Skip links


Stephan Micus is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Germany. He has traveled the globe studying ancient musical techniques and instruments as taught by local masters. Rather than employ them to reflect their respective traditions, he uses an interrogatory process to combine instruments from various traditions in order to create new resonant expressions. Since 1977, he has recorded 26 albums for ECM Music. Early recordings, including 1978’s Til the End of Time, found Micus playing various flutes — from shakuhachi to sho — guitars, and rabab, as well as singing. Later recordings such as 1986’s Ocean and 1989’s groundbreaking The Music of Stones revealed an original vanguard “folk music” through his radical recombinations. 1994’s Athos (A Journey to the Holy Mountain), found Micus recording self-penned a cappella chants for up to 22 voices. 2001’s acclaimed Desert Poems utilized multi-layered vocal chants with singing, doussn’ gouni, flowerpots, and sattar. For 2013’s Panagia, he celebrated the female Greek deity of its title with Tibetan chimes and bells from various nations wedded to multi-tracked vocals, numerous flutes, zithers, and kalimbas. On 2017’s Inland Sea, his central instrument was the nyckelharpa, the first time he employed a bowed instrument that was not Asian in heritage. 2019’s White Night employed everything from kalimbas and duduk to finger cymbals and 14 guitars. For 2021’s Winter’s End he employed 11 instruments from ten countries, his most extensive range to date.

Micus’ reputation spread across Europe and Asia with each successive release. In the U.S. it was less so, but musicians found his work inspiring and instructive. On 1983’s Listen to the Rain, critics remarked in wonder about his inventive use of four multi-tracked Spanish guitars, all playing in counterpoint in different octaves. New age audiences were exposed to his music through programs like Stephen Hill’s syndicated Hearts of Space, but the composer ignored the phenomenon. For Micus, the ’90s proved to be an intense time of discovery; the decade marked the release of some of his most significant recordings such as Athos, To the Evening Child, and Desert Poems, but it was in the early 21st century with Garden of Mirrors (mid-2000), and reissues of Desert Poems and Koan a year later, that his reputation as an innovator was cemented in the Americas, guaranteeing him a modicum of security. He built his own studio in Mallorca and released Towards the Wind in 2002, Life in 2004, and On the Wing in 2006, all of which kept his multicultural and multi-instrumental style intact.

Agent: Buyçe Sümer

stephan micus