Snow has been added to your Basket
Quantity:1

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon

Snow

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £12.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
26 new from £7.14 2 used from £7.13
£12.56 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Amazon's Stephan Micus Store


Special Offers and Product Promotions


Frequently Bought Together

  • Snow
  • +
  • Garden Of Mirrors
  • +
  • Panagia
Total price: £38.96
Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Dec. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B00158UU1U
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 293,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Snow
  2. Midnight Sea
  3. Sara
  4. Nordic Light
  5. Almond Eyes
  6. Madre
  7. For Ceren and Halil
  8. Brother Eagle

Product Description

Product Description

"To me, snow is one of the most beautiful of all natural phenomena", says Stephan Micus, who has been living in Spain for many years. "It's closely associated with lasting impressions of my original home in Bavaria, especially the long moonlit walks I used to take when I lived in the Alpine foothills. I've always regarded snow as the essence of magic, even more so today now that there's so little of it and the glaciers are disappearing." Micus's music has always drawn on impressions of nature and the countryside. The inspiration for his new album came largely from a long study tour through extremely isolated regions of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and the mountains of the Caucasus.

As always, Micus had one object in mind: to learn new instrumental or vocal techniques from traditional masters. In 2006 he paid a long visit to Yerevan to study the duduk, an Armenian double-reed instrument of apricot wood. Snow presents it as the main musical protagonist, featuring it in unprecedented combinations with African, Asian, South and North American and European instruments, including an especially expressive duet, 'Midnight Sea', with the Bavarian zither. The human voice plays a leading role, sometimes magnified into a mighty choir. Over the last 12 years Micus has travelled four times to Georgia to study its traditional art of choral singing. It's also his first album to feature a South American instrument, with two solos on the charango, a plucked instrument from Peru resembling a ukulele.

Egypt, Armenia, Burma, China, Germany, Gambia, Mali, Peru, Tibet and USA: the list of countries where the instruments on Snow originated makes it clear that the unique, imaginary 'world music' that Micus has been playing for the last 35 years (he was born in 1953) is possible in this form only at the present moment: "Fifty years ago I couldn't travel as much as I do today and in another 50 years many of the instruments may no longer exist as many musical traditions are threatened with extinction."

Personnel:
Stephan Micus - (douss'n gouni, duduk, maung, gongs, tibetan cymbals, Bavarian zither, sinding, steel string guitar, hammered dulcimers, charango solo, nay, bass duduk)

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Every time a new release from Stephan Micus reaches my grateful ears, I find myself reaching for superlatives with which to describe the magic he performs - but in the end, of course, words fall far short. I've been listening to his work since the release of his first album, ARCHAIC CONCERTS, in 1976, hooked happily from the beginning. Unlike too many performers who gather instruments from around the world and weave the various sounds into their own personal audio fabric, Stephan's compositions / constructions seem to possess a spirit that goes far deeper than `simple sound'. He combines instruments from far-flung locales which would likely never be heard together were it not for his imagination. The musical paintings he conjures from his palette never ring false or sound forced - it's as if the listener were sitting in on a gentle, natural conversation between cultures. The best aspects of each are intermingled, yet preserved - even when one instrument holds sway over another, it's a brief dominance and not an overbearing one. The respect with which Stephan holds the music of the traditions he has touched in his musical travels passes from his heart through the instruments in the form of something that is ancient and new at the same time, eternally being reborn.

SNOW is Stephan's 20th album since 1976 - all but two of them have been released on Manfred Eicher's ECM Records or on its affiliated label, JAPO. Each one has its own personality, array of employed instruments, and themes - but they're all distinctly Stephan Micus creations.
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Audio CD
I can do little to add to the excellent review above which is a worthy tribute to a wonderful piece of music so I shall be brief. "Snow" is only the third recording I have by Stephan Micus. It is considerably more accessible and richer than "On the Wing" and even more so than "Towards the Wind." Although worth exploring, "On the Wing" suffered from an absence of the duduk and Micus' rich, evocative and emotional voice, often overlooked by those praising his multi-instrumental talents. Indeed the three most memorable and haunting tracks here all feature his voice, often multi-tracked.

