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Friday, May 23, 2008

Stephan Micus

WOW... Stephan Micus, a true, well kept secret in contemporary music played last evening in superb Teatro Donizzetti... a rare, rare concert, indeed.

I knew about this very event few hours before it, thanks to my friend Donatella and her mobile-phone message... and thanking the kindness and support of Francesco Alleva and Alessandro Bettonagli (respectively the organization team and artistic directors behind the concert) I've been able to enjoy ALL the musical nuances, the weird and exotic sounds which came from the classy, elegant, yet minimalist stage.

Dimmed lights, wooden rear baffles... only the (necessary) mikes and booms only slightly worked against the Stephan Micus' ascethic persona, shy, yet strong appearance on stage.

His concerts - never more than 10 - 15 per year worldwide, are completely different than his several records on ECM... he, as a consummate and expert traveller and globetrotter, always travels lightly packed... no guitars, rebab, dilruba, ki u ki, stone percussions and the like; his companion is only what can be stored in an old hobo-like grey, battered suitcase: a zither from Germany, two shakuhachi from Japan, two duduk from Afghanistan, a suling from Bali, two kalimba from Gambia, two tin-whistle from Ireland... that's it.
A world in a suitcase... and his Mount Athos' trained voice... or, again, a superb, SUPERB encore on some obscure, poetic archaic Arabic lullaby where he get three different voices... shivers, tears, deep true emotion...

The so shy Stephan Micus considers the concert as a window where worlds collide... his out of the crowd, meditative, calm, quiet, poetic, beautiful world and our world... he stated that he'll never issue a live recording and, after yesterevening, I know he's sincere!

When I briefly chatted with him, after the concert, I learned many interesting aspects and observed him... his eyes are so quiet, but a little wild, spirited... maybe the long travelling made him so shy, word-shy, too... also when bowing at the audience handclappings, he too quickly disappeared in backstage, in his butter-white indian suit... he smiled a lot, when chatting together... a little sad, yet sincere smile... he appreciated I showed to him some of my vinyl records... ..."ah, vinyl records... they're much better than CDs..." and he carefully, lovingly handled the discs and the cover paper and autographed them...
Again, using italian to introduce his pieces gave to him a cute and friendly looking, but this was clearly a little tiring for him... this effort clearly showed his sincere respect for people in the hall, and his willing to be properly, fully understood...

The music is so important, but more important was looking at this humble, complex Man who saw the whole world, met people in five continents and learned from everyone he encountered on his path... music is already well served by his recordings... what a concert is for is allowing the passionate listener to understand and appreciate the blend of technique, soul, suffering, joy, skill and chance, the nervous and peaceful moods which are behind music, looking at the wrinkles on his face, tasting... yes, tasting the body smell after the concert when caring for these instruments coming from far countries... this is a concert. Living music... and a 360° life experience... a music which, suddenly, simply, changes your heartbeat and makes two hours a blissfull instant.

Om mani Padme Hum.

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