October 12 2016
LOUGHBOROUGH GRAMMAR SCHOOL
old boy of Loughborough Grammar School,
and Jennifer Sturdy (née Ollé),
old girl of Loughborough High School, spoke to the
Classics Society about the Gold Lyre of Ur Project.
They received a very warm welcome and the pupils
asked very interesting questions and were
clearly absolutely fascinated to hear the
story of the making of the instrument,
and to see it in reality.
There was not the opportunity to give a performance,
but hopefully this may be arranged at a later date.
It was a great trip down memory lane
for Andy and Jennifer,
reminiscing about teachers who had
had a formative effect on them.
It was impressive to see that the school
has maintained an interest in teaching
Latin, Ancient Greek and Classical Civilisation.
September 24 2016
Iraqi Study Centre
289 Cricklewood Broadway
London NW2 6NX
illustrated with the Gold Lyre of Ur
Anglo Iraqi Study Centre, London,
offered a warm welcome to Andy Lowings,
who talked about the amazing influence that
the culture of ancient Mesopotamia
has given to the whole world.
He illustrated this with pictures of the research
made by the Lyre Project,
in the course of the reconstruction of the
Gold and Silver Lyres of Ur.
was most enthusiastic,
taking many photos of the lyre itself,
and also some of the ladies who tried on
the gold and lapis lazuli choker necklace,
a replica of the one worn by Queen Pu Abi,
found in the excavations of the Royal Graves in Ur.
thanks to Nadeem Al Abdalla for organising this event:
forward to returning some time in the future.
19 April 2016
ARCH: TRAFALGAR SQUARE LONDON
was shocked by the destruction of the Roman arch in Palmyra,
Amazingly, by using digital archaeology, it has been possible
to create a two thirds sized replica, which was unveiled
in London on Tuesday 19 April.
Lyre Ensemble was invited to perform as part of the opening
ceremony, in front of the world's press.
To listen to their performance Click
To hear all of their perfomance (and the other pieces)
their CD, The Flood, is available to buy online from www.lyre-ensemble.com
arch, and the replica lyres, have brought to the world's
attention the fact that ancient monuments are being destroyed,
and that people like Khaled Al Asaad, the keeper of the
museum in Palmyra, have died in the attempt to try to protect
them. It was an intensely moving occasion and we are proud
to have been part of it.
The institute behind the project hopes
the arch will draw attention to
the importance of cultural heritage.
GOLDEN AND SILVER
LYRES OF UR
in this Historic Event
Andy Lowings: Presenter and Lyre Player
25 April 2016
LYRES AT ST.EDMUND'S COLLEGE CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE
25 April we were the guests of Silvia Ferreri of St Edmund's,
to present a brief background to the project, and to perform
2 spoken pieces, and 3 songs.
Many of the audience had very specialised knowledge, of
archaeology, musicology, and/or ancient languages, so we
were conscious of presenting to a very well-informed audience.
The questions were magnificent.
It was all very well received, and it was a pleasure to
Andy Lowings: Presenter and Lyre Player
Jeremy Sallis presents a daily programme, 12.00-15.00,
which is a mixture of music and local affairs.
On Friday 22 April Andy Lowings, Jennifer Sturdy and Stef
Conner were on the show, talking for about 20 minutes about
the Lyre project, the Lyre Ensemble, and the concert which
was to be performed on Monday 25 April at St Edmund's, Cambridge.
It was very exciting to be live on air, quite an adrenalin
rush. Stef sang, which delighted everyone in the studio. It
was as entertaining off-air as it was on-air: it was a lively
27 February 2016
GOLDEN AND SILVER
LYRES OF UR
was the billing for a day of activity in the Ashmolean Museum,
Oxford, on Saturday 27 February 2016. Andy Lowings gave
a lecture about the mysterious deaths of 68 women in the
Royal Graves of Ur, and also linked it with Agatha Christie's
novel, "Murder in Mesopotamia", which was allegedly based
on her experiences of working with Katharine Woolley on
the excavations in Ur. He then outlined the making of the
two replica Mesopotamian lyres. Stef Conner spoke about
the literature derived from cuneiform tablets, and the difficulty
of creating suitable music for the Gold and Silver Lyres
with so little evidence to work on. The talk was attended
by about 70 people, many of whom asked very penetrating
questions at the end.