It has been remarked by Micus but is worth repeating that his distinctive music could not be made at any other time. 50 years ago he could not have travelled to the corners of the world and 50 years hence many of the instruments showcased will not be around. Although all his output is characterised by a sense of landscape and solitude, from the covers of the releases to the associative (as opposed to descriptive) titles, "snow" heeds an especially prescient ecological concern. The disappearance of snow from the earth echoes the disappearance of instruments which Micus plays from various cultural traditions. Micus's music manages to be timeless, mysterious, direct, inspirational yet contains a stark warning. My only gripe is that the liner notes on the instruments repeat verbatim those on previous releases which slightly undermines the contention that "this is the first time the bass duduk has been deployed as a melodic instrument." That is a small criticism and one which is unlikely to worry the inquisitive or devotee. Although consumerism is a dirty word and concept, the world needs "Snow" like the world needs snow.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b3c0390) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a7cd4ec) out of 5 stars beautiful, moving music that is ancient and new 2 Aug. 2008
By Larry L. Looney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Every time a new release from Stephan Micus reaches my grateful ears, I find myself reaching for superlatives with which to describe the magic he performs - but in the end, of course, words fall far short. I've been listening to his work since the release of his first album, ARCHAIC CONCERTS, in 1976, hooked happily from the beginning. Unlike too many performers who gather instruments from around the world and weave the various sounds into their own personal audio fabric, Stephan's compositions / constructions seem to possess a spirit that goes far deeper than `simple sound'. He combines instruments from far-flung locales which would likely never be heard together were it not for his imagination. The musical paintings he conjures from his palette never ring false or sound forced - it's as if the listener were sitting in on a gentle, natural conversation between cultures. The best aspects of each are intermingled, yet preserved - even when one instrument holds sway over another, it's a brief dominance and not an overbearing one. The respect with which Stephan holds the music of the traditions he has touched in his musical travels passes from his heart through the instruments in the form of something that is ancient and new at the same time, eternally being reborn.

SNOW is Stephan's 20th album since 1976 - all but two of them have been released on Manfred Eicher's ECM Records or on its affiliated label, JAPO. Each one has its own personality, array of employed instruments, and themes - but they're all distinctly Stephan Micus creations. Instruments on this new release include the duduk (a double-reed instrument from Armenia, this particular one being specially made for him to play in a lower register than the standard model); the doussn' gouni (a harp from West Africa with gut and nylon strings); the maung (a set of 40 tuned gongs from Burma); Bavarian zither (utilising his own tuning and strings); steel-string guitar; sinding (another West African harp, this one with cotton strings); hammered dulcimer; the nay (an Egyptian hollow reed flute, used extensively in Middle Eastern and North African music); and the charango (a small guitar-like instrument from the Andes with 5 pairs of strings), which is a new addition to Stephan's sound.

The pieces on SNOW are constructed and performed with great thought - rather than attempting to reproduce the music of the various cultures from which he draws his tools, Stephan groups them together in ways that create a new musical language, but without turning his back on the sources that have inspired him. He says, of the album's title, 'To me, snow is one of the most beautiful of all natural phenomena. It's closely associated with lasting impressions of my original home in Bavaria, especially the long moonlit walks I used to take when I lived in the Alpine foothills. I've always regarded snow as the essence of magic, even more so today, now that there's so little of it and the glaciers are disappearing.' Impressions of the beauty and majesty of nature abound in his work, as well as the love and respect he so obviously feels for the people and cultures he has encountered. He goes on to speak about the instruments themselves, and how he feels drawn to employ them: `I feel strong ties to the sound of these age-old instruments. To me they lie somewhere on the border between an object and a living being, between a thing and a person. Sometimes I actually think of them as sentient beings. You have to listen to what they want to say. When you do, you connect almost automatically with their traditional idiom. To me, it's important not to adopt any pre-existing melodies, or even fragments of them, but to develop a language of my own.'

Some selections feature several instruments, utilising the overdubbing techniques available in the modern studio with great taste and sensitivity - at times a single `voice' is enough, the perfect setting for the ideas and images he wants to convey. Now and then, he adds his own voice to the mix, with wonderful results. On this recording, it's done in groupings of 22, 11 and 15, on three selections - sometimes the effect is that of a choir, other times in a call-and-response setting.

