words by tom johnson
“Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.” So said Nils Frahm when launching his concept, which has now grown in to a series of events and celebrations across the globe. Taking place today, March 29th, there’s a special event in London, at the Erased Tapes Sound Gallery (info here), but other cities are also joining in, with the Brudenell in Leeds hosting a special performance by the wonderful Simeon Walker, whose album we helped to share last year.
Streaming below from today, Walker has also shared a beautiful new piece of music to highlight both the day and the event – full details of which can be found here. The stunning, near six-minute track is indicative of Walker’s considered craft, the tenderness of the composition gently pulling apart the fabric of the day to make a space of its own, both poignant and striking; an evocative moment of quietude that tenderly wraps itself around the listener as it rolls on and on, like snow falling in to snow in the dull light of the morning.
Listen to “Shelter” below right now; here’s what Walker himself had to say about it all:
‘Shelter’ is the retreat to somewhere safe and familiar; the contrast between feelings of discomfort and disruption, and finding peace and safety in something or someone. Not that uncertainty disappears or that periods of difficulty, hardship or pain can be blithely healed with a piece of music; better perhaps that they are suspended, for a moment.
The piano has been my shelter for most of my life, however sometimes sheltering itself can be painful, and there have been moments when I’ve not played enough to make me feel happy. I’m now getting the opportunity to share my music with a wider audience, and it’s a wonderful place to be.
As such, Piano Day is a big moment to celebrate the instrument and the way that it helps me fulfil who I am. As a result of being featured on the SoundCloud playlists compiled for it in the last few years, I’ve made many connections to people all around the world who have found my music, for which I’m very grateful. This year, we’re bringing an official Piano Day event to Leeds for the first time at the amazing Brudenell Social Club, one of the most vital hubs for music performance in the city. I’ll be performing alongside Kari and Tamzene, two outstanding Leeds-based artists, and if you’re nearby we’d love to see you there.