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Stephan Micus/Micus, Stephan

Stephan Micus

Panagia

  • Type CD
  • Label ECM
  • UPC 0602537163953
  • Catalog number ECM 3716395
  • Release date 18 January 2013
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About the album

Panagia is Stephan Micus’ 20th album for ECM, and it coincides with his 60th birthday in January 2013.
The Greek word Panagia is one of the names of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ. In a Greek Orthodox church, it is often the Panagia that is in the apse above the altar as a fresco or mosaic. She is also frequently depicted in Byzantine icons. “For all the Greeks I know, even the most radical, it is unthinkable not to respect the Panagia,” says Micus.
Stephan Micus’ album takes six Byzantine Greek prayers and sets them in his own inimitable way with instruments he has collected in years of travels round the world. “The prayers are to the Virgin Mary,” says Micus, “but I also see this as a more universal work. It is not only Christian and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but to the female energy that is everywhere in the world. The Chinese have this concept of yin and yang, and keeping the balance between them, which is very important to me. In our time, the male energy has become too overbearing, but in ancient times the gods were predominantly female. In the last 2000 years, the three monotheistic religions have over-emphasised the male aspect. I see this album as a small contribution to changing that status quo.”

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