Photos: Nick Miners

It’s ever so lovely to find Jazz clubs still exist in London, even if they are in the hipster district hidden amongst the down ridden architecture of the Hackney backstreets. With the ever wonderful Arctic Circle putting the evenings gig on, Nils Frahm and Anne Muller’s first ever show as a duo left for a charming and truly thoughtful experience.

The room was small, hot and densely packed, not what you’d might say as ideal conditions to listen to neo-classic, building music from the Scandinavian sub-world. But with a beer in hand and the performers teasing you into your own little pocket state, you might say it really didn’t matter, nor effect it.

Directorsound, a musician with a very intriguing performance tactic, started off the evening. With bells of all kinds covering the edges of the stage, intuitive compositions laced with harmonies supplied a perfect prelude for Nils’s set.


Joined for the first time by cello player Anne Muller, Nils took his place on the stage in short procession of Directorsound. Beginning the set with one suspended note, a hushed tone shook the room. The chime of piano and strings together both crossing each others paths felt beautiful and mystifying, as the audience adorning the tables the front sat in complete stillness, gawping up at the stage. Skipping both between fast paced, racy moments and calm notions the sound felt unrelenting in a very pleasant way, as you were drawn deeper into Nils’s compositions. Silence echoed the room throughout, leading to an overwhelming flutter of the senses.

As candles flickered, the ticking of time felt of nothing as the set came to an end abruptly, leading to loud praise and a chorus of appreciation. With Nil’s and Anne then finally taking the stage for one last piece, there was time left for one more withdrawal, only then to be thrown back out into the cold, dark streets of Hackney.