Stephan Micus: Bavarian zither, dilruba, chitrali sitar, sattar, 14-string guitar, nay, voice
“Panagia” is Stephan Micus’ 20th album for ECM, and it coincides with his 60th birthday in January 2013. The Greek word Panagia is one of the names of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ. Stephan Micus’ album takes six Byzantine Greek prayers and sets them in his own inimitable way with instruments he has collected in years of travels round the world. “The album alternates sung poems with instrumental tracks and thus has a clearly symmetrical, even ritualistic, structure”, says Micus.
“On ‘Panagia’ I focussed mainly on strings,” explains Micus about the recording, made in his own studio on the island of Mallorca, where he has lived for many years. “The string instruments come from Bavaria, India, Pakistan, Chinese Xinjiang plus my own invention, a 14-string guitar.” But he emphasizes that his aim is never to replicate other people’s music, but to create something new and universal.