Similar artists

Albums

$12.99

Jazz - Released April 26, 2019 | ECM

Booklet
$11.49

Jazz - Released June 16, 2017 | Deutsche Grammophon ECM

Booklet
In these times of channel-surfing and acceleration, the work of a musician like Stephan Micus should be cherished and held onto. For years, the German has been collecting instruments from all over the world, learning to play them, and finally composing his own pieces for them. On Inland Sea, nine different instruments are used, including the nyckelharpa, the traditional Swedish violin fit with keys, which is privileged here in a way that Micus's fans will not have been prepared for. This 22nd album for ECM refers to a specific geographical area, but also to "something which we all have inside us", as he explains. Neither quite jazz, nor quite folk, this superb record invites to embark on a journey in the literal and figurative senses… © MD/Qobuz
$11.49

Jazz - Released June 26, 2015 | ECM

$11.49

Jazz - Released January 18, 2013 | ECM

Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and musical anthropologist Stephan Micus has always created according to very simple principles; simple, not easy. On all of his recordings he has relentlessly sought to expand his musical universe by digging deeply into the sounds, traditions, and instruments of other cultures, often traveling great distances to study with masters of certain kinds of instruments. He never tries to replicate them but instead has sought to create new music from his discoveries. Panagia is his 20th album for ECM. Its Greek title reflects one of the names used in Orthodox religion for Mary, the mother of Christ (it literally translates as "most holy"). Of these 11 pieces, six are sung prayers with texts dating back to the seventh century Byzantine era. They were chosen and edited by Vassilis Chatzivassiliou. They are interspersed with instrumental pieces played mostly on stringed instruments, ranging from Bavarian zither, Chitrali sitar, Uyghur sattar (a 14-string guitar), and the bowed Sikh dilruba to percussion instruments including Chinese gongs, Burmese temple bells, Tibetan chimes and, on one song, five multi-tracked Persian nay (i.e. ney), a pipe instrument. Micus never takes a strict approach in interpreting the prayers, choosing instead to reflect a transcultural respect and honor for a female goddess drawing from a multiplicity of cultures, while fully and simultaneously utilizing the spaces, tonalities, and silences employed in Orthodox music for centuries. The effect is otherworldly. On opener "I Praise You, Unfading Rose," his baritone voice is accompanied only by a Bavarian zither. On "I Praise You Lady of Passion," he multi-tracks his own voice to simulate a 22-voice choir in Eastern mode. "You Are Full of Grace" is performed by two Chitrali sitars and six sattars, while "You Are a Shining Spring" offers chimes, bells, and two dilrubas, and the percussive tonalities shimmer around the droning bowed instruments. This is all music that emerges from silence and doesn't project so much as resonate within it. In Micus' restrained sense of dynamics, various textures communicate with one another so that sonorities emanate from the instruments, voices, and the recording environment, as well as from nature itself. Panagia is a small part of his larger body of work to be sure, but it's as different from his other recordings as they are from one another, and makes for a compelling, if serene, experience with a slow, unhurried approach that encourages the listener's own encounter with the divine. ~ Thom Jurek
$11.49

World - Released May 13, 2002 | ECM

$14.99

World - Released September 30, 1994 | ECM

$11.49

World - Released August 29, 2006 | ECM

Stephan Micus' folk soundworld investigations have taken him all over the globe. He is a disciplined student of every musical instrument he encounters, and understands how to get what he needs out of them without comprising either the instrument's original purpose or history, or his own vision, and he lets the instruments (sometimes in strange combinations) speak for themselves from his inner well of inspiration and nearly egoless expression. For those interested in poetry, Micus does in his world of music what poet and translator Jerome Rothenberg (who has compiled countless important anthologies of poetic traditions from all over the modern and ancient world) does for the written and oral tradition in poetry: represents it for what it is and allows the reader/listener to experience it for themselves. The stark beauty of On the Wing is expressed by Micus using Middle Eastern and Asian instruments, from the Iraqi mudbedsh (a single reed instrument made from cane) to the long-necked and bowed Turkish sattar and the Egyptian nay. In addition, he uses the reed flute of the Balinese gamelan orchestras called the suling, the Japanese harmonica known as the sho, the double-reeded hné from Burma, the shakuhachi, sitar, the hang from the Caribbean (a new percussion instrument) and his own 14-string guitar that is able, in its various stringing formations, to create the tonalities of a sitar or other overtone instrument. The beautiful thing about On the Wing is the way Micus combines instruments, or uses them solo: his investigations never come off as academic. They are full of quiet soul and deep mysterious power. His pieces are in their own ways, songs more than improvisations, capable of being remembered after hearing them only once. His traditional excellence is everywhere here, but his lyrical sense is perhaps more defined and important than ever. ~ Thom Jurek
$11.49

