REVIEWS

[The Night Shifters is] a fascinating ride. The voice feels a lot like Neil Gaiman. This is a huge compliment in my mind, and one not to be taken lightly.” - Melinda VanLone Reviews

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Become a True Patron



Music lovers, Michael Levy's work is a labor of love, and it's worth supporting. I urge you to follow this link and make a pledge. You don't need to pledge a lot – you'd be amazed at how much good you can do with just a couple of dollars (pounds? euros?) a month. Follow the links and help Michael keep the beauty of ancient music in the world! I'll be doing the same . . .

Your Support would be a 'Libation to Apollo'!


Dear Loyal Lyre Music Fan,

I am writing to invite you to support my ongoing musical mission, with the launch of my new Patreon campaign!

Indeed, without the support of a record company in my musical quest to reintroduce the recreated lyres and ancient musical modes back into the mostly bland and soulless modern muscial world, my entire work of the last decade, relies entirely on you, my precious team of loyal online followers, to keep spreading the word about my music across social media, blog posts, album reviews etc, so that it can finally reach the new enlightened few!

If, say, 10,000 of my almost 12,000 YouTube subscribers were to pledge just a small monthly donation to my musical mission; to fund the enormous personal cost of replica ancient lyre maintence and acquisition, recording and video equipment, website hosting and most of all, my time to create new compositions, arrangements, recordings, album releases and YouTube videos, then I could finally transform my 'labour of love', into a full-time, creative career!

Your contribution, no matter how small, would literally be a contribution to the development of music itself, so that the world can finally hear again, the long-forgotten, haunting ancient sound of the lyre, resonating across the millenia, into the music of our distant future...be a part of my musical vision!

In return, I can offer my new patrons one-one Skype time; to ask any questions they like about my musical projects, free custom-requested downloads of any track from any one of my albums in any format specified and eventually, maybe even to set up a monthly YouTube podcast series in which my patrons take turns to interview me on my any aspect of my musical mission they want.

Once I have attained this first goal, the next goal to to aquire a magnificent replica of the Bronze Age Megiddo Lyre for my next recording and YouTube projects!

Here, once more, is the direct URL of my brand new Patreon Page:

https://www.patreon.com/Michael_Levy_Ancient_Lyre_Music


Thank you all so much, for your invaluable support over the years - you are all to me, now and forever, a gift from the ancient gods!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Michael's Ancient Lyre Music in the USA!



American lovers of ancient music, rejoice! Here are two events in the U.S. To check out in November:

Ancient Greek Lyre Music in Seattle & Ancient Biblical Lyre Music in Washington DC!

I am delighted to announce that my lyre music is literally 'taking over the USA'! In November 2017, there are two monolithically massive events coming up for all you lovely lyre lover's diaries...

1) Ancient Greek Lyre Music - in Seattle!

On 8th November, tracks from my ancient Greek and Roman-themed albums are to be played to 'set the stage' for an event in Seattle, gathering artists and performers to help reflect on how Americans talk about politics today, a full year after the USA's 2016 presidential election. The event will be in downtown Seattle's civic park, and there will be some vague references back to the classical democracies of Athens and Rome - all set to the soundtrack of my ancient Greek-themed lyre music!

Full details of the event can be found here2) Ancient Biblical Lyre Music - in Washington DC!

On 17th November 2017, a selection of tracks from my debut album, "King David's Lyre; Echoes of Ancient Israel" and "King David's Harp" are to be featured, in perpetuity, for the soundscapes being created for the brand new 500 million dollar Museum of the Bible, due to open in Washington DC!Just for you, my loyal lyre loving fans, here is a sneak preview of the music which will be featured in the soundscape - heard here, in an as yet unpublished YouTube video presentation I recently put together, featuring clips of the tracks which will form the new soundscape for the Museum of the Bible, currently being put together by the Richard Lewis Media Group:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox7K6_oOIzw

In readiness for the official opening of the Museum of the Bible, currently scheduled for 17th November, this video will be made 'public' on YouTube on 12th November.

