Nils Frahm - Spaces

25 October, 2013

By Alexia Natalia


This is a live album review, and a live review.


C. Mike and I had the enormous pleasure and incredible luck of being able to witness pianist and composer Nils Frahm's live show on both the 19th and 20th October 2012 as part of the Erased Tapes 5th anniversary show in Istanbul. It was a precursor to this album which will come out on the 16th of November. 


Nils Frahm_live_photo_Alexia 



Both nights opened with the floating sounds of the Winged Victory for the Sullen, a magical environment of cellos, violins, guitars and pianos.  Then followed the magnificent piano of Olafur Arnalds, who mostly played songs from the soundtrack to the film 'Another Happy Day', followed by a medley of his greatest work.

And then came Nils. What magic!

Nils on the piano, then Nils with Anne Muller and her otherworldly cello, and then Nils and Olafur, playing together, squished on two small stools and interlacing not only their arms, fingers and bodies but their souls - their sounds. It was like a battle and an eulogy; a war and a revelry; two small, modest men playing deafeningly grand music. 





Ιn this show, and in this album, Nils brings in electronics. And it's like this addition has spun his work into new heights of dynamite. On the second night, which was an experience I'll never forget, he gave birth to so much magic on his keyboards that the rest of the group (Olafur and the Wingeds) did not come out at the end to play their lastensembleimprov piece as had happened the night before. Even though this was a shame, as the others said after the show: "after such a performance, we felt there was no use coming out to play again".


In this last dramatic crescendo, Nils had played 'Said and Done', the masterpiece of the album, which oscillates between order and chaos, or better to say between a manic storm of perfectly controlled blows on the keys of the piano and a rolling, floating melody.


Nils - at moments - drags, spins, hits, pulls, clashes and tears everything apart to fix it again. 'Hammers' is such a song. Even more so, "For - Peter - Toilet Brushes - More". And "Says" is like a quiet tornado. Then he returns to quiet harmony, with the sounds found in "Familiar" and "Over there, It's raining".


The show was purely magnificent. And so is the album. For all of you reading this review, Ι wish you could've been there to witness the power in the music of this controlled, quiet giant. 


For a little bit of magic, you can watch below the video C. Mike produced from the show in Istanbul. 


Nils Frahm live at Salon IKSV, Istanbul,




Primary Genre: Electronic, Classical


Secondary Genre: Ambient


Release Date: 16 November 2013


Label: Erased Tapes


Like This And You'll Probably Also Like:  Olafur Arnalds, Dustin O'Halloran, A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Lubomyr Melnyk 


Album Highlights:  "Says", "Said and Done"




Contributor mini-profile

Alexia Natalia

Alexia Natalia

3 Fluffy Reviews
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are"
Mini bio

Assistant editor for an American magazine, African continent freak, social (or rather, sexual) anthropologist, part photographer and part writer. I love music in ways I can't really express in words. But I try. 

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