Few people can make classical compositions sound as cool as Nils Frahm. Fusing old-world piano arrangements with experimental electronica, the Berlin-based musician and composer brings his mastery of instrumentation and arsenal of noise-making tools to Singapore for his debut performance at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Friday, 18 May as part of its Mosaic Music Series.
With a background in classical training – having been mentored by the protege of the protege of great Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky, in a village near Hamburg – Frahm’s decision to pursue work in Berlin as a technician, rather than as part of an orchestra, saw the scope of his artistry expand far beyond the boundaries of neoclassicism. Acquainting himself with the roles of producer, engineer, composer and performer, the 35-year-old artist is equipped with a palette of sonic skills that allow him to paint both the big picture and the minute details, from grand instrumental arrangements to restrained, mood-evoking ambience.
Returning after a brief period of silence, Frahm’s ninth solo studio album (discounting his countless collaborative works), All Melody, recorded in the famed Funkhaus studio, presents both a maximal and minimal affair of sonic and emotional exploration. Bringing the album to the stage for Singaporean listeners to experience live, Frahm’s performance will be one of great awe, inquisition and reflection.
Speaking with The Quietus, Frahm shares, “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.” Amen to that.
Before you catch him live, go deeper into the artist’s world in our short video below.
Nils Frahm performs at the Esplanade Concert Hall on Friday, 18 May, 2018 at 7.30pm. Tickets from $45, available at esplanade.com/mosaic.