Desert life is not as monotonous as it may seem to be at first sight. If you look narrowly at it you can notice a lot of details. The first impression is vast yellow ocean of sand. The wind twists whirls above it and, as a great architect, constantly builds dunes and barkhans. And he does not like when strangers enter his landscapes, and summons sandstorm, hiding their tracks and sweeping away everything from his domains. Salvation can only be in oasis - a small island of life. However, sometimes the desert seems to stand, and only a thin strip of horizon divides the yellow ocean and the azure sky. And when night falls, darkness veils the desert, and only bright light of the stars in the cloudless sky is pulling away from oblivion.
Desert Poems both consolidates and expands Stephan Micus's solo quest to fashion a music of archetypal, world-ranging import: music–often modal in nature–which would be both as old as the proverbial hills, yet as fresh as tomorrow. If you've followed this multi-instrumentalist's musical odyssey of the past 30-or-so years (this is something like his 15th solo project) you probably won't need any encouragement to buy an album that finds Micus's mastery of such instruments as the sarangi, nay, shakahuchi, steel drum and humble flower pot enhanced by a range of solo and polyphonic vocals. His pan-global sources are filtered to create a somewhat sombre, strongly devotional sense of the deeper rhythms of life to which music may awaken us. Apart from the vocalising on pieces like "Contessa Entellina", standout tracks include the solo shakuhachi feature "First Snow" and an instrumental reworking of "Shen Khar Venakhi", a masterpiece of old Georgian polyphony.