Stephan Micus | Bold As Light | ECM 2173 | ECM Records



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Stephan Micus | Bold As Light | ECM 2173 | ECM Records
ECM 2173October 2010

Stephan Micus raj nplaim, bass zither, chord zither, bavarian zither, nohkan, sho, voice, kalimba, shakuhachi, sinding

“The idea of sitting down at a table and making a composition on paper is totally foreign to me. To come up with a piece of music, I have to make the sound myself, have the instruments in my hands.”

Micus’ three main sound protagonists in “Bold As Light” are the raj nplaim (a free-reed pipe made of bamboo) from Laos, the nohkan (a bamboo flute) from Japan, and the many male voices, which, of course, are all sung by Micus himself. He drew inspiration for the multipart vocals from the intriguing polyphonic singing of Georgia and Bulgaria, which since the early Middle Ages has shaped the style of everyday singing as well as the liturgy of the Orthodox Church. On the very last track, the interwoven vocals make way for the Japanese sho (mouth organ), thus joining different aural worlds in a total sound whose divergent timbres have surprisingly much in common.

Stephan Micus raj nplaim, bass zither, chord zither, bavarian zither, nohkan, sho, voice, kalimba, shakuhachi, sinding

Each instrument, of course, represents a culture, an aesthetic and (religious) world of thought. The knowledge of this not only adds an extra dimension to the music but also at times helps clarify the mutual relationships in sound.