The perpetual licensing of my ancient Biblical-themed releases finally brings immortality to my musical mission of creating a 'new ancestral music' - in this case, for me personally, this is the ultimate honour in bringing back my very own ancient ancestral music back to life - all my ancient Biblical-themed albums were originally inspired by my fascination and yearning to connect directly back with my very own, very ancient Levite ancestors, who over 2000 years ago, played their Biblical lyres in the Levitical Ensemble to accompany the singing of the Levitical Choir during the actual services in the Temple of Jerusalem.

Almost 2000 years since the Biblical lyre of my Levite ancestors fell silent following the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE, my recreation of their ancient sacred musical tradition will now forever, live on...

Michael's Free Concert!



If you're in Greece this weekend, check out Michael's free concert. See the info below . . .

Gift of Gods III

I am delighted to announce my free Luthieros ancient Greek lyre promotional concert, "Gift of Gods III", live in the Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece, at 19.30 on on 7th October, 2017!

Here is the official promotional video about the event - to shortly be broadcast across national Greek television:

https://youtu.be/lsmmOEJOZ2E
Here is an English translation of all the details of the day's events:
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Ancient Bendir Learning Workshop (percussion)
Nikos Varelas (professional musician - percussionist)
11:00 - 13:00, Hall of Merkouri, Museum of Byzantine Culture

Workshop for the Learning of the Ancient Greek Lyra
Jordan Koumartzis (professional musician)
15:00 - 17:00, Hall of Merkouri, Museum of Byzantine Culture

Hermes: the incarnation of music and the anomalous nature of harmony
George Saratsis (Professor of Physical Education, author)
18:00 - 19:00, Hall of Merkouri, Museum of Byzantine Culture

Presentation of Seikilo Xanthi
19:00 - 19:30, Hall of Merkouri, Museum of Byzantine Culture

Ancient Musical Wanderings
Michael Levy (British musician, best-known ancient lyre player worldwide)
19:30 - 20:30, Hall of Merkouri, Museum of Byzantine Culture

All these details, including full details of venue address and contact information etc, can be found on my website events calendar

Hope to see some of you there!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We Interrupt this Used Book Store Crawl for an Announcement About EM'S NEW BOOK!




I'd love to tell you my book is coming out next month. But it's coming out May 1.

Still – looka the gorgeous cover! It's mind-blowingly fabulous!

And besides, you can reserve it. Here are some lovely links to help you do that.





And here's a link to the web page of Sam Weber, the wonderful artist who did the cover . . .


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Bonus Album!


Lyre fans take heed! Don't miss this offer from Michael Levy:

Roll over, Bieber...I'm taking over the airwaves!

Created especially for you, all my loyal lyre music loving fans - a FREE bonus compilation album, just this minute published on Bandcamp!

This one-off release features all the main radio airplay I have so far had, of both my lyre music and full length radio interviews: on BBC Radio 3, (playing Mozart, Beethoven - and me!), BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, BBC Radio WM 95.6 and the 3-part interview broadcast by New York radio producer and presenter, Zach Martin...

According to Zach Martin, on his webpage, he has "had the pleasure of interviewing Paul McCartney, Ringo, Yoko, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and numerous other legends" - I guess I have officially become a 'legend'!! ;)

Not only this, for any German-speaking lovers of lyre music, the free compilation album includes the hour-long German-translated interview/playlist I had back in 2012 on the German radio station "Freies Radio W├╝ste Welle".

The freely available album is available now, from my Bandcamp store:

https://michaellevy.bandcamp.com/album/michael-levys-lyre-on-the-radioThanks once more, everyone, for all your invaluable support in my ongoing musical mission!

Warmest wishes...from the wet and windy UK!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The 2017 Used Book Store Crawl, Flagstaff Edition




It's August again, and pretty soon I'll be updating my report about thrift shops in New Mexico. But a recent visit from my young nephew, an aspiring writer and book fiend, led me to research used book stores in Arizona. I wanted to plan a short trip to visit stores in Flagstaff, Cottonwood, and Prescott.

I discovered used book stores when I was a young teenager, and my introduction to that dusty realm was a revelation. Like most kids, I didn't have a lot of spending money, and I had thought I would have to rely solely on the library to satisfy my book cravings. The library is a great place for a kid who's still learning what she likes to read.

