelierMusik)
  • Wintermusik (2009, Erased Tapes, EP)
  • The Bells (2009, Kning Disk, Erased Tapes)
  • Unter/Über (2010, Erased Tapes, EP)
  • Felt (2011, Erased Tapes)
  • Juno (2011, Erased Tapes, EP)
  • Screws (2012, Erased Tapes)
  • Spaces (2013, Erased Tapes)


  • Dauw (Split) (2009, Dekorder)
  • Music for lovers Music versus time (2010, Sonic Pieces)
  • 7Fingers (2010, HUSH, Erased Tapes)
  • Stare (2012, Erased Tapes, with Ólafur Arnalds)
  • Music for wobbling Music versus gravity (2013, Sonic Pieces)


  • Sheets/Eins (2013, Manners Mcdade/Erased Tapes)


  1. ^ Friederike Bloch (28 February 2014). "Interview: Nils Frahm – "I like it when things are uncompleted"". Vice. 
  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. ^ Ro Cemm (6 December 2013). "Album Reviews: Nils Frahm - Screws". The Line of Best Fit. 
  5. ^ SHEETS/EINS website
  6. ^ Peter Kirn (16 June 2014). "Acoustic Revelation: Inside the Una Corda, the 100kg, 21st Century Piano Built for Nils Frahm". Create Digital Music. 

External links[edit]