He walked across the space with steadiness, approaching his set-up with practised familiarity. Tinkering with the synth, Frahm began to layer his soundscape with a growing wave, a repetitive “thud”, each louder than the last. Swivelling around on his stool, he then focused on the piano.
Sitting near the top of the Joan Sutherland Theatre, I marvelled at how minuscule Frahm looked compared to his contraptions. He was the sole conductor of all these elements, masterfully weaving between instruments, sometimes playing two keyboards at once, with his arms overlapping each other, reaching across the set-up. The soundscape, by contrast, was minimalistic yet all-encompassing, swallowing us into the belly of the show.
There was a tactility in the way Frahm performed. The microphones picked up every keypress; every whisper as he shuffled across to another synth; the rustle of his clothes. Frahm, for the duration of the two-hour performance, conjured up melodies that drew us into a vacuum of his creation. Crucially, he engaged the intricacies and minuscule sounds in a subtle conversation with a larger soundscape – one that we had the privilege of eavesdropping on.