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Nomad Songs

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Nomad Songs
Nomad Songs


Stephan Micus is a unique figure in music. Songlines magazine has described him as "a one man universe of sound" and his music is profound, powerful and certainly very original as 'Nomad Songs', his 21st album for ECM, demonstrates.

In his journeys all over the world Stephan Micus seeks to study and understand traditional instruments, the sounds that they produce and the cultures that brought them to life. He then composes original pieces for them, combining instruments that would never normally be heard together, chosen from different cultures simply for their character, texture and sonic beauty.

Here he plays nine different instruments, but emphasizes two he hasn't used before: The first is the Moroccan genbri, a lute covered with camel-skin, played by the Gnawa in Morocco. The second is the ndingo, a lamellophone similar to the kalimba, used by the San people in Botswana. These indigenous inhabitants of Southern Africa have been pushed off their land and marginalized by the new nation states. With the album's title Micus, who sees himself as a musical nomad, refers to both the situation of people like the Gnawa and the San as well as his own way of working and living.

Micus's vocals are sung in an invented language which he's used on many previous albums. "It's not a language with a vocabulary, but these words are just vehicles for emotions. I guess anybody can understand it in a way - not intellectually, but emotionally or intuitively." In addition to the three guitars he employs, the instruments on this album come from Botswana, Morocco, Bali, Egypt, China, Afghanistan, Ireland and Japan but Micus very rarely plays them in the conventional way.

Personnel: Stephan Micus (voice, ndingo, genbri, guitars, suling, nay, rewab, rabab, shakuhachi)


  1. Name
  2. Everywhere, Nowhere
  3. Leila
  4. The Promise
  5. The Stars
  6. The Spring
  7. The Blessing
  8. The Feast
  9. Laughing At Thunder
  10. Sea Of Grass
  11. The Dance
  12. Under The Chinar Trees
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