In the summer of 1969, a sixteen year-old German traveller visited Morocco a long time before it became an established tourist destination. A little later, the same teenager first heard recordings by Ravi Shankar, a musician still unknown to Europeans. These two experiences and his discovery of the Japanese musical tradition would exert a decisive influence on the subsequent path taken by the composer and multiinstrumentalist, Stephan Micus
, whose unique career has encompassed recordings, live appearances, constant study and inner searching focused on the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’ of music. He composes spontaneously, eschewing the intellect in favour of emotion and instinct and creating music whose atmosphere has been described as “close to Zen meditation”. He records alone using multiple channels on strange stringed, wind and percussion instruments with unique sounds and names not listed in any dictionary, combining dilruba with sho, djegok with tischharfe, kortholt with bolombatto.
If world music had a face, it could well be his. Melodies and echoes of the World, voices and instruments from the four corners of our planet united and transformed into new entities through his work. Like children bearing the ancestral genome which bridges past and future, his creative, timeless universal art comes from everyone en route to everywhere. Few people have travelled our five continents like Micus, who has encountered peoples in their own worlds. Having studied dozens of techniques and instruments in practice with indigenous musicians, he has the right to attempt the impossible: a journey back in time to the meditations and the sounds of the Greek-speaking Christian empire of the Balkans and the East, to the Mediaeval epic of myriad rites and riddles that spanned a thousand years.