School reunion: Nonkeen presents “The Gamble”
Almost five years after his first visit to the stage of UM:LAUT and after numerous sold-out concerts around the globe, the acclaimed pianist and producer Nils Frahm returns to Radialsystem V. With his unique musical concept and his multi-faceted meandering between modern classical, electronica and pop, his concerts have been celebrated at various occasions such as Montreux Jazz Festival as well as at Melt! or Roskilde Festival. After winning the German Film Prize for his soundtrack of the Berlinale blockbuster “Victoria”, scoring a short film with Robert De Niro and releasing several albums in the last year, he now presents his latest project: Together with Frederic Gmeiner and Sebastian Singwald he celebrates the record release concert of his band Nonkeen in the frame of the UM:LAUT series. The first recordings and experiments of the three childhood friends date back to their schooldays – decades later the renowned label R&S Records releases the trio’s debut album. We are very happy and proud to set the frame for this special occasion – looking forward to some wonderful evenings!
Record Release Concerts | Support: Andrea Belfi
16 & 17 April | 20:00 | Radialsystem V
Tickets available now at Radialsystem’s box-office and online!
Nonkeen‘s “The Gamble” is the result of a long band history and a series of coincidences. Nils Frahm and Frederic Gmeiner already discovered their common interest in audio-recordings at primary school in Hamburg. They produced their own radio show, in which they mixed schoolyard noises, teachers’ voices and their own sound experiments with children instruments and recorded them on tape. In the summer of 1989, East German schoolboy Sebastian Singwald spent two weeks at Frahm and Gmeiner’s school during an exchange. He arrived with his own shabby tape recorder, which immediately intrigued Frahm and Gmeiner and brought the three boys together. The friends continued to stay in touch and put together tracks from children’s songs, radio music and improvised pieces by playing or covering and then remixing them. After the Berlin Wall came down, the trio played several concerts in Berlin before the band’s career abruptly came to a halt in 1997. Over one decade later Gmeiner, Frahm and Singwald met again in Berlin and started making music together again at irregular intervals. Just like in the old days, they recorded long experimental sessions on their tape machines, adding parts to some of their childhood recordings and sampling others. The band refused to practise songs, or record multiple takes, in order to reshape or improve them – meaning only first takes were acceptable. Out of these singular attempts only a few actually made it to tape. Chance became a constant band member: Due to the unreliability of the cheap recording devices they employed, no one knew how things would sound in the end. Just as a picture taken to film maintains its secrets until it is developed, recordings were “double-exposed”, or, by chance, a tape would play back in reverse mode. Beyond, devices whose motors were pitched up and down also brought other fantastic sounds to life – sounds that were previously unheard or unthinkable. From time to time, the band isolated their favourite passages in Frahm’s studio and continued to use them for processing or overdubbing. The tapes were then recycled for fresh sessions. In the course of this organic process over eight years, an album with unexpected sounds and eclectic electro-acoustic improvisation adventures had grown – making “The Gamble” an album “which sounds both of spontaneity and stylistic ambiguity in the best of all senses” (Groove).