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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Mucho Mega Music from Michael



Michael Levy has some wonderful news about his re-re-release, and some fabulous links for you to follow. Check out every single one of them, and don't forget to write reviews!

Third Time Lucky!

I am pleased to announce the re-re-RE release of my second compilation album, "Musical Adventures in Time Travel"...phew!

Trying to compile a suitable selection of the best tracks from my lyre albums has proved to be a task which almost needed the invocation of Apollo to achieve. It all began earlier this year...

At 23 tracks, the first release was far too long to fit onto the physical CD of the album (manufactured on demand by Reverbnation) and I grew to hate the album artwork I somewhat too hastily came up with!

In the second release, I loved the album cover -  "Alcaeus of Mytilene playing a kithara while Sappho listens" by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1881".Tadema does through art, what I intend to do through my music! However, at 22 tracks, I still could not squeeze them all into CD format, and since its release, I had recorded my new extended length single, "Orpheus's Lyre: Lament For Solo Lyre in the Just Intonation of Antiquity" and my audio producer, Dominik Johnson also came up with an amazing new mix for my other extended length single, "Ancient Lyre Strings", both of which I wanted to include in the final compilation...ARGH!

Therefore, in the third and final release, I edited the compilation to my favourite18 tracks. These include the track "Realm of the Ancestors" -  for possibly the first time in 3000 years, a unique duet of lyre and harp, featuring the wonderfully delicate harp accompaniment to my spontaneous lyre improvisation, provided by the talented folk harpist, Rebecca Penkett

In my endless quest of seeking musical perfection, my final version of "Musical Adventures in Time Travel", now includes all my extended length singles, including a track which only exists by pure serene serendipity...

"The Battle of Thermopylae - Paean For Solo lyre", another of my recently released extended length singles, was originally nothing but a random rough recording I did whilst improvising in my experiments to try and imitate an electric guitar pitch-bending "whammy bar" on lyre - using my right hand wrist as the said "whammy bar" on the top string above the  bridge, during some wild strummed sections!

I uploaded the raw audio file to Mediafire for possible future use and then completely forgot about it - for 3 years!! It was only whilst I was providing Dominik Johnson with the Mediafire URLs of my raw audio files for mixing in compiling "Musical Adventures in Time Travel", that purely by chance, I happened to accidentally copy and paste the URL to my frenzied lyre whammy bar improvisation, instead of the track I actually intended to send Dominik to mix!

The result is a bit rough and hissy compared to the other tracks in the compilation, but it sure ROCKS!!! Here is a video I recently uploaded to my Youtube Channel, featuring a clip of this piece:



The Rocky Road To Musical Perfection!

My second compilation also demonstrates the ruthless, relentless refining process I have put myself though over the last few years! My arrangement for solo lyre, of Dr Richard Dumbrill's interpretation of the 3400 year old Hurrian Hymn Text H6, started out as a now virtually viral, lo-fi Youtube video (recorded back in 2008 with my then suitably "Bronze Age" webcam!):


I eventually recorded a better quality version of this arrangement, which I bravely attempted to mix myself on my chunky old desktop, which then featured in my early experimental album from 2009, "An Ancient Lyre" - the only album I have ever been bold enough to attempt to produce from scratch myself!

Later in 2009, thanks to the now sadly defunct Myspace, I became acquainted with the awesome music production skills of Dominik Johnson, who masterfully re-mixed the raw audio of the recording - this then featured as track 1 from my first compilation album of 2011, "Ancient Landscapes".

In my new version of the Hurrian Hymn, now forming track 1 of "Musical Adventures in Time Travel", this time, I recorded my arrangement on my new hand-made lyre, using strings made of wound silk (made by ancient string technology expert, Peter Pringle) for a unique, truly ancient timbre - these strings provide almost the nearest match in tone to the unpolished strings of either wound gut or natural fibre which were generally used on the actual lyres of antiquity.

In this new arrangement, I also tuned my lyre in the wonderfully pure-sounding just intonation of antiquity, and for the repeat of the theme in my new arrangement, I experimented in the ancient Mesopotamian percussive lyre playing technique (using a small wooden baton to hit the strings, rather like a hammered dulcimer).

In the production of this track, Dominik also somehow managed to create a haunting natural reverb, authentically sampled from an actual Iranian cave -the relentless quest of seeking musical perfection!

This final arrangement of the Hurrian Hymn is currently being used in support of the exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum - "Mesopotamia - Inventing Our World" (CDs of "Musical Adventures in Time Travel" are also available to purchase from the Royal Ontario Museum Shop). Below is a video featuring a clip from my new arrangement of the Hurrian Hymn:


The physical CDs of my compilation album "Musical Adventures in Time Travel" and indeed, of absolutely every other one of my many releases, are available to order, anywhere in the world, from my Reverbnation Store. This epic new compilation album is currently available from iTunesAmazonand lossless audio or 320kbps quality MP3s of the album are available to download from both CD Baby and Bandcamp.

NB! Any new reviews of either this new album or any other of my releases on either iTunes or Amazon would be utterly, amazingly appreciated - many thanks!!




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