Considering the artistic crowd of professionals in the creative and publishing industries who attended the launch of Nils Frahm’s new book SHEETS last night, you would have been forgiven for thinking that the event was an elitist one; but last night’s launch, hosted by management agency & music publisher Manners McDade, truly celebrated inclusiveness in music.
SHEETS is a deluxe artefact containing the sheet music to ten of Nils Frahm’s piano works, beautiful pieces of visual art, illustrated instructions on how to modify your piano to achieve Nils’ signature ‘Felt’ sound, and a digital pass to download audio copies of the titles featured in the book. Pages from the book were strewn across the wall of the Gallery Different last night, a contemporary art gallery in Fitzrovia, for spectators to get a taste of the SHEETS ethos. In producing a book of sheet music, Frahm’s aim is not to dictate how his music should be played, rather to provide his fans with a template to help them express their own creativity.
Don’t be bothered with being overly exact. Do you feel like changing a note or skipping another one? Does a pause seem too long or too short for your ears? Change it then! Be brave! [Nils Frahm, SHEETS]
To illustrate this ethos of inclusivity, guests at the launch were entertained by twelve performances of Frahm’s music by a wide variety of musicians: six fans who had won a competition set by Frahm (one coming from as far as Copenhagen!), a journalist, an award winning composer and a nine year old girl. At the end of the night the maestro himself modestly came to the piano, but making clear that his performance should not be treated as any more valid than anyone else’s.
I want to encourage you to see this book rather as an inspiration than a task. It’s like a colouring book: Here are the shapes and outlines. It’s up to you to pick your favourite colours.
To find out more about SHEETS or to buy a copy, please see Faber Music‘s website.