Some years ago a friend of mine asked me if I would like to join him at an Ólafur Arnalds concert. I had been a fan of Ólafur’s before, so of course I was ready to go. But Ólafur wasn’t performing as a solo artist; Berlin based musician Nils Frahm joined him on stage throughout the whole concert. I didn’t know Nils too well back then but luckily around the same time both had improvised together on stage in Berlin. I watched the video to get to know him and their performance just got me even more excited. You can watch it below:

Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm – Improvisation in Berlin 2011

The two are just such a great team and so was the concert back then.

Now the trailer for short film Ellis was released on Vimeo yesterday. It’s the one embedded on top of this post and besides Robert De Niro’s fantastic voice you hear a piece by the incredibly talented Woodkid performed by Nils Frahm. So after scoring the internationally very well received German film Victoria, Nils returns now with Woodkid and director JR. Woodkid and JR (as well as Hans Zimmer) had collaborated on the short film Les Bosquets before. The piece in the trailer seems to be from the short film’s soundtrack.

Last week The New Yorker published an article about Ellis, giving you some great insights about JR’s latest work:

When I started working on Ellis, the refugee crisis had not yet reached its current peak. Walking around the abandoned hospital on Ellis Island, I could feel the presence of the hundreds of thousands of people who passed through, and of the countless ones who didn’t make it and got turned back. I look for what’s often missing in today’s media coverage. I want to find the story behind each person who left his or her country. I want to know what made them leave everything and everyone behind, even when they knew they’d never be able to come back. It takes so much courage. There were immigrants in Ellis a hundred years ago, there are migrants now, and there will be some in a hundred years, so we have to do what we can to try to relate to each individual story.

If you liked the trailer, you should definitely read the full article as it also includes some great photos.

I guess you can already tell I’m super excited to hopefully see the full short film one day as well as I’m anxious to see what Nils Frahm himself as well as all the other so talented artists around him will come up with next.

UPDATE: You can now watch Ellis for free on iTunes!

More info about Nils Frahm you can find on his website, on Facebook as well as on Twitter. JR is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and active on his website. Just as Woodkid who you can follow too on his website, Twitter and Facebook.

Posted by Peter F. Ebbinghaus

Based in Berlin, Germany. Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief. Music Producer at Eon Sounds Productions. Founder of Composers for Relief. Keeps Moving.

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