As of this month (August of 2015), ECM’s intrepid Stephan Micus has released his 21st album for the label, Nomad Songs. In recognition of this achievement, and of the prescience of that title, I thought it only appropriate to acknowledge Implosions, his first album for producer Manfred Eicher, released on the JAPO sub-label in 1977. What might the first-time listener have imagined when spreading roots into its soil? What fantasies or lamentations? What creeds or philosophies? Micus’s sound art, assembled as it is from a uniquely global perspective, is one in which such questions, but never their answers, reign supreme. Like the sitar solo which opens “As I Crossed A Bridge Of Dreams,” it contains many possible universes but yields only one. One sitar becomes three, and one instrument two as Micus adds an acoustic guitar, all the while spirographing this inner sanctum with the curvature of his singing. The two lap instruments reveal themselves to be indeed rooted in seated chakras, while the voice treads with more luminescent footprints to show for its passage. Crossing threshold after threshold, it shakes the sky out as if it were a laundered sheet, until the stars release their hands from prayer.
Although Micus has most often crafted albums at his home studio and sent them to Eicher for mixing and mastering, earlier ones such as this were recorded at Tonstudio Bauer in Ludwigsburg, Germany, where many of ECM’s formative releases were also realized. The studio dynamics imbue these travels with a rather different intimacy, one which brings its own climate and bounces back sunlight like the moon. Three Bavarian zithers, each with its own signature, form a dense and percussive bed for Micus’s singing in “Borkenkind.” His floating transpositions trail sutras of memory, spinning from them a yarn of forgetting. This becomes the sole purpose of the music: to detach oneself from the snares of fame and recognition until only the sound and the ear are left to dance unhindered. And indeed, when Micus sings again in “For M’schr And Djingis Khan,” accompanied by the uncut diamond of the rabab (Afghani lute), he balances on a tipping point into infinity, his mouth filled with empty pages.
Even when he doesn’t sing, his heart resounds through the four shakuhachi of “Amarchaj,” each chamber a bird with its own ritual warble, threading clouds to their shadows on earth below. This leaves only the Thai flute of “For The ‘Beautiful Changing Child’” to cast itself into an ocean without language. Lifted by three shō (Japanese mouth organs), it resists even these words struggling to catch it, riding the waves from one dawn to the next, waiting for my well to run dry.
Ο Στέφαν Μίκους (Stephan Micus, γεν. 19 Ιανουαρίου 1953) είναι Γερμανός μουσικός και συνθέτης, η μουσική τεχνοτροπία του οποίου είναι ιδιαίτερα επηρεασμένη από τη μελέτη παραδοσιακών οργάνων και μουσικών ακουσμάτων από την Ιαπωνία, την Ινδία, τη Νότια Αμερική, καθώς και άλλες χώρες ανά τον κόσμο. Εκτός από το άλμπουμ The music of stones (1989), σε όλα τα άλλα παίζει όλα τα όργανα των ηχογραφήσεών του, συνδυάζοντας τεχνοτροπίες από διαφορετικές χώρες και χρησιμοποιώντας τα όργανα ιδιότυπα σε κάθε κομμάτι του, από διάφορα υλικά. Συχνά χρησιμοποιεί διαφορετικές ηχογραφήσεις ενός μοναδικού οργάνου προκειμένου να δημιουργήσει ασυνήθιστους συνδυασμούς ήχων. Είναι ένας από τους καλλιτέχνες της ECM Records. Τραγουδά συνήθως σε δικής του επινόησης γλώσσα........................
Tracklist A As I Crossed A Bridge Of Dreams Sitar , Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Stephan Micus 20:52 B1 Borkenkind Zither [3 Bavarian], Vocals – Stephan Micus 6:45 B2 Amarchaj Shakuhachi  – Stephan Micus 5:15 B3 For The 'Beautiful Changing Child' Sho , Flute [Thai] – Stephan Micus 3:40 B4 For M'schr And Djingis Khan Lute [Rabab], Vocals – Stephan Micus 6:24