But eventually you know which authors you like, and buying their books at retail can be expensive. So when I realized there were used book stores, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I've been visiting used book stores ever since, but I admit there had been a long gap between my last visit to a used book store and the ones I took recently with my nephew and my husband. I noticed only one change during that gap, and it's a logical one – the prices are a bit higher than you might expect.

This makes sense when you consider the internet. One of the things that connectivity does is make people aware of what things are worth. Some people believe a book should only cost 50 cents if it's used. After all – it's used. But if there's demand for that title, it's worth more. So the lowest price we found on any book during our Used Book Store Crawl was $2.00. But we still came home with a trunk-load of books. (Fair warning to those of you who were hoping to lighten your bookshelves instead of running to Ikea to buy a new one so you can store the extra titles.)

Flagstaff was the first city on our stop. We found an inexpensive hotel that (coincidentally) backed onto the rear lot of the Galaxy Diner, our favorite restaurant in Flagstaff. I love their pot roast sandwich; Ernie usually goes for the meat loaf, and Miles had the chicken-fried steak two days in a row. (You get 10% off your bill if you wear the Galaxy Diner T-shirt.)

I had done a google search for good used book stores in Flagstaff and had come up with a page of possibilities. But as it turned out, when we actually hit the streets, we only found two of the book stores listed in my search. (NOTE: I didn't put Bookman's on the list. It's a fairly big chain, and even though I would recommend it to people looking for used books, I wanted to explore small, indie shops.)

One of the things I like about Flagstaff is that the people who own and/or work in the small businesses there are very representative of the West. They're knowledgable about what they're selling, but have a low-key style. If you ask them questions, you can learn quite a lot.

Another thing I like is that you can also find used books in a lot of the antique stores – and there are several. So if you really want to do a proper book crawl in Flagstaff, google the antique shops too.

Here are the two book shops we visited:

Starrlight Books

15 N Leroux St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 774-6813
Route 66, near old town shopping, between Beaver and San Francisco Street
This one is an old-fashioned used book store, and one of the easiest to find. All three of us picked up several titles each. Here's a photo of our haul:


Bright Side Books
18 N San Francisco St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 440-5041
Off Old Route 66, North on San Fransisco, in the old shopping district.


Bright Side Books sells new books, but it's a wonderful shop with an eclectic selection. I bought some Where the Wild Things Are socks (ones like the monster feet in the book). You are going to miss something special if you don't visit this shop.


It was just the first day of our trip, and already we were filling up the trunk of our car with books. But there was more to come, my friends. Much more . . .



NEXT TIME: Getting Lost in the Stacks in Cottonwood 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Stockholm and Sri Lanka -- Together Again for the First Time . . .



I'm late posting these announcements for Michael, but don't let that stop you! Follow the links below!

Roll over, Orpheus...Here I Come!

I am delighted to announce two new fantastic international exposures to my ongoing musical quest - to reintroduce the beautiful lyres of antiquity back into our bland, soulless modern musical world...

1. The Stockholm Early Music Festival
I will be performing my lyres and holding a seminar at the Stockholm Early Music Festival on 4th June 2017 - the biggest early music festival in all of the Nordic countries! 

Here are all the details and how to obtain tickets for this event:
http://www.semf.se/semf-2017/event/1390


2. My Story in the Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
The complete story of the inspiration behind my musical mission recently found international coverage in a full page story in "The Daily Mirror" (Sri Lanka):

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Michael Levy on Greek TV!



Michael has received some well-due appreciation from Greek TV to ancient music for his devotion – click on the links and check it out:

OMG! I'm on national Greek TV!!!

At last! I finally have found a few snippets of 'international televised glory', appearing in an episode of the fascinating Greek language documentary series, "Beyond Borders", broadcast on the national Greek TV channel EPT3.

This particular episode was on recreating both renaissance and ancient musical instruments. From about 26 minutes into the documentary, this TV show wonderfully visually captures, in gorgeous HD, some of the magnificent recreations of the ancient Greek lyre, phorminx, arched harps and kithara of the 'Golden Age' of classical Greece; all lovingly handmade in modern Greece by the inspirational Luthieros master luthier, Anastasios Koumartzis.

