Album: Stephan Micus, Bold as Light (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

This indefatigable Bavarian multi-instrumentalist is currently on a roll, bringing a virtuoso display of himself singing and playing some exotic, rare instruments: notably a bamboo pipe played by the Hmong people in Laos, and the Japanese nohkan, whose presence in Noh theatre creates a unique sense of danger.

By layering, he can sound like 20 singers accompanied by a posse of instruments, but it always suggests a most dream-like peace. Seldom have plucked and blown instruments been put to such magical use.