Le Temps Revient...

Poetry, Music, Art & Ideas for the Archaic Recurrence...

sábado, 4 de febrero de 2017

Ascension of the Lyre - Review

I've been listening to Michael Levy's latest release for a while now and it is slowly sinking deeper into my psyche. It works very well as meditation music and sounds great on headphones too. What distinguishes this one from his other works is his use of modern studio effects to give the lyre a sense of being an instrument of the far future rather than the past. These effects give the tracks an even more deeply calming vibe, and the song titles help to evoke certain sensations and mental images of the vast extents of our Solar System which intensifies the mood even further. Most of them (Monolith of Phobos in particular) have an eerie effect that does very well to transport the listener. This all adds to the contemplative aspect of the lyre's sound. My own use of Michael's music is as a constant background mood setter and the lyre's timelessness seems to make it fit any activity or moment of the day.

I particularly love the up and down swoopings of the reverb. This could be seen as one of the record's main strengths as if you lose yourself in the mood, it gives you what the lyre has always promised, to take you on a deep journey. These tracks all sound well produced and professionally mixed. It's hard to imagine that something of such depth was created on a single track recorder, which is a testament to his virtuoso double handed playing skills.

An interesting track that seems to stand out from the others is Transcendental Tapestry which heightens the mood of the more chilled out vibe of the album, by its use of Michael's innovative percussive technique which works well as the album's penultimate track just before its epic 10 minute finale. Transcendental Tapestry tells of things yet to come, with Michael now experimenting further thanks to his unique lyre audio capsule that allows him to plug his lyre into amplifiers directly and create more of these looping soundscapes in a live setting. Indeed, this album seems to draw to a close an era of his early experimental works, and leaves me wondering at where he will go next in his lyre projects, as the limitless possibilities which cutting edge technology provides, have now laid out a new phase in the lyre's exciting renaissance. It has been a fascinating journey so far, but just like Nasa's voyager spacecraft itself has recently found out, there is much beyond the limits of the Solar System yet to explore.

sábado, 28 de enero de 2017


Cambridge Reading Greek Vocab, Unit 10.

Revise the vocab below and then follow the recitation for sections A-C. Sections D-E were not recorded for some reason but you should definitely read them by yourself, as they contain the famous (and very funny) scene in which Myrrhine teases her husband.

Lysistrata's part is recited by a woman, but all the other female parts are read by men, reminding us of how the plays would originally have been performed by male only actors. Their performance here seems somewhat inspired by Monty Python's mock feminine voices, which may not be to everybody's ancient Greek tastes, yet reminds us that this is a comedy and should aim at the burlesque to a certain extent.

martes, 24 de enero de 2017

Greek Wine Exhibition

Archeological Museum, Barcelona.

"Don't plant any tree before planting the vine." - Alcaeus of Mytilene (6th century BCE)

Attic ceramic Dionysian scene,  (400-350 BCE) National Archeological Museum, Madrid.

Attic ceramic Trojan War scene, (460-450 BCE) Catalan Archeological Museum, Empuries.

Attic ceramic Mythological scene, (400-325 BCE) Catalan Archeological Museum, Barcelona.

Attic ceramic Symposium scene, (400-350 BCE) National Archeological Museum, Madrid.

Attic ceramic Dionysian scene, (400-430 BCE) National Archeological Museum, Madrid.

Attic ceramic image of Dionysus, (550-500 BCE) Catalan Archeological Museum, Girona.

"The Mediterranean peoples began to emerge from barbarism when they learnt how to cultivate the vine and olive trees." - Thucydides (5th century BCE)

South Italian red-figure pottery, (6th-4th century BCE)

Marble Naiskos, (4th-3rd century BCE) Cybele, Goddess of Fertility.
The cult of the goddess Cybele was popular in the ancient world. It began in the sixth century BCE in Asis Minor, crossed to Athens and then Rome. Cybele embodied the earth's fertility. In this image she appears enthroned with her characteristic attributes, the tympanum (a kind of tambourine) and phials (a bowl for making libations).

