Michael Levy is a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, whose musical mission is to create an entirely new musical genre, which could best be described as a 'New Ancestral Music' - dedicated to reintroducing the recreated lyres, ancient musical modes and intonations, back into the modern musical world...
Michael has collaborated with the Grammy award winning Canadian composer, Rufus Wainwright - Rufus has arranged one of Michael's ancient lyre-themed compositions "Hymn to Zeus", in two scenes of his second opera, "Hadrian"; which premiered in Toronto on 13th October 2018.
Michael has also received airplay on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Wales, with his music featured on television productions on ITV, BBC Four and internationally, on the Greek TV channel EPT3.
His bespoke, ancient-themed compositions have featured in theatre productions, Riccardo Buscarini's London ballet production, "No Lander", several independently produced feature films and many ancient-themed podcasts. His lyre music has been used in audio books, as well as educational CD's/DVD's and educational publications. Michael's 'micro-niche' ancient-themed lyre music has also recently found a new 21st century niche; in ancient-themed, cult PC games!
Michael has gained academic recognition for his work and his lyre playing was featured in an article entitled "The Universal Lyre: Three Perspectives" by Dr Diana Rowan, published in "The American Harp Journal" in the Summer of 2013.
As an internationally acclaimed early music artist, Michael has performed live, at the Stockholm Early Music Festival; the biggest early music festival in the Nordic countries and was recently invited to perform his lyres at the University of Oxford for an event featured as part of the European Festival of Latin and Greek.
For a taste of Michael's live performances, below is a HD video featuring one of Michael's evocations of the lost music of ancient Rome - a unique bonus outtake from the filming of Waldemar Januszczak's 4-part BBC Four television documentary series from Autumn 2012, "The Dark Ages An Age of Light"
This unique BBC Four HD video of Michael's live lyre performance can be freely downloaded from the Dropbox download link here
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO MICHAEL'S MUSIC FOR SOLO LYRE
For the majority of Michael's earlier albums, recorded between 2008 - 2013, he played modern evocations of the ancient 10-string Biblical lyre called the “kinnor” – once played by his very own, very ancient Levite ancestors in the Temple of Jerusalem, to accompany the singing of the Levitical Choir.
The kinnor is documented in both the Biblical texts & the writings of the 1st century Jewish historian, Flavius Josephus, who actually witnessed the Levites play their lyres in the Temple of Jerusalem during the 1st century CE and what may be the only known actual depiction of the instrument, appears on the Bar Kokhba coins, minted at the time of the Simon Bar Kokhba Revolt against the Roman occupation of Judea, between 132 - 136 CE:
As Michael soon began to realize, the Biblical kinnor of his Levite ancestors (at least from the illustration of the elongated lyre seen on the Bar Kokhba coins), was strikingly similar to the ancient Egyptian lyre of the New Kingdom, the ancient Greek kithara & later, the Roman kithara - Michael therefore went on to explore evoking & recreating the music of ancient Egypt, the music of ancient Greece & the music of ancient Rome, with both original compositions for lyre in a selection of some of the original ancient musical modes, as well as arrangements of some of some of the actual music of ancient Greece. These recording projects can be heard in Michael's album releases between 2009 - 2013.
COLLABORATION WITH LUTHIEROS IN "THE LYRE 2.0 PROJECT"
Since 2014, Michael has also been closely collaborating with Luthieros; the specialist replica lyre makers in Thessaloníki, Greece, in their inspirational "Lyre 2.0 Project" - dedicated to reintroducing the beautiful lyres of antiquity back into the hands of every modern musician; a fascinating project now featured as a new entry in the world-renowned “Ancient History Encyclopaedia”
Michael has featured the Luthieros replica of the ancient Greek kithara and tortoise shell lyres in most of his recordings since 2014. As part of Michael’s ongoing collaboration with Luthieros, he performed his first series of international live lyre performances in Thessaloniki in October 2015:
MICHAEL'S YOUTUBE CHANNEL
A broad selection of examples of Michael's work can be found on his extensive YouTube Channel
New videos are published on Michael's YouTube Channel on the 1st of each & every month...be sure not to miss an episode of these ongoing meditative 'Musical Adventures in Time Travel'!