From around 38 minutes into the show,several clips of the video shoots of my lyre-playing during my epic trip to  the Luthieros team in Thessaloniki back in October 2015 are featured, as well as some background music featuring tracks from my album  "A Well Tuned Lyre: The Just Intonation of Antiquity" (in addition to a few clips of my virtually viral,  original 'live' YouTube arrangement of the 3400 year old Hurrian Hymn!)

The documentary also includes fascinating details of the painstaking process of the hand-crafted construction of the Lutherios lyres (even although regrettably, literally the only Greek word I can actually recognise is 'Yamas''!)

This amazing TV documenary is able to be seen anywhere in the world, anytime, live-streaming from here 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Servant (and Co.)



If you've worked in the book biz (or the movie or music biz, for that matter) you feel cautious about announcing deals to the public. Those deals sometimes evaporate like fairy gold in the light of day. But I've signed and returned the contracts, and my editor has made an announcement about the deal to professional trade publications, so I think I can go out on a limb and announce that I've sold two books to Tor, both based on the novelette that was published in Clarkesworld, “The Servant.” The first book (titled Medusa Uploaded) is complete, and is in the editing stage now – the second one is in progress. Tentatively, the first should appear in Spring 2018 (watch this space, because that could change). As soon as I get a file of the cover art, I'll post it here.


I'm very grateful to Neil Clark for publishing that original story. Without, it would have been a lot harder to sell two novels. So it really is worthwhile to write short stories and send them out (try ralan.com for SF/F/Horror market reports).  

Ernest Hogan Illustrated this post.  He drew a picture of a nightmare I had about being chased by a spider monkey.  I'm thinking maybe that spider represents new responsibilities . . .

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Blooey-pocalypse



Considering the current state of affairs in the world (and particularly in the White House), I'm guessing that no one is particularly alarmed that I haven't been posting updates about my stories that are currently accessible online. But, what the hell – sometimes the only things we can fix are the things we're able to do ourselves. I have a strong suspicion that within the next year we're going to see another American president get impeached (unless he resigns first or is taken out by some (semi-)obscure constitutional procedure). Because of the power struggle between the two major parties (and also within those parties), things are probably not going to get better until they get a lot worse. This is one of those times in history when truth is stranger than fiction and fiction is a reflection of that larger reality.

That's the best segue I can wrestle out of this collection of ideas, so I'll cut to the chase. The first story is titled “The Cat at the End ofthe World”, and it was published in Cicada Magazine. It addresses a theme that was popular even before someone started taking the nuclear football along with him to Mar-a-Lago: an apocalypse caused by arrogance and stupidity. But along with the second story I'm going to tell you about, it also explores the idea of rescue. What and who is worth saving?

The second story is “Now is the Hour”, published in Clarkesworld Magazine. It explores a much bigger picture, multiple worlds instead of just Earth, and apocalypses both personal and planetary. I dreamed both a happy and a sad ending for this story, and when I woke I realized with one ending it wouldn't be tolerable and with the other it wouldn't be believable. But what if there was a way for the characters to experience both endings?

People have been fascinated with the idea of apocalypse since we first started imagining cosmology. Many of us experience it on a personal level at least once in our lives (not including the day we die). In my case, I happen to live within 30 miles of Luke Air Force Base – Air Defense North America. Any ICBM from China or Russia would take me out within the first twenty minutes of an exchange. That doesn't scare me. It pisses me off.

But anger is only useful if you can do something constructive with it. So I'm painting my house and getting rid of stuff I don't need. I go to work every day at a job I like. I'm writing new short stories. I just finished writing a novel based on my novella, “The Servant.” Now I'm working on the sequel, Olympians. I'm gardening, and working on my health, and taking care of my family. Those are things I can do.


Washington is going to have to sort out its own mess. The sooner, the better.   



The International Appeal of the Ancient Lyre



Michael Levy has been interviewed in a prestigious English-language Indian paper. Click the link below to read!

My Interview in "The Hindu"

Excerpts of an interview about the story of my lyre music has just gone to print today in "The Hindu"; India's no.1 literary English daily and the biggest English language newspaper in the whole of Southeast Asia!

