Michael Levy is a contemporary man with a psalmist's touch, and best of all, he's conversant with a historical instrument. There's no longer a need to imagine the soothing music young David might played in the courts of King Saul. It's here. Michael Levy's hard-won ability to channel musical history is uncanny and goes beyond the obvious scales and period melodies. His work is the kind of magic that happens when the right kind of musician immerses him of herself into a cultural or spiritual music"
This reissue of one of Michael Levy's older albums features not only a new cover (weird and unplayable-looking though the lyres in the painting are), but new mastering which puts the tracks sonically in authentic Middle Eastern caves and cathedrals. The reverb is so well done that one needs a sensitive ear to know the tracks weren't originally played in such places. The tracks themselves were performed on a nylon-strung Mid-East Mfg. Co. *kinnor (Semitic lyre), which is a poor acoustic instrument and difficult to play. Michael's mastery of the instrument even at this early stage of his career is phenomenal and the equal temperament he was still using then gives this reissued recording an almost organ-like sound. The tunes themselves are taken mostly from the klezmer music reperatory and all but one or two appear to be in the "prayer mode" made famous in modern times by Abraham Idelsohn's folk dance tune "Hava Nagila". The use of the mode and the shape of the melodic line puts a stamp on the music and the performance which evoked in my mind the image of an old man walking down an endless road with a heavy load on his back."
Michael Levy has done a tremendous service to the educational world in producing this music for ancient lyre and taking the time and effort to research and recreate the sounds of the past in the most authentic way possible. I have shared his work with my students and found it to be very helpful in conveying the message not only of what music most likely sounded like in ancient times, and particularly in religious worship, but also the appreciation of the process of resuscitating the sounds of the past. I am very grateful for his work and look forward to sharing more of it with the students I write for in the future"
"I bought this album and I am very pleased with it. Thank you Michael Levy for sharing your talents with us. I am very blessed by this music and I feel it creates an atmosphere where I can draw near to God in holiness. The music is very special to me and I know that God has written the very chords of these melodies for the angels of God and man to enjoy. I recommend this album for anyone who wishes to create a peaceful and holy environment in the home but also to those who appreciate world music from the ancient Middle East"
This album is my attempt to recreate the sound of the Biblical "Nevel" - one of the ancient Biblical lyres played over 2000 years ago in the Temple of Jerusalem to accompany the singing of the Levitical Choir. Tracks from this album were featured in a fascinating video produced by the Israeli radio presenter, Yishai Fleisher: