BACK TO THE ROOT OF THE OLIVE TREE
My passion for recreating the sounds of the music of the ancient world originates mainly from my many years as a self-taught Klezmer fiddle player - I became increasingly intrigued by the timeless, ancient musical modes I was so familiar with in Klezmer and it was my desire to "get back to the root of the olive tree", to delve deeper into the actual origin of these haunting, ancient modes, which since discovering the little-known work of the late Suzanne Haik Vantoura, I discovered that they may indeed turn out to be as ancient as the Hebrew Bible itself.
Below is a playlist of some excerpts from my 2 albums for solo Klezmer Fiddle:
For full details on all my research, exploration & experimentation of the Klezmer music genre, please also visit my Klezmer music website
"Klezmer" is the name now given to the Jewish Wedding Music of the Shtetls of old Eastern Europe, the word being derived from the Yiddish, meaning "Vessels of Song" - I was captivated by the sound of the ancient Middle Eastern scales used in Klezmer music, and it was this which fuelled my fascination to eventually discover their ultimate origins in Biblical Antiquity, and eventually, my ongoing quest, to recreate the sounds of the Music of the Ancient World. This is the reason why, in 2006, I named my YouTube Channel "Klezfiddle1" - one of my early grainy webcam YouTube videos, (featuring a somewhat unique raucous, rough & ready electric fiddle rendition of a rare surviving Hungarian Klezmer melody, "Khosid Dance"), with now well over 360,000 views, has remarkably become one of the most watched video of Klezmer fiddle on the whole of YouTube:
Most of the repertoire from my albums,"King David's Lyre; Echoes of Ancient Israel" & "Lyre of the Levites: Klezmer Music For Biblical Lyre" was derived from the traditional Klezmer repertoire, uniquely arranged for my evocation of the 3000 year old Biblical Lyre.
My 2 albums "Echoes of the Shtetl" & "The Klezmer Fiddle" attempt to evoke the sounds of the tragically lost Shtetls of Eastern Europe - the entrancing refrains, of the traditional Jewish Klezmer Fiddle...
ECHOES OF THE SHTETL
"Emotional Violin Playing
Michael Levy’s music is rich and detailed and his fiddle playing is exquisite. This collection of Jewish Klezmer melodies unveiled a musical cultural I was not very familiar with. The rare surviving Hungarian Klezmer melody “Dance from Máramaros” has a liveliness to it that counterbalances the weighty solemnity of the wonderful pieces like “Yiddish Hora” or “Unzer Toyrele.” Full of detail, texture and emotion, this release is highly recommended"
The first 2 tracks of this album feature some of the precious rare surviving Hungarian traditional Jewish Klezmer melodies which only survived the tragic destruction of virtually all the centuries of Hungarian Jewish culture during the Holocaust, as they were thankfully preserved in the aural memory of Hungarian gypsy musicians, who used to play these melodies at Hungarian Jewish Weddings before the War...
THE KLEZMER FIDDLE
"Great 'Oy Tate!'
Fabien Naudier, a French director, has used this title in his last movie called "Entre eux deuz".The finesse of the Michael Levy's interpretation has easily convinced him to choose it.We hope that our choice is the sign of a largest interest for this fabulous musician and his genuine approach.
Thanks for all. Merci!"
Macalube Films - iTunes (France) Review of The Klezmer Fiddle"
Always the most hauntingly beautiful arrangements. I don't know where Michael transports me but I don't go there often enough"