Stephan Micus – Desert Poems (2001) [Re-Up]

Stephan Micus - Desert Poems (2001) [Re-Up]

Stephan Micus – Desert Poems (2001)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 217 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 125 Mb | Scans included
World Fusion, Neo-Classical | Label: ECM | # ECM 1757, 159 739-2 | 00:47:23

Desert Poems both consolidates and expands Stephan Micus’s solo quest to fashion a music of archetypal, world-ranging import: music–often modal in nature–which would be both as old as the proverbial hills, yet as fresh as tomorrow. If you’ve followed this multi-instrumentalist’s musical odyssey of the past 30-or-so years (this is something like his 15th solo project) you probably won’t need any encouragement to buy an album that finds Micus’s mastery of such instruments as the sarangi, nay, shakahuchi, steel drum and humble flower pot enhanced by a range of solo and polyphonic vocals. His pan-global sources are filtered to create a somewhat sombre, strongly devotional sense of the deeper rhythms of life to which music may awaken us. Apart from the vocalising on pieces like "Contessa Entellina", standout tracks include the solo shakuhachi feature "First Snow" and an instrumental reworking of "Shen Khar Venakhi", a masterpiece of old Georgian polyphony.

Review by Michael Tucker

It is true that, in world music circles, a kind of incipient racism can surface regarding white musicians who venture into other cultures. Some crossover experiments are dubious and dilute their sources, to be sure, but there are plenty of worthy aesthetics stitched from pan-ethnic influences, as well. Take the case of Stephan Micus, a multi-instrumentalist, and multicultural sound poet who has been creating entrancing musical landscapes for many years, leading up to his 15th album on ECM, Desert Poems. Micus is in a virtually unique position, concocting meditative music through tasteful use of overdubbing. For this project, the instrument list includes sarangi, kalimba, nay, shakuhachi (as on the meltingly beautiful solo piece, “First Show”) and the voice, often stacked in layers. As usual, Micus composed all the tracks except for a rare “Shen Khar Venakhi,” a traditional Georgian choral, but here realized using multiple tracks of dilruba and sattarr-bowed instruments from India and Turkey, respectively-to create a resonant swirl of sound. Micus has mined ideas from around the world, but developed a quietly compelling musical world of his own.

Review by Josef Woodard,

On Desert Poems, Stephan Micus’s 15th solo excursion, the intrepid musical sojourner introduces a few new actors to his already extensive roster of instruments: the doussn’gouni (West African harp), kalimba (Tanzanian thumb piano), and dondon (Ghanaian talking drum). These he nestles among more familiar veterans: his modified 10-string sarangi, dilruba (another bowed instrument from India), ney, and sattar (an upright Uighur fiddle). As always, Micus is attentive to the Janus nature of the instruments he touches. On the one hand each has a history, while on the other it enables new paths of expression. He embraces both as equals.

Characteristic histrionics speak of a thousand other worlds in “The Horses of Nizami” (for sarangi, 5 dondon, and 23 voices) and in “Mikhail’s Dream” (2 kalimba, voice, sinding, 2 steel drums, percussion). In these multi-tracked biospheres, a self divided becomes a self magnified and therefore needs its own language to breathe properly. Indeed, at Micus’s touch the sarangi body becomes a wooden lung through which a chanting chorus activates its array of sympathetic strings. Buzzing kalimba then glow with firefly steps, a ladder of light into the rising dune heat. Amid this flowering conference of souls, a single voice rises into, even as it drops down from, the ether and places its song on a fulcrum of memory and future paths.

The blood of this album’s earthly incarnation is purified by “Adela” (for 22 dilruba), for it speaks of a mirroring heaven in which all that has come to pass awakens to the possibility of a self-aware now. These sounds take human shape: a warrior walking upside down, feet treading sky, his horse long dead behind him, turned to cloud and dropping rain somewhere on more fertile land. With a grating pulse, he marks his footfalls by way of a dotted moon. By nightfall, only his afterimages remain, thrumming in the counterpart of “Shen Khar Venakhi” (6 dilruba, 6 sattar), a 13th-century choral piece from Georgia which Micus arranges in wordless tonsure.

“Thirteen Eagles” (doussn’gouni, 20 ney) and “For Yuko” (2 flowerpots, 8 voices, shakuhachi) share another soul. One is a blissful trek over land and under emotion that focuses purely on movement and shape, ney pleated many times over like feathers and free as heroines of the open sky. The other bears dedication to the performer’s daughter in a galaxy of nascent voices, hurtling through space along a trajectory of sentience and love.

