September 20th marks the 30th birthday of Berlin pianist Nils Frahm, but also the day he has chosen to give his fans a special gift in the form of 9 songs he recorded with 9 fingers, entitled Screws.
Nils experienced an unfortunate accident which saw him fall from his bunk bed located directly above his studio, which resulted in a broken thumb. But through inspiration from his fans and after a gentle walk and talk through the park with a close friend, he decided to deal with the situation in the only way he knew – playing his piano.
With four screws surgically placed inside his thumb, he started recording with his remaining 9 fingers, what later resulted in 9 intimate piano recordings.
You can embed/share the fully streamable and downloadable set from Soundcloud here.
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,
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