©2021 MICHAEL LEVY
IONIATE POWER RUBRIC
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An exotic, ethnic fusion, of Kenyan rhythm performed on the traditional Kenyan Obokano lyre & my replica of the ancient Egyptian lyre; reconstructed from the original dimensions of an actual surviving ancient Egyptian lyre from circa 1,500 BC!
Available from all the usual digital music platforms, a higher quality 320kbps MP3 of my 2019 single “Duelling African Lyres – The Ancient Egyptian Lyre & Kenyan Obokano” (featuring the Obokano player, Nick Vest), is also available, direct from my website:
In March 2019, I had the pleasure of meeting my fellow lyre plucking friend, Nick Vest – who somehow managed to lug his Obokano; an enormous traditional Kenyan bass lyre, all the way from LA to the UK – just to jam with me!!! More details about the distinctive percussive style of playing of the Obokano can be found here:
The other African lyre I am playing, separated in time from the contemporary Kenyan Obokano by about 3,500 years, is a replica of an actual, surviving ancient Egyptian lyre; miraculously preserved in Leiden:
My replica Egyptian lyre, was custom made by Luthieros:
Despite the millennia which separate these two African lyres, the buzzy timbre of both is remarkably similar – this is due the more authentic, flat-topped, grooveless bridge on my resonstructed ancient Egyptian lyre; very similar to the ethnic bridge still played on the traditional Obokano, which generally consists of a row of reeds, held in place by bees wax. Unlike the sharp, ‘A’ shaped bridge of a modern guitar in which the strings also neatly sit in carved grooves, on these two African lyres, the vibrating strings freely buzz on top of the traditional flat, grooveless bridge; creating an ancient, exotic, sitar-like timbre.
The resulting totally spontaneous improvisation was quite literally, the most exotic, ethnic lyre duet to have emanated from my front room – a magical musical moment now forever preserved in this unique recording!
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