the afternoon, there were 2 performances on the Gold Lyre
in the atrium, with Andy Lowings and Jennifer Sturdy, and
2 performances on the Silver Lyre in Gallery 19, the Ancient
Near East gallery, with Mark Harmer and Stef Conner. These
promenade performances worked very well, with people at
liberty to come and go, or to wait and ask more detailed
questions about the lyres.
in all, a very successful day, with many plaudits, including
hugely enjoyed the lecture and the two performances in the
Ashmolean. I was thrilled to see the two lyres at close
quarters, and to hear the wonderful resonance, especially
of the gold lyre, much more suitable for the bellowing of
a bull than I had anticipated. And Stef Conner has a marvellous
voice, so well suited to the work. You have done a very
splendid job, in all sorts of ways.
Oriental Institute and Wolfson College
Honorary Senior Research Fellow, Somerville College
University of Oxford
15 November 2015
GOLD LYRE OF UR
City Museum has an amazing collection of musical instruments,
and it is also fortunate to have a small and neat performance
area, with overhead projector, podium, and lights. This
was ideal for a talk and performance by Andy Lowings and
Jennifer Sturdy on Sunday 15 November 2015. They gave a
brief history of the making of the Gold Lyre, and then demonstrated
how it sounds, to accompany the spoken word. One of the
poems, der Bräutigam, was performed by Jennifer in German,
and the audience appreciated that she was able to translate
some of the talk, although as is so often the case, most
people spoke perfectly fluent English. Our thanks go to
Dr Andras Varsanyi for his kind invitation, and to his assistant,
Milkana Schmidt, who took care of all the administrative
details. We would be delighted to return.
25 September 2015
AT UNION CHAPEL, LONDON
The Union Chapel, Islington, is a quirky
and prestigious venue for world music, and on Friday 25
September, the Lyre Ensemble performed the first half of
an exciting event.
The new CD, "The Flood", by the Lyre Ensemble, (Stef Conner,
Mark Harmer, Andy Lowings) has been a runaway success, and
this was an opportunity to showcase some of the songs. The
majority are sung in Sumerian or Babylonian, the original
languages. One, the Balbale to Nanshe, was spoken in English
by Jennifer Sturdy, just to give a feel for what this ancient
poetry was like. Andy Lowings also spoke briefly about the
background to the project to re-create the Gold and Silver
Lyres of Ur.
audience was receptive and very enthusiastic. Many clustered
around the instruments during the interval, curious to hear
more information about their origin. It was a great delight
to be there with Arifa and The Voices From The East
25 July 2015
of Archaeology Performance
Lyre' is a modern reconstruction of a musical instrument
found in the Royal Grave at Ur, southern Iraq, dating to
around 2500 BC.
gave a musical performance on this exquisite instrument
and answered questions.
Oxford OX1 2PH
This FREE event
was part of our Festival of Archaeology season of events.
27 June 2015
launch of the Lyre Project's latest CD
featuring the Lyre Ensemble
Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace
29th April 2015
Between Shores & The Flood
New work influenced by ancient music of the Middle East
SIR JACK LYONS CONCERT HALL
University of York
York YO10 5DD
of The Lyre Ensemble talked about re-constructing the Golden
lyre of Ur
and other instruments, using authentic materials.
GOLDEN LYRE OF UR
AT THE LORENZO DE' MEDICI INSTITUTE, FLORENCE
the week of 12th - 18th April,
the Lyre of Ur Project team were at the Lorenzo De' Medici
for the hand-over of the newly completed SILVER LYRE.
of the main events are at:
April 2015 and at 18th
MUSEUM OF FLORENCE
Concert featuring the
GOLD LYRE OF UR and SILVER LYRE OF UR.
Introduced by: Jennifer Sturdy
Michael Stuve and Musica Ricercata
Ann Kennedy - GOLD
LYRE OF UR
on 3 Mary Ann Kennedy with new tracks from across the globe,
plus a session featuring
a reconstructed Gold Lyre of Ur.
Singer and musicologist Stef Conner has collaborated with
harp maker and player
Andy Lowings to create songs based on ancient Sumerian texts,
accompanied by a reconstruction of the Gold Lyre of Ur.
Three gold lyres were discovered in Iraq in 1929, and are
thought to date back to 2500 BC.
The reconstruction was made entirely from materials and
techniques available at the time.
Conner also introduced a Heritage Track - music which has
been a big influence on her.
to the broadcast:
here for past events