12 Songs, 30 Minutes


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Johanan Rakkav ,

The "Firstfruits" of The Lyre 2.0 Project

In ancient Greece, as in ancient Israel, the very "first" or "firstfruits" of the produce had to be offered to God (or to one or more of "the gods", if you were Greek) so that the rest of the produce could be accepted for human use. I can't help but be reminded of that historical fact when I listen to Michael Levy's first and splendid EP in collaboration with The Lyre 2.0 Project by Lutherios in Greece. The lyre he plays is made by Lutherios and it is unlike anything he has used on recording before: more rustic, and yet more "authentic" to its time. Like the symbolic "firstfruits" of ancient religion, this recording presages what is to come after in Michael's career.

Listening to Michael play, I'm reminded of what one might've heard in one of the more genteel Greco-Roman drinking parties, where Apollo's ascribed nobility, not Dionysius' ascribed sensuality, ruled the hour. Not for nothing was Apollo said to be the patron of the lyre, for the lyre was "the" noble instrument of antiquity - whatever "noble" meant to whatever person or people used it.

Michael's dedication and skill, wedded with Lutherios' equal dedication and skill, can only be described as mythic. Some of my readers should know accordingly, I can appreciate such wedding as a pure musician without agreeing with the ancient metaphysics behind it - yet hearing the results can be instructive, no matter who you are, no matter what metaphysics you hold dear.

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