Ascension of the Lyre

by Michael Levy

Released 2017
Released 2017
Ascending the lyre of antiquity into 21st century contemporary music and way beyond!

The revolutionary vision of this album, is to literally ascend the lyre from its current status as a long-forgotten museum relic, giving it a new voice for the modern musical world. This album embarks upon a psychedelic musical odyssey through the solar system and beyond, in an attempt to evoke the music of our far distant future...

The title of this highly experimental album features a pun on the ancient Greek legend of the ascension of Orpheus from the Underworld (as depicted on the album cover - the most famous lyre player in the literature of classical antiquity) and my musical mission in this album, to literally ascend the lyre from its previous status as a dusty, long-forgotten ancient museum relic; onto a new musical journey into the 21st century and beyond.

I attempt this almost Herculean feat, by literally creating for my recreated lyres of antiquity, a new voice, by transforming their ancient timbres with a host of contemporary studio effects to evoke instead, the music of our distant future - capable of both evoking cosmic visions of strange and distant worlds and bestowing upon the enlightened listener, an eerie sense of higher consciousness.

This extended length LP album features a selection of some of my personal favourite tracks from my previous former experimental EP length releases, "21st Century Lyre Music", "Alien Harp - Music from an Alternate Universe" & "Improvisations for Contemporary Lyre at 432 Hz", meticulously remastered with cutting-edge LANDR audio-mastering technology.

The general 'cosmic' themes of the tracks featured on this album were actually inspired by the Star Trek character Spock's 'Vulcan Harp'. This album is therefore hopefully a fitting tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy - the desired result being to illustrate that the lyre of antiquity also has the hidden magic to transport the listener to the distant future as well as the ancient past, a 'musical spaceship' to take the listener on a fantasy voyage to the tapestry of strange, alien landscapes of the planets and moons of our solar system and on into an exploration of the mystery of the universe and mind.

Sadly, the wonderful classical lyre of antiquity fell into disuse and eventually oblivion at the end of the Dark Ages in the West, not replaced by the harp, but by the increasing preference and development of the fretted lute family of instruments, leading eventually to the evolution of the modern guitar and in modern times, the electric guitar, which was to become part of the very fabric of modern popular music we know today.

However, imagine an "Alternate Universe" - where instead, the preference may have been for the timeless lyre and as a consequence, all of the fiendish fretted lute family were the musical instruments which vanished from the musical map of the 21st century! Imagining such an "Alternate Universe", the classical lyre would have continued to have evolved, including the dawn of electric lyres (which would have become as familiar in popular music as the guitar is on our own, much poorer Universe!) What would the lyre have sounded like, then, if it had continued to develop into our present century?

In this new experimental album, therefore, it has been my aim to transport the forgotten lyre of antiquity into the 21st century musical experience and way beyond, using a selection of some of the very same effects which have made the electric guitar so popular. In such an alternate Universe, I wonder if the late great Jimi Hendrix would have also been inspired to set fire to the lyre?

Sit back, and enjoy your cosmic, transcendental, psychedelic musical journey to an alternate universe of sound!


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