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The Bells

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Erased Tapes
  • ASIN: B00316DA66
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 102,707 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

Nils Frahm, born in 1982, had an early introduction to music. During his childhood he was taught to play piano by Nahum Brodski a student of the last scholar of Tschaikowski. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of the classical pianists before him as well as contemporary composers. Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer in Berlin. In early 2008 he founded Durton Studio, where he has worked with Peter Broderick and Dustin O Halloran amongst other fellow musicians. As the curator of the Swedish boutique label Kning Disks Piano Series, Peter Broderick invited Nils to record a new album of piano improvisations the result is 'The Bells', which will now be released on the London-based cinematic music label Erased Tapes in the UK & Ireland. Perhaps the most stunning aspect of what on the surface appears to be an entirely pre-planned and composed body of work comes the discovery that these pieces were in fact improvised. These two friends share a common affinity in that they are now to be released on the London-based cinematic music label Erased Tapes in the UK and Ireland. Perhaps the most stunning aspect of what on the surface appears to be an entirely pre-planned and composed body of work comes with the discovery that these pieces were in fact improvised. These two friends share a common affinity in that they both possess an absolute mastery of melody, composition and performance able to deliver with devastating effect. The modest Mr. Broderick states 'I remember thinking to myself as I lay there stunned, that I could spend ten years trying to write an amazing piece of piano music, and still it would never be half as good as these improvisations! Recorded in a rented, beautiful old church in the heart of Berlin over two nights, Nils just played with the occasional instruction from Peter I spouted 'Make a song using only the notes C, E, and G', or 'Make a song that you could imagine me rapping over the top of' (Track 8 My Things ). At one point I was even inside the piano, laying on the strings, asking him to make a song called Peter Is Dead In The Piano . The resultant work 'The Bells' shares the same excitement and air of playfulness. In contrast, his debut release 'Wintermusik' consists of three piano led pieces, coloured with occasional celesta and reed organ parts. Most recently Frahm and Broderick re-interpreted Pink Floyd s Is There Anybody Out There? for MOJO s covermount CD The Wall Rebuilt! . According to MOJO Hamburg-born pianist Nils Frahm spent the last few years creating wondrous, haunting music. Together they accentuate the orchestral qualities of Pink's lament, the track's sense of paranoia amplified by the choral resolution of this version'. For a musician this early in his career, Frahm displays an incredibly developed sense of control and restraint in his work. As the recognition continues to grow for both releases, we are pleased to announce that 2010 will see his next album release on Erased Tapes. The CD comes in a Deluxe Digisleeve containing a Free Download Voucher for the brand new Erased Tapes Collection II.

BBC Review

To take nothing away from its chief architect, a large part of The Bell’s beguiling power undoubtedly comes from the environment in which it was recorded and the instructive presence of its almost silent partner.  

The Bells was originally issued as part of wunderkind Peter Broderick’s Kning Disk’s Piano Series and it is Broderick’s involvement here that forms the project’s catalyst. By proffering oblique instructions during its recording, such as “make a song that you could imagine me rapping over” and even suggesting, from a prone position laying inside the piano, that Frahm should improvise around the title Peter is Dead in the Piano, Broderick was able to provide the prodigious young pianist with focus and inspiration.

The resultant pieces feel so alive that you can almost sense the pressure of Frahm’s fingers alighting on each key as these solemn improvisations begin to weave their magic. Their unrefined organic energy and resonance is undoubtedly due to the natural reverb of the old church in Berlin where this set was recorded, one cold night in November 2008.

For the most part, these are delicate hymnals that act as balms for the mind, fittingly, quasi-ecclesiastical in nature. But, occasionally, Frahm elects for more tumultuous tributaries as on The Bells’ penultimate track, It Was Really, Really Grey. Here the echoing chambers of the old church – its aisles, apse and chancel – throw the notes around until the music begins to approximate the continuous music of Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk.

However, all this is to ignore Frahm’s innate gift and creative approach, which differs from most of his contemporaries – Max Richter, Goldmund and Sylvain Chauveau – in its reliance on instinct, allowing his evident poise, touch and imagination (check out the mournful Over There, It’s Raining) to awaken these sorrowful passages from their slumber.

If there’s any justice The Bells, along with his recently released Wintermusik set, will expose Frahm to a wider audience, a demographic with a seemingly insatiable appetite for more prime neo-classicism. --Spencer Grady

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
this album is a sample of a days long recording session - very special. the music is good and worth buying and listening to - but my own nils frahm preference is wintermusic - some songs are hauntingly beautiful others are a little less..
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