Nils Frahm

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Nils Frahm
Born (1982-09-20) 20 September 1982 (age 34)
Origin Hamburg, Germany
Genres Modern classical, ambient, electronic
Labels Erased Tapes
Associated acts Nonkeen, Peter Broderick, Ólafur Arnalds, Anne Müller, F.S. Blumm
Website Official website

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 machine, and Moog Taurus.

As well as his solo work, Frahm has released collaborations with such notable performers as Anne Müller, Ólafur Arnalds, and F. S. Blumm. Together with Frederic Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald he records and performs as Nonkeen.[1]


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, where 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, 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.[4] 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.[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 Klavins. The piano weighs under 100 kg and has one string per key, rather than the commonly used three strings.[6] His album Solo (2015), an improvisation single take without any overdubs, was later recorded on the piano. It was one of the 19 records nominated for the IMPALA Album of the Year Award.[7]

A condensed version of his single "More" was featured in the Assassin's Creed Unity unity gamescom trailer.[8]

In February 2016 Nonkeen released The Gamble, followed by its companion release Oddments of the Gamble in August 2016.[1] described the album "as charmingly patched together and messy as it is well-paced and dynamic".[9] The material was recorded over eight years while the artwork was produced by Frahm's father.[10]


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)
  • Solo (2015, Erased Tapes)

Compilation albums[edit]

Soundtrack albums[edit]

  • Music for the Motion Picture Victoria (2015, Erased Tapes)


  • Dauw (Split) (2009, Dekorder, with Machinefabriek)
  • Music for lovers Music versus time (2010, Sonic Pieces, with F.S. 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 F.S. 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)

Theatre collaborations[edit]


  • 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. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "Young labels featured in shortlist for IMPALA Album of the Year Award". sur 
  8. ^ "'Assassin's Creed: Unity:' Brand New Trailer Released At Gamescom 2014 [VIDEO]". 2014-08-15. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  9. ^ Cook-Wilson, Winston (9 February 2016). "nonkeen: The Gamble Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  10. ^ "Friends First: An Interview with nonkeen". Retrieved 2016-08-08. 

External links[edit]