Jazz - Released June 20, 2008 | ECM

$11.49

World - Released August 18, 1997 | ECM

$14.99

World - Released January 29, 2001 | ECM

$11.49

World - Released October 18, 2004 | ECM

$14.99

World - Released September 14, 1992 | ECM

$14.99

Jazz - Released October 8, 2010 | ECM

$11.49

World - Released April 10, 1989 | ECM

Continuing his musical quest across countries and cultures, Stephan Micus visits the Cathedral of Ulm, where Elmar Daucher has been sculpting and carving rocks of granite, marble, and basalt specifically for their acoustic potential. Such a curiosity, where Micus is involved, usually results in an album. The Music of Stones is indeed a curious and deep meditation -- a spotlight on the instruments as much as the music. It follows a formula similar to his album Twilight Fields, where tuned clay pots were the centerpiece. "Part 1" ebbs to life with a duet between one of these mythical stones that lays a rich harmonic drone for Micus to solo over with his staple instrument, the shakuhachi. "Part 2" shows off more percussive qualities by having two players with mallets on a single stone, though the novelty of it wears thin and becomes the one passage that breaks the spell. A tin whistle flutters around three stone chimes for "Part 3," and the harmonics attained in this and in "Part 4" sound like a Gamelan of gongs, bowls, kalimbas, mbiras...anything but the Swedish black granite actually responsible. There were no overdubs on the album, so the occasional church bells are heard far off in the background to provide an additional element of unscripted ambience. "Part 6" is enchanting in this regard, along with being the only track to feature vocals (from fellow "rocker" Gunther Federer). It makes a fitting lullaby of prayer to close out the album. Like most Stephan Micus albums, this is not world music, but certainly music from some foreign place within this world. You still can't get blood from a stone, but Daucher and Micus can certainly get life out of one. ~ Glenn Swan
$11.49

World - Released November 1, 1977 | ECM

These pieces for various ethnic instruments are all played by Micus. ~ Michael P. Dawson
$11.49

World - Released April 1, 1982 | ECM

Wings Over Water is a set of acoustic ambient creativity from Stephan Micus, a master sound designer. He uses a ney flute, Spanish guitars, Bavarian zithers, acoustic guitars, a sarangi, voice, and 22 flowerpots. This is very exotic and esoteric music. Micus takes advantage of the natural timbres and textures of these devices and creates a different kind of ambience. It is definitely not mainstream, decidedly avant-garde, and highly essential for the adventurous music lover. It is in a class by itself. ~ Jim Brenholts
$11.49

World - Released December 4, 2000 | ECM

$11.49

World - Released November 23, 1992 | ECM

It's hard to tell whether to consider Micus a jazz, fusion, or new age performer and composer. He's a versatile musician who has used Bavarian, Japanese, Afghan, Irish, Spanish, North African, Indian, and Southeastern Asian instruments on different projects. There's some stunning music on this session, and it's certainly worth hearing; it's also probably not jazz. ~ Ron Wynn
$14.99

World - Released June 26, 1986 | ECM

Ocean is a set of acoustic ambient performances from Stephan Micus. He uses exotic instruments and techniques that give this disc electronic timbre. He combines hammered dulcimers, sho, a shakuhachi, a ney, zithers, and vocals in a swirling sound design that absolutely shimmers. The natural sonorities of these devices create vast atmospheres with organic timbres. The soundscapes penetrate and enhance brainwave activity. This great CD will appeal to fans of Robert Rich, Klaus Wiese, and Riley Lee. ~ Jim Brenholts
$1.49

Jazz - Released March 29, 2019 | ECM