It's impossible for me to list `favourites' among these pieces - every single track on this disc is a treasure - the titles are listed as `parts' of the entire album, a usual practice for Stephan, and it's very easy to hear them as a whole...it's as seamless as a breath, and equally natural. His music can be strongly rhythmical, like a pulse, without ever being `pounding'...it can be as ethereal and diaphanous as a cloud over a mountain...it can be as deep and mysterious as the sea...it can evoke an image so crystalline that it could be a photograph...it can conjure a memory that is so enveloped in mist that it seems to be from another life. His music is eternity...it is very much the present at the same time - and aren't those extremes, and everything in between, contained in each and every one of us? His music is as universal as music can be - if it's something you've never experienced, I can't recommend it highly enough. I've often said that if I had to choose the music of just one artist in my entire collection to keep for the rest of my life, it would be the work of Stephan Micus, without hesitation.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8a7cde58) out of 5 stars best work in a while 24 Dec. 2008
By C. H Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Like several other people who have commented here on Stephan Micus' releases over the years, I am in general a big fan of this markedly ego-less performer. Unlike one or two others, however, I do not dote on every note he sets to disc to the extent that I feel sainthood is long overdue. I have never believed his output is uniformly transcendent, and now, with twenty albums under his belt, there is even more reason for being critical when that seems necessary: if you just tell a listener new to the artist that everything rates a 'five' and he happens to pick one of the lesser works--well, that's kind of self-defeating, isn't it? That said, I think it is fair to say that this is the best thing Micus has done since his superb "The Garden of Mirrors" of several years back. The biggest weakness of "Snow" is that again there is little to dig one's ears into in terms of outright innovation or striking performance (and he is guilty of some self-theft in spots); on the other hand, in this release Micus has risen to a whole new level in terms of pacing and production. A propos to the subject, this is the most beautiful *sounding* release Micus has ever produced--not only is the technical delivery and production as crisp as it gets (and has Stephan been taking singing lessons, or have deviations somehow been edited out?), but the music flows out in a gentle yet absolutely secure fashion. This is the work of a confident and mature artist. I think this is the right track. Next time, I would look for the same confidence, with a little bit more drama--not that more drama would have been appropriate for "Snow" itself, but I am just imagining a next move...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8abe036c) out of 5 stars another freshly fallen and fabulous find 11 July 2013
By Striving for Now - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Thank you , Stephen Micus, for another exquisite CD. Just love the tranquility and excitement that you weave into your works. Texture for the audiophile... love it!
HASH(0x8ad10dec) out of 5 stars Though this musical magpie takes up a couple of new exotic instruments here, it is the vocal approach which impresses most 21 Feb. 2016
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Since the early 1970s, Stephan Micus has traveled the world to study musical instruments from different cultures, but he has little interest in working within the bounds of the folk music traditions of each country he visits. Instead, by using multitracking to create the illusion of a full ensemble of players, he weaves all these instruments together into his own personal musical vision, which is soft and meditative, and categorized by some as New Age. That comparison is a bit unfair (even one might encounter a few moments akin to artists on the Windham Hill label), as Micus's work can have a visceral psychological intensity to it.

SNOW, released in 2008, was his twentieth album and typifies this style of a musical magpie creating soundscapes much vaster than just one man. Thus, for example, "Midnight Sea" weds a Bavarian zither to a duduk (a reed instrument from Armenia), while the following "Sara" presents sinding (a West African harp), steel-string guitar, 3 hammered dulcimers, and 22 voices. Besides the sinding, he also takes up again the doussn' gouni, another West African harp. Furthermore, Micus has focused rather heavily here on the duduk, an instrument that was previously featured on his Towards the Wind album. Micus has spent four decades doing his own thing on ECM Records, but to hear Micus on a reed instrument with a cool, seductive tone makes him feel right at home with the other artists on Manfred Eicher's famous European jazz label. Each Stephan Micus album presents some new discoveries, however, and here they are maung (tuned gongs from Burma), charango (miniature guitar from the Andes).

Micus doesn't vary his style much from one release to another, and indeed the couple of albums before SNOW seemed like he was getting stuck in a rut. Nonetheless, I was really impressed by SNOW due to the fresh treatment of vocals. Micus has often sang on his records in a made-up language, and part of the charm was hearing him impersonate a full choir, but it was hard to call him a great singer. On the vocal tracks here ("Sara", "Almond Eyes", "Brother Eagle") his vocal techniques are richer than before, with intriguing sussurations, murmuring, ululations, and more supple treatment of rhythm. This time, it doesn't always feel that Micus is impersonating a choir, instead it is if each of the voices is just one part of an individual's complex and multifaceted inner world -- the multitracks allow him to express more of himself.

If you have never heard Micus's work before, I find The Garden of Mirrors album to be his most impressive achievement and a good introduction. However, in spite of each album's similarity to its predecessor, I generally find it worthwhile to pick up a new Micus record, and SNOW is certainly one of his better ones.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know


Customer Discussions


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?



Feedback