Stephan Micus: Snow (ECM/Ode)

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Stephan Micus: Madre
Stephan Micus: Snow (ECM/Ode)

Multi-instrumentalist Micus first crossed my path about two decades back with his beguiling Wings Over Water album on which he played (among other things) tuned flowerpots.

You don't easily forget someone like that.

He has continued on his quiet and considered path adding unusual string things, choral singing, gongs and much more to his musical pool and while there is a New Age aspect to some of his work (quasi-Buddhist chanting, sometimes authentic also) he never fails to entice with a less-is-more approach which draws you in.

This lovely album is no exception: it won't set your pulses racing but you will, every now and again, wonder just what that instrument might be. It could be a duduk (Armenian double reed flute thingy), maung (tuned gongs from Burma), Bavarian zither, nay (Egyptian flute) or something equally unfamiliar but exotically enchanting. Micus' gift is his use of these instruments never feels gratuitious.

Another quiet charmer -- but no flower pots.

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