Ancient Landscapes

by Michael Levy

Released 2011
Released 2011
A "Musical Adventure in Time Travel"! The Music of Ancient Mesopotamia, the Music of Ancient Egypt & Israel, the Music of Ancient Greece & Rome - let the magical Journey commence...
This album, is a unique compilation of some of the very best tracks of my 10 Albums of Ancient Lyre Music. The repertoire on this album includes my arrangement on replica 3000 year old Lyre, of the oldest known written musical fragment so far discovered, in my performance of Dr Dumbrill's interpretation of Hurrian Hymn (Text H6) from ancient Ugarit in Mespopotamia (a video of my live performance of this piece, recently featured in the world-acclaimed "Biblical Archaeological Review").

The track "Shadow of the Ziggurat" was originally recorded for my album, "Ancient Visions - New Compositions For An Ancient Lyre". This album features original compositions for my replica 3000 year old lyre, inspired by ancient Mesopotamia. "Shadow of the Ziggurat" explores an ancient percussive style of lyre playing, wherby the strings of the lyre, instead of being plucked with either the fingers or a plectrum, are hit with a wooden baton (similar to a modern hammered dulcimer). This technique can be seen on the famous Bas Reliefs of musicians from the runin of the Palace at Nineveh - these reliefs date back to c.700BCE.

I also explore an evocation of the music of Ancient Egypt, in my perfomance of improvisations on some of the actual Ancient Egyptian minor pentatonic scales, as deciphered by the late Professor Hans Hickmann of the Museum in Cairo, from chironomy gestures - chironomy is an ancient form of musical notation dating back to the 4th Dynasty, whereby specific hand gestures represented specific changes in the pitch of a melody. These improvisations are "Echoes of Ancient Egypt" (from my album, "An Ancient Lyre") & "The Music of Moses" (from my album, "King David's Lyre; Echoes of Ancient Israel").

I also further experiment at evoking the music of Ancient Egypt, in my arrangement for lyre, of some traditional Egyptian folk songs from Port Said in my albums "An Ancient Lyre" & "Apollos' Lyre" - the track "Hymn to Horus" (originally from my album "Apollo's Lyre") is my re-named arrangement for my replica lyre, of the Egyptian folk song, "One Day We Blamed Eachother"

I then explore an evocation of the Music of Ancient Israel, with a selection of tracks (some renamed for this album), originally heard on from albums, "King David's Lyre; Echoes of Ancient Israel", "Lyre of the Levites" & "The Ancient Biblical Lyre"....

The tracks "The Music of Moses", "The Temple of Jerusalem" & "Ark of the Covenant" are taken from my album "King David's Lyre; Echoes of Ancient Israel" & "Lyres of the Levites" can be heard on track 1 on my album, "Lyre of the Levites". These 2 albums explore the sound of the 10-string Biblical "Kinnor" - the 10-string lyre once played by my very own, very ancient Levite ancestors in the Temple of Jerusalem to accompany the singing of the Levitical that's what I call "Roots Music"!

The tracks "King David Danced" & "Ashir Shirim" can be originally heard on my album, "The Ancient Biblical Lyre". This album explored the sound of the elusive Biblical "Nevel" - a 12 string lyre also played by the Levites in the Temple of Jerusalem. From the writings of Flavius Josephus & the Mishna (an early Rabbinical text), there is evidence to suggest this was a skin-membrane lyre, similar to the ancient Greek Lyra or Barbitos...

We then move on our "Musical Adventure in Time Travel" to hear some of the actual music of Ancient Greece! The tracks "Epitaph of Seikios", "The First Delphic Hymn To Apollo" & "Lament of Simonides" were originally heard on my album, "The Ancient Greek Lyre". This album explores the Kithara - my replica Biblical Kinnor is almost identical to the Ancient Greek Kithara - the large wooden lyre, once favoured by the professional musicians of Ancient Greece.

On our exploration through Ancient Greece, some of my own compositions for Kithara-style lyre can be heard - "Apollo's Lyre" can be heard on track 1, from my album "Apollo's Lyre" and "Hymn To Zeus" also features on this earlier album. "Glory of the Parthenon" & "Procession of the Olympians" originally featured on my album "The Ancient Greek Modes" - a unique EP of original compositions for Kithara-style replica lyre, in each of the 7 original Ancient Greek Modes (as described in the writings of Plato & Aristotle, some 2400 years ago).

We then arrive in ancient Rome, with the track "Roman Banquet", originally heard on my EP album, "Echoes of Ancient Rome". This album features 7 original compositions for lyre in a selection of authentic ancient musical modes. The compositions on this album were mainly inspired by the Temples of Ancient Rome...

This compilation closes with my mediative composition for replica 3000 year old Lyre, "Ancient Vibrations"...track 1 from my album, also entitled "Ancient Vibrations". This album explores the healing aspects of King David's Lyre, as so vividly described in the Biblical text, of how King David soothed the troubles of Saul, with the sound of his Lyre (the 10-string Biblical Kinnor). This album is suitable for reiki, relaxation & spiritual contemplation...


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