Paul Micich & Mitch Espe recorded two CDs as a duo, Prairies and Stacking Stones before WORLD PORT was formed.
WORLD PORT is an Emmy winning band that performs their original worldview instrumental music. Their unique sound has a variety of cultural influences.
During each performance, WORLD PORT blends world styles and rhythms like Caribbean, Celtic, South American, Asian, African, Blues, Blurgrass and more with jazz form and improvisation. They have five CDs: Prairies, Stacking Stones, World View, Welcome and Stories Without Words.
Audiences are also drawn to WORLD PORT performances through leader and composer Paul Micich's very unusual and expressive instrument, the electric horn. Listeners hear sounds like harmonica, piano, violin, percussion, flute and more coming from the electric horn.
Micich says "Music is one of the great pleasures and places in our lives. It moves us. It lifts us up. It reminds us. It expresses sadness and pure fun. Our world view music is really stories without words. Those stories are inspired by music thathas immigrated here. We have a fantastic time when we perform. It's always our goal to share that feeling with our audiences through the music."
FAQs about WORLD PORT
Q What kind of music does WORLD PORT play?
A They are an instrumental group that plays worldview music. That is world music styles and rhythms with jazz form and improvisation. Paul Micich writes most of the music that gets it's inspiration from music that has immigrated to the U.S. In their performances, you will hear many styles including: New Flamenco,Celtic, Smooth Jazz, South American, Classical, Blues, Afro Rhythm, Cuban, Klezmer, Blue Grass and more.
Q What's different about WORLD PORT's music?
A 1- They really range far in the styles they explore.
2- 95% of the music they play is original music.
3- They range farther for world styles than a more traditional jazz group, and their improvisation sticks closer to the roots of each style. When they play Celtic music, they improvise starting from the Celtic style. When they play Klezmer music, they improvise starting from a Klezmer style.
Q Is it Jazz?
A 1- Most of the time, they don't sound like any jazz band they know, but most of the time they follow basic jazz form and give themselves the freedom to make things up on the spot. Like any jazz band, a lot of the energy of the band comes from the freedom
and interplay of group improvisation.
2- They don't base their performances on standard jazz tunes. There are enough great bands that do that. They love those tunes and have great respect for those groups that do that, but they play their own tunes, written mostly by Paul Micich.
3- It often doesn't sound like jazz because they're interested in exploring and playing more closely to the World Music styles that are the inspiration for the music.
About Paul Micich's instrument, the EVI electric horn
Q What is that strange looking thing?
A It's the EVI electric horn. It's played like a horn. You blow into it like a horn. It's fingered a lot like a trumpet. Paul Micich uses hand vibrato like a horn or a violin. But the sounds are all electronic. It is really a hybrid instrument that uses the expression and control of a wind instrument to shape electronic sounds from synthesizers.
Q I hear a lot of different instruments being played. Where do those sounds come from?
A The electric horn produces a great variety of sounds because the horn controls synthesizer sounds. The synthesizer is like an instrument maker. Paul Micich programs each sound to respond to his breath and the touch of the instrument and uses many synthesizers to get raw sounds to shape with the horn. Each acoustic instrument that Micich emulates when he plays has its own history and idiomatic way of playing developed over centuries. Micich says, "Many of the basic synthesizer sounds I use are pretty raw and not very musical sounding, but I take advantage of playing-styles to be able to get into a range of expression apropriate for each instrument. For example, the basic violin sound I use all the time is very similar to the level of complexity of the computer chip greeting cards that play a little tune when you open them up. This is not the sound of a Stradivarious, but the control that I have through the instrument over volume, vibrato and pitch bend makes it possible to express myself in a violin way."
Q Is there a reed in it?
A No, it makes no acoustic sound. An unplugged concert is not a possibility on this instrument.
Q What's the embrochure like? Do you have to buzz your lips like a trumpet?
A The lip is held a lot like you would play a recorder or whistle.
Q What's that cannister that makes the instrument look like an old-fashioned bug sprayer?
A When you turn the cannister, it changes octaves, going from low to high.
Q Who invented the instrument?
A Nyle Steiner, who was a trumpet player with the Salt Lake Symphony at the time. He has gone on to do many other things, including a lot of studio work in Los Angeles.