Elsewhere Art . . . Stephan Micus

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Elsewhere Art . . . Stephan Micus

German multi-instrumentalist Stephan Micus is one of thse artists you probably only find by accident, such is his extensive catalogue on ECM which defies easy pigeon-holing.

I came across him by chance with his Wings Over Water album in '82 when, on scanning the liner notes, I thought, "Flower pots? Yeah, why not?".

Aside from gently hitting various pots, singing in a kind of monk-cum-folk way and playing acoustic guitar, Micus is somewhat of a solo Incredible String Band in his musical artillery: Egyptian nay, Indian sarangi, Bavarian zithers and something called a suling. And that's just on that Wind on Water album.

His most recent album at the time of this writing is Winter's End and through multi-tracking he plays chikulo (from Mozambique), nonkan (Japan), guitars, tongue driums (Central Africa), kalimba, nay, Tibetan cymbals . . .

His albums -- Winter's End is his 24th -- are pretty serious in a meditative/ambient-but-not-massage-room way and of course they are kind of world music of no fixed culture.

I quite like them but also couldn't resist poking a bit of fun at their earnestness, as witnessed by this collage from some time in the Nineties.

I've written about him a few times but can't recall what this collage was intended to illustrate.

It appeared in Real Groove when I had a column there for a long time.

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