Old Friends New Friends gathers together 23 solo piano tracks that were recorded by Frahm between 2009 and 2021 but omitted from previous projects. Neither quite a new album nor exactly a compilation, it offers “an anatomy of all my ways of thinking musically and playing,” Frahm says.
Frahm pieced together the release during the pandemic as he was arranging his archives, “conscious of the sheer number of recordings he’d accumulated,” we’re told. Having selected his favourites, he realised how, when he listened to them together, they offered “a different spectrum of freedom,” he says.
“I forgot that some tracks are 10 years old, some two, and they’re all played on different pianos,” Frahm continues. “Instead I remembered how, as a fan, I love albums like this. With a lot of my records there’s a point where you feel, ‘This is the centrepiece,’ but here I wasn’t really worrying about that. It still feels like my universe, though, and I’m proud that all these things which I never found a way to unite before now work together. It’s like I tossed flowers indiscriminately into a vase and then realised it looked exactly right.”
In releasing Old Friends New Friends, Frahm hopes to “clean the slate” before making his next move.
His debut, Streichelfisch, was released 16 years ago, and not only has his solo output since then been prolific but he’s also engaged in large amounts of collaborative work with friends like Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick, and Anne Müller.
“My intuition,” he says, “is that it’s easier for me to start over if the body of work from the last 10 years or so is organised enough that I never need worry about it again. It’s time to forget about the past, but in order to never think about it again I have to address it first.”
Frahm released Graz, his latest studio album, in March 2021.
01. 4:33 (A Tribute to John Cage)
04. Rain Take
05. Todo Nada
06. Weddinger Walzer
07. In The Making
08. Further In The Making
09. All Numbers End
10. The Idea Machine
11. Then Patterns
13. New Friend
14. Nils Has A New Piano
16. As A Reminder
17. Iced Wood
19. The Chords
20. The Chords (Broken Down)
23. Old Friend
Old Friends New Friends LP is scheduled for December 3 release on LEITER. Meanwhile, you can stream “All Numbers End” in full below and pre-order the album here.