Large jug painted with geometric motifs, (8th-7th century BCE)

Etruscan terracotta, (4th-3rd century BCE)

Houses of the soul. In the ancient world, funerary urns often imitated architectural forms. Just like this Etruscan urn, which looks like a small house with a gable roof. Inside lived the soul of the deceased person. There are traces of blue paint on the cover, but at one time it must have been painted all over in eye-catching but tasteful colours.

Etruscan calcareous stone urn and lid. (3rd-2nd century BCE) Warrior & Chimaera. You can see a warrior with his sword unsheathed chasing a chimaera, a mythical animal with a lion's head. From his body sports a second head, the head of a goat. The tail ends with a third head, that of a snake, which threatens the warrior with its open mouth and forked tongue. The struggle between warrior and chimaera represents the strength and courage of the deceased person.

Art from the colonies. Around the 8th century BCE the Greeks colonised southern Italy and part of the island of Sicily. The Greek colonies, which were never a political unit, adopted Hellenic language, traditions, religion and art forms which they mixed with their own. The shape of these vessels follows Greek models but the drawings on them have a style all their own, quite different from pieces made in Greece.

Utensils for lighting and making offerings, military insignia, figures of gods and animals and ornaments for furniture, bronze pieces from the Roman Era which have survived to the present. Produced by hammering mould casting or lost wax technique. In the lost wax method, a mould was made from bee's wax and covered in clay. It was then placed in a kiln and fired so the wax melted and ran out through some holes. Once cold and rested, the clay could be filled with molten bronze. This procedure allows even the smallest details to be reproduced.

Hellenistic terracotta figures, (3rd century BCE)

The best known terracotta figurines were made in Tanager near Athens, creating a fashion that lasted for centuries. Cast in moulds, they represented everyday figures or mythological scenes. They were extremely popular with collectors and had a great influence on Neo-Classical art, particularly the Empire style which copied many of their narrative and sentimental themes.

Roman Hermes marble bust, (1st-2nd century CE)

Roman tragedy actor mask, (1st century CE) Empuries.

Attic marble funeral stela, (2nd-3rd century CE) inscription: ΦΙΛΟΜΟΥΣΟΣ ΘΕΟΦΙΛΟΥ ΙΟΥ ΚΟΥΝΔΑ ΦΙΛΟΜΟΥΣΟΥ (Philomusos son of Theophilus, Konda daughter of Philomusos)

ΔΙΦΙΛΟΣ ΞΕΝΟΚΛΕΙΔΟΘΣ (Diphilos son of Xenoclides)

"Wine is more pleasing to me when that which I drink is not mine." 
- Diogenes the Cinic (4th century BCE)

Attic ceramic musical scene, (425-400 BCE) Catalan Archeological Museum, Barcelona.

Attic ceramic scene of children's games, (425-400 BCE) Catalan Archeological Museum, Ullastret.

During the 2nd day of the Antesterias festival, three year old Athenian children were initiated into the ritual of wine drinking. They were offered a small ceramic jar, made for the occasion, decorated with images of childhood. It was a symbolic act of communion with divinity and their integration into the community.

Alabaster Attic ceramic image of Dionysus, Satires and Meneades, (500-475 BCE) Catalan Archeological Museum, Girona.

Greek vase (4th century BCE) The myth of Pandora.

Minerva. A remarkable bronze piece from the Roman period on Mallorca. Probably an imitation of a Greek model. The fineness of the helmet, head and dress covered with a "himation" is of particular note. (1st century BCE)

Ceramic drinking cup with mythological imagery of the struggle between Athena and the giants. (6th century BCE) Empuries.

Bronze Etruscan engraving. Mythological imagery of the judgement of Paris. With the three goddesses Aphrodite, Hera and Athena on the left. (4th-3rd century BCE) Empuries.

Greek inscriptions written on ceramic pots and vases found in Emporion. They may elude to fishing, the users name or a dedication or votive offering to a god. (5th-4th century BCE) Empuries.