" 'The Kithara of Classical Antiquity' seems to have a different kind of vibe to Michael Levy's other records. The most immediately recognisable difference is that this is the first record which he sings on, using minimalist vocals and strummed intros which work well to highlight the melody of each track. The vocals don't take over, leaving the lyre itself always centre piece. These vocal intros give the record a feeling of being one long performance, instead of individual tracks, a feeling which becomes more apparent and mesmerising upon repeated listens and indeed when played in random order.
One of the true delights is that there are some very nice double hand picking sections throughout, and having been playing the lyre myself for a while now I can further appreciate the skill needed to play these pieces. The fact that Michael is using an expertly handcrafted Kithara makes this perhaps his most authentically "Greek" record yet, with some class whammy guitar effects spread throughout.
Stand out tracks include "The Death of Agamemnon" which evokes an appropriately mournful feeling and opener "Odysseus and the Sirens" which combined with its oceanic backing and variety of techniques is a piece one simply never tires of listening to.
In short, this would serve as the best introduction yet to one of today's most distinct musical artists."
Le Temps Revient - Review of "The Ancient Greek Kithara of Classical Antiquity"
The kithara was the highly advanced, large wooden lyre favoured by only the true professional musicians of ancient Greece, which reached its pinnacle of perfection during the “Golden Age” of Classical Antiquity, circa 5th century BCE. My album "The Ancient Greek Kithara of Classical Antiquity" features the wonderfully recreated Kithara of the Golden Age of Classical Greece - hand-made in modern Greece by Luthieros Ancient & Modern Music Instruments
Since late 2014, I have been collaborating with Luthieros in their inspirational "Lyre 2.0 Project" - dedicated to reintroducing the wonderful lyres of antiquity back into the modern world, to make these beautiful instruments accessible to each and every modern musician.
This new series of recordings hopefully demonstrate why the kithara was so venerated in antiquity, as the instrument of the professional musician - perfect for both accompanying the human voice and for as an incredibly versatile solo instrument.
In particular, I attempt to demonstrate the wonderfully reconstructed 2500 year old vibrato mechanism, for which there is an almost overwhelming body of visual evidence to support this theory.
The main musical concept of the album is to imagine the sort of melodies which once may have accompanied recitations of some of the classic legends and epic poems of ancient Greece, which would have almost certainly have been accompanied by the kithara; the lyre of the true professional musicians of Classical antiquity. Indeed, almost all the great works of literature from ancient times were originally meant to be sang; the music giving weight and emotional emphasis to the text and in doing so, helping to convey its true meaning...
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