Sep 15, 2013

Sundaze 1337 Inside Out 14

Hello,  at Sundaze this month of September will be all under the Inside Out banner. It maybe a bit much to take it all in as there will be diverse propositions to enhance your insights and wellbeing. Audiocourses on Meditation , Lucid Dreaming will be accompanied with some regular sundaze music

The music created over the years by today's artist speaks both 'of' and 'to' all of humanity (ourcollective human soul). He does so with such an obvious love and respect of all cultures that his music truly tanscends boundaries. ...N'Joy

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This is a recording of a 5 week retreat led by Pema Chodron based on the concepts in her book. She explains the ideas so much more clearly than I've read in the past and is intended for Western audiences who might not understand some of the language one finds in Eastern philosophy. For example, the concept of ego has always confused me in Buddhist teaching and she makes it far easier for me to apply to my own life. The recordings contain a talk by Pema Chodron, about a particular concept, then meditation exercises and an assignment to work on. I've found them very helpful.

In this 5 CD set, Pema Chodron expands on her prior works (but see Pure Meditation), honing in on Buddhist Shamatha (tranquil or calm abiding) meditation. This is a basic, eyes-open, being-fully-present technique (akin to mindfulness practice).  Total time=5:52:48 in 46 tracks. Her presentation is comprehensive, including: Physical--much detail on 6 points of posture (seat, legs, torso, hands, eyes, & mouth); Emotional--being fully present, attention to tension, observing your pain/stress; Mental/Psychological--generosity, patience, sense of humor; & Spiritual/Mystical--(per Trungpa Rinpoche) "Mixing mind and space." Each CD includes a meditation experience & practices for the ensuing week.

Overall, Pema's voice & presentation are extremely peaceful & meditative--quite conducive to these practices, though she aims at you becoming "your own meditation instructor." To have a more complete appreciation of Pema, see her Good Medicine video. This set is valuable for newbies (though some of the terminology may be unfamiliar) as well as those who have practiced meditation before. It is also a nice refresher.

How to Meditate 3 (95mb)

1 How to Meditate 3 69:54

previously

How to Meditate 1, 2 (166mb)

As this is a 5 part series which takes too much to take it all in, I start with a double bill and expect weekly instalments the next 3 weeks.

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Born in 1953 in Germany, Stephan Micus made his first journey to the Orient at the age of sixteen. Fascinated by the variety of musical cultures around the world Micus has travelled in virtually every Asian and European country as well as in Africa and the Americas. Studying with local master musicians he learned to play numerous traditional instruments, many of them unknown in the Western world. However, Micus‘s intention is not to play these instruments in a traditional manner, but rather to develop the fresh musical possibilities which he feels are inherent in them. In many of his compositions, which he performs himself, he combines instruments that have never before been played together. The resulting dialogues further reflect his vision of a transcultural music. Many of Europe’s leading dance companies have chosen his work for their productions. He has performed hundreds of solo concerts over the last 30 years throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas

In search of musical culture and context Micus has travelled extensively, in particular in India, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Afghanistan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Thailand, Egypt, Burma, Sri Lanka, Turkey, USA, Canada, Israel, China, Gambia, Senegal, Nepal, Ladakh, Sinkiang, Venezuela, Tanzania, Argentina, Peru, Ghana, Mali, Jordan, Georgia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Yemen, Cuba, Lebanon, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Cabo Verde, Mauretania, Armenia, Karabagh.
Micus used his travels to study a variety of instruments including guitar, concert-flute, sitar in Benares (India), flamenco guitar in Granada (Spain), shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute) and sho (Japanese mouth organ) in Kyoto (Japan), suling (Balinese flute) in Ubud (Bali), Uillean pipes in Carna (Ireland), sinding (African harp) in Gambia, dondon (talking drum) in Accra (Ghana), doussn’ gouni (African harp) in Bamako (Mali), duduki (Georgian oboe) and Georgian polyphonic choral singing in Tbilisi (Georgia), hné (Burmese oboe) in Yangon and Mandalay (Myanmar), duduk (Armenian oboe) in Yerevan (Armenia), bagana (Ethiopian lyre) in Addis Abeba, nohkan (flute of the noh theatre) in kyoto (japan). Bulgarian polyphonic choral singing in Plovdiv (Bulgaria). In addition to his exclusively acoustic instruments Micus also uses his voice, at times – with multitrack recording techniques – creating whole choral pieces by himself.

His recordings for the ECM label are essentially solo efforts in which the illusion of an ensemble is created by the composer's extensive overdubs. Micus' intention is not to play these instruments according to tradition, but to combine modes of expression from around the world in exciting new ways. Though he sometimes creates sounds you'd swear were the result of electronic keyboards, Micus is an acoustic purist who often develops unconventional performance techniques on ethnic instruments. He released Garden of Mirrors in mid-2000, with Desert Poems and Koan both following a year later.

Micus continued to stay busy, releasing 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. Micus offered the concept recording Snow in 2008. On 2010's Bold as Light, he employed customized versions of the raj nplaim, a free-reed bamboo pipe from Laos, and the Japanese nohkan flute, also made of bamboo. As always, he not only studied the music of the instrument's native regions, but expanded the tonal reaches with his customization. For his 20th album, Micus collaborated with Greek historian and scholar Vassilis Chatzivassiliou, who selected Byzantine-era (seventh century) texts that were ancient prayers to "Holy Mary" (the Panagia of the title). The artists gave modern voice to these texts by utilizing bells from several traditions, gongs, stringed instruments, and up to 20 voices. Panagia was issued in March of 2013.

Many of Europe’s leading dance companies have chosen his work for their productions. He has performed hundreds of solo concerts over the last 30 years throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas

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Implosions, his second album, recorded in 1977, was his first work for JAPO/ECM Records -- and the start of a long, continuing, fruitful relationship. Manfred Eicher has a long-standing reputation for allowing the artists he produces to enjoy complete freedom of expression and creativity, as well as recording quality that is crystalline and matchless -- I can think of no other organization with whom Micus' art would be more at home.

The instruments used on this recording are varied, coming from areas of Europe and Asia. On the lengthy opening track, 'As I crossed a bridge of dreams', Micus employs 3 sitars, an acoustic guitar, and his incredible voice. This piece was the first recording he made using his voice -- he sings in no language, but so expressively, so in-tune with the spirit of the music, that the listener can easily imagine that the words have deep meaning and carry strong emotion. The piece moves through several mood changes -- but never becomes 'noisy' or discordant. There is a pervasive sense of peace in his music -- even in the more rhythmically rapid pieces.

If you have never experienced the work of this amazing artist, you should try one of his cds -- this one, IMPLOSIONS, would be a great place to start...and I say 'start' with the confidence that many of those who give him a listen will want to keep exploring his work. It's a thing of rare and precious beauty -- and something that can bind different cultures together, rather than push them apart. We could use that now, more than ever...



Stephan Micus - Implosions (192mb)

01 As I Crossed A Bridge Of Dreams 20:53
02 Borkenkind 6:45
03 Amarchaj 5:16
04 For The 'Beautiful Changing Child' 3:40
05 For M'schr And Djingis Khan 6:24

Stephan Micus - Implosions (ogg 94mb)

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This early (1978) Stephan Micus recording lacks none of the tenderness and refined vision that marks all of this one-man-show's efforts. It is distinguished by its very gentle delivery, its interesting instrumentation (table harp, kortholt, zither, guitar, and vocals), and, unfortunately, its very short length--we should not these days be having to pay full price for a less than 36 minute long CD. Nevertheless it may still be the best of his pre-mid 80s material, insofar as the revealing of inner voice goes; Micus uses the zither in an especially affecting manner to set mood and motion here in the two long pieces comprising the work. Perhaps the best thing about the whole package, however, is, remarkably, the small photo-portrait of Micus set without remark on the last page of the liner notes: a wonderful study of the artistic temperament.



Stephan Micus - Til The End Of Time (165mb)

01 Till The End Of Time 17:30
02 For Wis And Ramin 18:06

Stephan Micus - Til The End Of Time (ogg 80mb)

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This cd, though only recently released, comes from material Micus recorded back in the late 1970s. Though in some respects a typical Micus production (lots of exotic instruments played with a free, almost improvisational outlook), it lacks some of the emotional focus of his later works. Still, there is some interesting stuff here, and it can be recommended at the least for his fans.



Stephan Micus - Behind Eleven Deserts (176mb)

01 Salinas Dance 5:31
02 Behind Eleven Deserts 5:05
03 Katut 5:20
04 I Went On Your Wing 4:00
05 Over Crimson Stones 4:38
06 Pour La Fille Du Soleil 6:14
07 The Song Of Danijar 12:24

Stephan Micus - Behind Eleven Deserts (ogg 093mb)

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previously, Rhotation 25

Stephan Micus - Koan (ogg 100mb)

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