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

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!