If these are the internal organs, three solo tracks comprise the external features. The eyes flicker into being by way of “First Snow.” Although not a title one might expect amid all this warmth, the continuity is not lost. Its lone shakuhachi is an arid instrument. Cored and lacquered, it rasps like wind through wheat and digs through the soil with deeply grained fingertips. Its song dreams of water, and like the snow remains dry until the warmth of sun or living touch renders it fleeting. Lips speak in “Contessa Entelina,” a voice solo in English that is named for, and inspired by, a village Micus encountered while riding through the Sicilian countryside, and tells the story of a countess who provided solace to Albanian immigrants some centuries ago. This intimate portrait folds perfect divinity into the imperfect cage of human language and means. Ears listen in “Night,” a far-reaching doussn’gouni reflection that bears gifts from the heavens to the caverns.

Seemingly enamored with the same consuming silence of the desert that captured the heart of writer Paul Bowles, Micus translates the hidden energies of landscape into a form that escapes all measure of mortal grasp. World music? Perhaps. But not entirely of this one.

Review by Tyran Grillo,

Stephan Micus - Desert Poems (2001) [Re-Up]

Stephan Micus at Allmusic
Stephan Micus at Wiki

Stephan Micus: sarangi, dondon, dilruba, doussn’gouni, kalimba,
sinding, steel drums, shakuhachi, ney, sattar, flowerpots, voice
Recorded 1997-2000 MCM Studios


01. The Horses of Nizami (Sarangi, 5 dondon, 23 voices) (3:41)
02. Adela (22 dilruba) (5:51)
03. Night (Doussn’ gouni solo) (2:54)
04. Mikhail’s Dream (2 kalimba, voice, sinding, 2 steel drums, percussion) (8:26)
05. First Snow (Shakuhachi solo) (5:06)
06. Thirteen Eagles (Doussn’ goumi, 20 nay) (5:40)
07. Contessa Entellina (Voice solo) (4:35)
08. Shen Khar Venakhi (6 dilruba, 6 sattar) (2:52)
09. For Yuko (2 flowerpots, 8 voices, shakuhachi) (8:17)

EAC log
Exact Audio Copy V0.99 prebeta 5 from 4. May 2009

EAC extraction logfile from 8. June 2011, 11:29

Stephan Micus / Desert poems

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DR log
foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2017-07-12 03:59:51

Analyzed: Stephan Micus / Desert poems

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
DR11 0.00 dB -15.41 dB 3:41 01-The Horses of Nizami (Sarangi, 5 dondon, 23 voices)
DR10 0.00 dB -14.16 dB 5:51 02-Adela (22 dilruba)
DR14 -3.63 dB -22.92 dB 2:54 03-Night (Doussn’ gouni solo)
DR12 -0.22 dB -17.88 dB 8:26 04-Mikhail’s Dream (2 kalimba, voice, sinding, 2 steel drums, percussion)
DR10 -4.10 dB -21.34 dB 5:06 05-First Snow (Shakuhachi solo)
DR11 -0.55 dB -16.50 dB 5:40 06-Thirteen Eagles (Doussn’ goumi, 20 nay)
DR13 -2.53 dB -24.14 dB 4:35 07-Contessa Entellina (Voice solo)
DR13 -4.96 dB -22.30 dB 2:52 08-Shen Khar Venakhi (6 dilruba, 6 sattar)
DR13 -0.71 dB -20.25 dB 8:17 09-For Yuko (2 flowerpots, 8 voices, shakuhachi)

Number of tracks: 9
Official DR value: DR12

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 476 kbps
Codec: FLAC

Stephan Micus - Desert Poems (2001) [Re-Up]

Stephan Micus - Desert Poems (2001) [Re-Up]

All thanks to original releaser – ILP-555

More Stephan Micus music at AvaxHome
Stephan Micus – Implosions (1977)

Stephan Micus – Till The End Of Time (1978)

Stephan Micus – Wings Over Water (1982)

Stephan Micus – Listen To The Rain (1983)

Stephan Micus – East Of The Night (1985)

Stephan Micus – Ocean (1986)

Stephan Micus – The Music of Stones (1989)

Stephan Micus – Darkness And Light (1990)

Stephan Micus – To The Evening Child (1992)

Stephan Micus – Athos: A Journey To The Holy Mountain (1994)

Stephan Micus – The Garden Of Mirrors (1997)

Stephan Micus – Life (2004)

Stephan Micus – On The Wing (2006)

Stephan Micus – Bold As Light (2010)

Stephan Micus – Desert Poems (2001) [Re-Up] Download, Warez, DDL, Free, Full Album, Torrent, Legal.