MICHAEL LEVY - Composer & Performer of the Lyre of Antiquity

"Michael Levy is a genius and his music, be careful, is a magic spell" 

Veronica Naudascher - CD Baby Review

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's musical vision was influenced in part, from the similar 'New Ancestral Music' of both the composers Luis Paniagua of Spain and Petros Tabouris of Greece, in addition to the work in just intonation and ancient Greek microtonal scales, by the late American microtonal composer, Harry Partch.

Since 2006, Michael has focused his unique skills, at both intensively researching & recreating the ancient playing-techniques of the lyres of antiquity. Basing these techniques from both illustrations of ancient lyre players and the various playing-techniques still practiced today in Africa, he has independently produced 30 releases since 2008. The story of his music recently featured in international news releases in The Hindu and The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Michael's historic lyre music has been featured in support of exhibitions at the British Museum, The Oriental Institute of Chicago, The Royal Ontario Museum and currently features as the permanent soundscapes of the Museum of the Bible in Washington DC.

Michael has 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 ballet production, "No Lander", independently produced feature films, ancient-themed podcasts, audio books, educational and academic publications, DVD's and CD's, as well as in ancient-themed, cult PC games!

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...

Michael was born in Liverpool in 1968 & studied Philosophy at the University of Hull. After living in Manchester, where for many years, he worked as both a piano tutor, he now lives with his wife & daughter, Rosalind & Rosie, on the border of semi-rural South Wales, UK : where in his new role, as a full-time "Musical Shaman", he continues to his relentless quest - of bringing the ancient soul of music back into the modern world...




As an independent artist, always seeking new potential target audiences for his music, Michael is always willing to consider the licensing of his unique, ancient-themed music - to museum exhibitions all over the world, museum audio/visual tour guides, podcasts, independent film-makers, television or radio producers interested in using any of his distinctively 'micro-niche' historical music, academic projects, presentations, CD's and video productions or even PC games requiring a musical evocation of the ancient world -  a PDF of Michael's Press Pack can be freely downloaded here . 

For all music licensing requests and negotiations, please contact Michael directly!

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



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.


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:



A broad selection of examples  of Michael's work can be found on his extensive YouTube Channel which currently has over twelve thousand subscribers:



Michael's most viewed video on YouTube, his arrangement for solo lyre of the Bronze Age Hurrian Hymn Text H6, which at about 3,400 years old, is the oldest written melody so far discovered in history, featured in an article in "The Daily Mail Online"




iTunes -- https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/michael-levy/4324920 Amazon -- https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=ntt_srch_drd_B001GM2NRO?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Michael%20Levy&index=digital-music&search-type=ss Spotify -- https://open.spotify.com/artist/7Dx2vFEg8DmOJ5YCRm4A5v Bandcamp -- https://michaellevy.bandcamp.com/ CD Baby -- http://www.cdbaby.com/artist/MichaelLevy Google Play -- https://play.google.com/store/music/artist/Michael_Levy?id=Aub67i4brce5ocjehdoblrxxc4i&hl=en_GB YouTube -- http://www.youtube.com/user/Klezfiddle1 Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyre Twitter -- https://twitter.com/AncientLyre Instagram -- https://www.instagram.com/mlevy1400bce/ Google+ -- https://plus.google.com/u/0/101668149345016717273/posts SoundCloud -- https://soundcloud.com/ancient-lyre



And as a gift to you by www.ancientlyre.com, use the coupon MICHAELLEVY01 to get an extra discount of 25 euros!


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