With all the varied talents Paul Micich possesses, CITYVIEW could have easily featured his artwork or videography. But for this issue, we’ll focus on his music.
Micich is a musician with the WORLD PORT band, playing a unique instrument called the Electronic Valve Instruments or EVI. The EVI was created 30 years ago. At the time, Micich played the trumpet, traveled with R&B bands and performed ballroom gigs. He saw an ad in a Whole Earth catalog advertising the new musical instrument.
Micich purchased an EVI and called the inventor because it wouldn’t stay in tune. However, Micich liked the sound, as it was an alternate way of playing a synthesizer by using his breath, and the fingering was the same as a trumpet.
“It didn’t catch on, but I fell in love with it,” he says. “I found ways to keep it going,”
As there were only 200 of the instruments made, Paul now owns six of them. When he plays the instrument, it’s generally with his guitarist, Dan Nicholson, and other musicians. Prior to COVID-19, the band played at art festivals, corporate gigs and street festivals, his favorite.
“I really like the street festivals because the people on the street are honest,” he says. “They’ll either walk by or stop and stay to listen.”
Crowds are intrigued by the instrument variety.
“I don’t feel like I have to play a certain genre. I come from a background of R&B and jazz and take that form and apply it to different world sounds, such as Flamenco and Latin songs,” he explains. “It means we can play a blues tune once and then a Celtic tune the next time.”
To incorporate his art and music, he spent three years developing live interactive performances that meld together both music and his art, found on his website, paulmicich.com. He’s recorded five CDs with mostly original music and is working on a sixth.
His latest foray is discovering “humankind.” With his WORLD PORT band, he tells stories and explores the world’s different cultures and how music is told in those cultures.
“Music is very tribal,” he explains. “I’m always interested in exploring different cultures. Music helps melt those lines for people to break below the surface into their subconscious. It’s connecting humans together.”
Micich is passionate about creating both original music and art in a space that fosters creativity, which takes place in an old 1887 schoolhouse converted into an art and recording studio. By performing in places built by hand centuries ago, he feels connected and respected by his ancestors.
Each time Micich performs, it’s more than putting notes together; it’s staying present in the moment and connecting with the audience.
“I get up in the morning, and I’m excited about the urge to do something,” he says. “I want three lifetimes.” ♦