Stephan Micus – Inland Sea review: ‘Micus creates extraordinary beauty’
Bavarian-born Stephan Micus is a unique figure in music. He’s a voyager in his compositions and in real life. He travels the world collecting musical instruments, learning to play them and then casting them in his highly individual compositions.
Inland Sea is Micus’s 22nd album for ECM and he uses instruments from Japan, Tajikistan, Morocco, Germany and Sweden.
At its heart is the Swedish nyckelharpa, a keyed-fiddle which Micus plays like a cello. He creates music of extraordinary beauty in the meditative opening Haze, and earthy exhilaration in the rhythmic tracks Dancing Clouds and Nuria.
The latter is a sort of apotheosis with shakuhachi flute, voice and percussive effects from the nyckelharpa keys. The result is a sort of universal music of the spheres.