Late Night Tales

Late Night Tales have just released their latest compilation album, and I’m quite excited by this one as it has been curated by one of my favourite artists, Nils Frahm. Basically they invite an artist to “delve deep into their music collections to create the ultimate “late night” selection”. This premise combines several of my favourite things:

  1. Night Time.
  2. Music.
  3. Nils Frahm.
  4. Listening to Nils Frahm Music at Night.

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So we end up with a lofty compilation of 23 tracks covering a variety of styles and genres. From that I’ve picked the opening track which happens to be a song by Nils Frahm himself, a cover of John Cage’s ‘4:33’; a song that I was not in the slightest bit familiar with. I did some research and the concept behind this song is equally contentious and interesting. The idea as Cage puts it:

It was composed in 1952, for any instrument or combination of instruments, and the score instructs the performer(s) not to play their instrument(s) during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements.

So, you know, you’re thinking what the hell? It’s 4 minutes of silence? Swellllllllllll. But let me stop you there. He follows up with this, which suddenly makes it seem a whole lot more interesting.

There’s no such thing as silence. What they thought was silence, because they didn’t know how to listen, was full of accidental sounds. You could hear the wind stirring outside during the first movement. During the second, raindrops began pattering the roof, and during the third the people themselves made all kinds of interesting sounds as they talked or walked out.

So here you get Nils Frahms interpretation of this song. Does this mean that in his silence there is this song playing? Or that silence to him sounds like sweet piano notes?

Nils Frahm – 4:33

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