…he bumped his head
On the top of the bed,
And he couldn’t get up in the morning…
In Nils Frahm‘s case, it wasn’t his head that got bumped, but his thumb. Falling out of a bunkbed and smashing up a digit would be inconvenient for anyone. For a pianist though, it’s disaster. Nevertheless, if Django Reindhardt could manage to relearn to play guitar after burning a hand, Frahm could also adapt. Putting together a series of works for piano over the last year, initially given the working title ‘Music for nine fingers’, the pieces are now entitled Screws, a reference to the steel links currently holding Frahm’s thumb together.
‘I am sitting in front of a sheet of paper. My right hand is bending over my left thumb. The first day I got out of my cast I could bend it by 15°. Now I am already at 50° and that makes me happy. Things are going uphill…
As you can imagine, it is really bad news for a pianist when he gets diagnosed with a broken thumb. That day I was sitting in the emergency room, feeling rather dizzy while thinking of a zillion shows coming up and all the people involved around it. I realised in that moment how busy things have become. It is hard to turn down interesting projects and opportunities, since I surely love my work. It actually never felt like work. Playing piano and playing it for wonderful people is the greatest joy I can imagine.
For a couple of days I felt like this all could be over. How pathetic. But hey – also feeling sorry for yourself has its place somewhere. All of a sudden I had so much time, an unexpected holiday. I cancelled most of my schedule and found myself being a little bored. Even though my doctor told me not to touch a piano for a while, I just couldn’t resist. I started playing a silent song with 4 fingers on my left and the remaining 5 on my right hand. I set up one microphone and recorded another tune every other night before falling asleep.
The day I got rid of my cast I had recorded 9 little tunes. They have helped me feel less annoyed about my accident and reminded me that any good is something I can only achieve, when I am making the most out of what I’ve got.
Thank you all for listening!
With lots of love,
NILS FRAHM 9fingers North American Tour
09/16 NEW YORK (US) – West Park Presbyterian Church w/Sarah Neufeld (of Arcade Fire) ›tickets
09/21 BOULDER (US) – Cherryvale Studios ›tickets
09/22 COLORADO SPRINGS (US) – The Mesa
09/23 SANTA FE (US) – O’Shaughnessy Performance Space @ Santa Fe University of Art and Design
09/24 SAN FRANCISCO (US) – private show (RSVP only)
09/29 SEATTLE (US) – Decibel Festival @ Broadway Performance Hall ›tickets
09/30 PORTLAND (US) – Classic Pianos
10/03 MEXICO CITY (MX) – Mutek
ERASED TAPES 5th Anniversary Tour w/ Ólafur Arnalds & A Winged Victory For The Sullen
10/08 HAMBURG (DE) – Fliegende Bauten › tickets
10/09 PRAGUE (CZ) – Palac Akropolis › tickets
10/10 BUDAPEST (HU) – Trafo › tickets
10/11 MANNHEIM (DE) – Alte Feuerwache › tickets
10/13-14 BERLIN (DE) – Radialsystem › tickets
10/15 AMSTERDAM (NL) – Paradiso › tickets
10/16-17 LEUVEN (BE) – Stuk › tickets
10/18 LONDON (UK) – Hackney Empire › tickets
10/19-20 ISTANBUL (TR) – Salon IKSV › tickets