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Nils Frahm reveals new ‘Solo’ album and the ‘Klavins 450’ piano project on the world’s first Piano Day!
Berlin-based composer Nils Frahm has fast become know as a prolific performer and recording artist with the piano at the core. Piano Day is an official body created by Nils and his closest friends, and will house various exciting, piano-related projects. The first project revealed by the Piano Day team is the building of what will be world’s tallest piano: the Klavins 450.
As the life-long dream of David Klavins, it even exceeds the currently largest upright piano there is, the Klavins M370. Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high, its longest strings are about 10 feet in length. And it was on this piano that Nils recorded eight improvised piano motifs in one sitting, which form his new ‘Solo’ album – available for free download on the world’s first Piano Day on the 88th day (March 29, 2015) from www.pianoday.org. Once recorded, Nils began to think of ways to release the album as a gift to his fans, similarly to his 2012 release ‘Screws’, and that’s when Nils came up with the idea of Piano Day.
With a target of 100.000 euros to reach, Nils eases his fans into sharing their money for the project with this free release. All direct donations and a portion from any record sales will go to the Klavins 450 project until the target has been hit.
Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high: the Klavins M370 is probably the largest upright piano there is. Its longest strings are about 10 feet in length.
This colossus was initially built to evaluate a useful maximum size of the piano. Driven by the assumption that pianos could sound better, David got to work in 1985 and finished his instrument 2 years later. Back then I was 5 years old, having no idea how much I would fall in love with it.
When I finally met David Klavins and his enormous piano 27 years later, in the very beginning of 2014, I arrived with empty hands. I didn't know what music, what songs I was about to record in the next 3 days.
Every piano has unique features and certain strengths. Some have more, some have less of them, but there is no bad piano out there, although I do moan about them almost all the time. Some simply hide their secrets better than others. These thoughts made me start to write music when I am with the particular instrument, the tape running.
The 8 pieces featured on this album were selected out of hours of improvising, happy hours as I recollect. The joy of playing and listening to the sound of the instrument made me play slower and slower, softer and softer, as almost every new note was destroying the immense beauty and sustain of the previous note. I was preparing the instrument with parts of my felt collection, carefully tuning mic positions with the help of my dear friend and recording gear wizard Matthias Hahn and simply playing whatever came to my mind. In conversations about this I am still struggling for words in order to praise David’s instrument. Words simply don’t do it justice, so listen for yourself. With lots of love, Nils Frahm.
08. Four Hands