Echoes of Ancient Mesopotamia & Canaan – “The Magic of Marduk” | Michael Levy


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A ‘live’ performance of track 3, “The Magic of Marduk”, from my 2020 album, “Echoes of Ancient Mesopotamia & Canaan”. Available from all the usual digital music platforms, lossless studio quality audio is also available from Bandcamp:

This album is my mostly historically inspired evocation, of the lost music of ancient Mesopotamia & Canaan; but as the final track, this release also features my most recent arrangement of the reconstructed melody of an actual bronze age hymn to Nikkal; the oldest notated fragment of music which can still be interpreted and performed today; performed this time, on a replica of an actual surviving bronze age lyre…

For most of the tracks, I play this fascinating replica of an actual, typical bronze age Canaanite form of asymmetric lyre; custom-made for me by Luthieros. The design of this lyre was based on the same proportions of a Canaanite form of lyre found in Egypt, dating to circa 1,500 BCE and which is preserved in Leiden:

These types of lyres were almost certainly introduced into Egypt during the reign of the Canaanite Hyksos kings, that ruled northern Egypt as the 15th dynasty, c.1630–1523 BCE.

The exotic, sitar-like tone of the bass strings of this lyre, are due to the flat-topped, groove-less bridge. As almost all the lyres still played throughout the African continent today still retain this distinctive buzzing timbre (particularly the Ethiopian begena), since the lyre originally probably came to Africa via ancient trade routes between the ancient Near East and Egypt, it is indeed far more likely, that this buzzing timbre of the lyre was much closer to the original ancient near eastern/middle eastern lyres of antiquity.

Marduk was the patron god of Babylon, the Babylonian king of the gods, who presided over justice, compassion, healing, regeneration and fairness, although he is also sometimes referenced as a storm god and agricultural deity.

Born to the mother and father of all Babylonian gods, Marduk, also took over the godly traits of Ea, making him the god of magic.
His temple, the famous ziggurat described by Herodotus, is considered the model for the biblical Tower of Babel.

In an attempt to evoke a sense of this ancient magic, this piece features the otherworldly, sitar-like timbre of my replica Leiden lyre, in a suitably evocative, mysterious-sounding ancient Middle Eastern mode.

For countless hours more ‘musical adventures in time travel’, please also see all my official artist links below:


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