Arts and Entertainment

Levy fuses different music genres into a new kind of sound

By Andrea Braver
Published: December 2009

Music has been a constant source of comfort for junior Murray Levy ever since his days of basic piano lessons and Eminem obsession.

Due to that inspiration, Levy performed his first solo act on December 5, which consisted of a group of core instruments–keyboard, drums, electric guitar, and vocals–as well as an assortment of recordings and music from YouTube.

Levy charmed his audience of friends and fans for the full 90 minutes of his recital, his comedic introduction baffling, and his voice pitches strikingly bizarre.

“Some would say the only place originality can arise from is mistakes, he said. “Things need to be slightly different from normalcy in order for a decently sized crowd to maybe consider it art.

He began with a bang, blasting Lil’ Wayne’s “A Milli, nearly breaking the eardrums of all in the room. The opening “encapsulates the spirit of the now for Levy, who describes the song as “platonic and “stoic.

The variety of genres and types of artistry kept audience members wide-eyed and attentive. In between drumming and playing the guitar, Levy drew upon his humor to provide comedic relief.

The show finished off with Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles, a song Levy finds emotional as well as depressing.

Levy’s reasoning behind ending on such a dismal note was that he felt it would compare two extremes. He enjoys extremes and felt that having the opening and closing songs drastically different would be new exciting.

“[It was done to] draw dichotomy between [it and] ‘ËœA Milli,’ which is superficial and platonic, he said.

Levy also chose the song because it ends abruptly and signified his performance’s ending. Dramatizing the finale allowed the occurrences in peoples’ memory to be of passion and intrigue.

The gateway between the world outside of the arts and the one solely consisting of the arts has been slowing closing for Levy. He “sees no distinction between musical and non-musical worlds and feels as if both worlds have coalesced.

Levy feels as if the lines drawn between what may be determined as music and what isn’t are blurred. In comparing “recorded music versus the sounds of traffic for example, where does the boundary lie?

Seeing everyday objects in a different light explains why Levy has a tendency to view life differently.

Seeing “the sounds of traffic as music exemplifies his unique and accepting way of life, looking at common animate objects as something more than most perceive them to be.

Levy possesses unique views on the role of music in his life.

“It is not that music helps me, but that I transform my feelings into sound¦ [and] feel an emotional connection with the artists and can associate with their feelings, he said.

Music, however, also serves to uplift Levy’s mood occasionally.

“Going to a great show that’s physical and engaging¦[leaves me feeling] at peace with the world, he said.

Known for his extremely analytical viewpoints, Levy feels that the quality of music is relative.

“What makes something good is not being a collective whole, but having a few completely unrelated aspects that amaze people or draw their attention in different ways, he said.

Levy’s abstract perspectives and opinions about music as well as life serve to apply to his performance skills and habits.

An inimitable style of performance at his show left audience members wanting more.

Junior Michele Goldstein felt that the caliber of Levy’s instrumental as well as musical performance was unexpected.

Reflecting upon his performance, Goldstein came to the conclusion that “it reflected his personality¦[and] showed that he wasn’t afraid to try new things.

As well as appraisal, substantial amounts of support from his family and friends have allowed Levy to continue his becoming enveloped in the musical world.

Levy’s parents enjoy his musical interest, feeling that it is beneficial for him. They support his love for and obsession with music completely.

Newton South is well represented by a multitude of students deemed “artsy who are more than likely to be found amidst the photo, chorus, and art rooms.

The many “artsy students are into music, theatre, acting, and different mediums of art.

While Levy himself gravitates more toward the musical group, he by no means feels limited to a select group of friends.

“I have a good amount of friends who are into music, but I have others in different social groups too, he said.

Junior Alex Lyon, a friend of Levy’s who happens to be into music as well, acknowledges Levy’s apparent musical ability.

“[Levy] is an exceptional musician and he works really hard, Lyon said.

Levy is always searching for new bands that are not necessarily very popular. This leads to his finding inspiration in a wide variety of bands and music genres.

The band called the Dirty Projectors has heavily influenced Levy’s current musical fixation.

“The band name alone talks a lot about how I’ve developed in seeing the world, he said. “I’ve become sort of obsessed with perception and the subjectivity and relativity of everything in life.

According to Levy, the band’s named Dirty Projectors stems from the notion that beauty comes from mistranslations, brinks in communication, and blurred images–that nothing is seen as absolute.

Levy observes a connection with his mind’s view of the world and the band’s name.

The rest of the world, he feels, may see it as if everything is absolute.

The songs of Dirty Projectors allow Levy an opportunity for musical expression each time he listens to or plays them.

Levy also identifies himself with the anger and rebellion in songs of the metal genre, such as ones by Slipknot. He enjoys listening to and appreciating sounds that may appear unconventional to most people.

Levy enjoys “nerding out on polyrhythms and listening to an assortment of African drumming music.

Filling his pastimes creating interesting beats and listening to unique music has definitely paid off.

Levy has created a style that cannot be easily imitated. “He combined different types of music to make it his own, Goldstein said.

He likes Chuck Stern, a musician with a solo project called Stern who is also in a band known as Time of Orchids.

Levy is inspired by a multitude of bands such as Aphex Twin, The Bad Plus, Dirty Projectors, Mick Barr, The Offspring, Slipknot, and Zach Hill.

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