By Kieran Webber

Woodkid and Nils Frahm are set to release a new mini-album that will feature spoken word from the infamous actor Robert De Niro, inspired by the refugee crisis of today with proceeds going to the charity Sea Watch.

‘Ellis’, which will be available via Erased Tapes 8th July, is the soundtrack the pair composed and curated for the short film directed by artist JR which sees the Oscar-winner as an immigrant venturing through the crumbling Ellis Island hospital complex in New York.

Following a screening as part of Nils’s Barbican Weekender on July 2nd, the ELLIS score will be available on CD, vinyl and in digital format containing a 12-page picture booklet.

Frahm comments,

“The opportunity to work on JR´s fantastic short film ELLIS came through my good friend Yoann aka Woodkid. We agreed on recording the piano parts in my studio in Berlin and so it happened that JR and Woodkid were guests at Durton studio on a wonderful late summers day in 2015. We managed to record all the crucial elements that day. The music fell into our laps and melted with the images: a wonderful experience. The film has stuck in my head ever since; it moved my heart and changed my soul.

A couple of weeks later I had to cancel a trip to Brussels because of a terror warning; all events got cancelled and I stayed home, having an unexpected day off. I felt rather depressed that day, thinking that the Europe I knew was already gone. I sat down at the harmonium, listened to Robert De Niro’s voice and played for the rest of the day. The result is ‘Winter Morning II,’ the B-side of the ELLIS soundtrack release.

Robert says it all in 17 minutes. We are not facing a refugee crisis. We are facing a crisis because we do not embrace, we do not sympathise and we cannot give up fear. Art can encourage so I hope this project will help fight the fear in all of us.”

Watch the trailer here:


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