The story features in the prestigious section 'Friday Review', where international artists of high calibre are featured. The full story can be read here 

It never ceases to amaze me, that music I mostly create and record in my humble spare room studio, increasingly has reached not only a global stage in recent years, but also now has found truly cross-cultural appeal...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ascension of the Lyre



Listen up all you Spock fans and cosmic music lovers – here's your big chance to explore the soul of the Vulcan and your own cosmic roots at the same time. And if you're willing to do some promotion for Michael Levy, the experience is free! Such a deal! Click! Promote! Enjoy!

Ascension of the Lyre

I am pleased to announce the release on all major digital music stores and streaming sites today, of "Ascension of the Lyre"; my most ultra-experimental album...ever!

This album is my most visionary recording project to date, attempting to ascend the lyre of antiquity from oblivion, onto a psychedelic musical odyssey through the solar system and beyond, into the music of our far distant future...

Inspired by the otherworldly sound of the "Star Trek" character, Spock's "Vulcan Harp", 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, magically metamorphosing the sound of the lyre into a 'musical spaceship', evoking cosmic visions of strange and distant worlds...

The album already has an extended review, which can be read here.

Here is the link to my brand new webpage, which lists all the major digital music stores and streaming sites from which the album can be purchased, the YouTube 'promo' video can be viewed and from which a PDF booklet of the detailed album notes can be freely downloaded:
http://www.ancientlyre.com/new_age_ambient_space_music_album/ascension_of_the_lyre/

As an 'independent artist', without the benefit of a record company to promote my music, for the first time ever, I am actually offering the chance to receive this album for free - in return for promoting the release on my behalf!

Great ways to promote the album, are in the form of online blog posts, album reviews on major digital music stores such as iTunes or Amazon and social media shares about the album, including links to streaming sites such as Spotify etc.

If anyone would like to become my 'promo agent' for the this album and in return, to receive this release for freesimply drop me a line!

Thanks once more, everyone, for your invaluable support in my ongoing musical mission to put some lost ancient soul into the soulless, modern musical world...

The Epic of Thebes




Michael Levy has been busy, so there are lots of new links for you to follow to get your favorite music. Click and feast your ears!

The Epic of Thebes (Story of Passion and War)


I am delighted to announce a brand new collaboration with the Egyptian film score composer, Remon Sakr!

For my collaboration in this project, I provided an ancient Egyptian-themed improvisation for lyre, which Sakr orchestrated for two of the tracks on his debut album, "The Epic of Thebes (Story of Passion & War)" - an epic musical journey into the era of Pharaoh Ahmose I and his struggle against the Hyksos...

For track 5, "The Holy Nile (Hymn to Hapi)"the melodic theme I arranged for lyre is skilfully orchestrated with a rich texture of strings and delicately punctuated by harp chords, set against evocative natural sounds of gently lapping waters and birdsong.

For track 7, "Salvations Hymn for Amun (In the North Temple of Amun)", Sakr orchestrated my lyre theme with the exotic, ancient timbres of Egyptian ney flute set against a background of hypnotic Egyptian rhythms, to set the 'ancient Egyptian feel', leading up to the ending section of the track; featuring haunting, sacred-sounding vocals, to conjure up stunning mental imagery of the sort of long-forgotten, ancient sacred rites which may once have been performed in the Temple of Amun.

Here is Sakr's official 'promo' video for the album, in which brief clips of my lyre improvisation can be heard at 0:52 and 1:37 minutes into the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0lZWcYg6iQ
 

Here is my own rough 'live' performance of the improvisation I created for the album (attempting to evoke some of Sakr's amazing ancient Egyptian-themed orchestral textures for the tracks, with my Boss RC-1 Loop Pedal!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpRsDkVUliI 

As a special bonus, for all you lovely lyre fans, here is a sneak preview of two as yet unpublished videos, featuring extended length clips of the actual tracks which feature the lyre theme I created for this album:

The Holy Nile (Hymn to Hapi):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC-KD0RbWCA


Salvations Hymn for Amun (In the North Temple of Amun):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxZ77bSgZ-A

The album is out now, on all major digital music stores, including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify - all details of where to purchase the album can now be found on Sakr's official Facebook Page.

Such a unique privilege to have had this opportunity of collaborating in such an epic, ancient Egyptian-themed musical production!