Seeing a contemporary composer will not lull you to sleep. Not if said composer is Nils Frahm. The 31-year-old pianist provided nothing less than a stunning performance at the Regency Ballroom this past Sunday night. Peaking through the darkness, Frahm displayed a mastery of composition that felt unworldly. Even the untrained ear could hear his careful building of dynamics, melodic swaying of tones, and confident control of tempo.
The stage’s arrangement suggested what was important: the music. With his back towards the audience, Frahm’s only visible showmanship happened as he switched between a grand piano and Rhodes, sometimes having either arm outstretched as he played both. Not until the end of his set did he acknowledge the crowd, arising from his bench, turning to face the onlookers and placing his hands together, before taking a bow.
Opening for Ólafur Arnalds and Hauschka, Frahm is currently on tour in support of his upcoming album Spaces (scheduled to be release November 19th on Erased Tapes).