"I'm afraid it will be very difficult to reverse the situation."
Miki Gabrielov (Photo: Reuven Castro)
"Oh, my homeland, you're leaving Pipen/ You broke my heart into small pieces/ We had a dream, and now it's gone/ I'm so sad I want to cry" - this is how Eric Einstein once expressed his disappointment with the situation in Israeli society, in the hit song "Sitting in front of the paper" which Wrote and Miki Gavryalov composed, and appeared on their joint album "I like to be at home" released in 1986.
In the interview, which takes place on the day of the 37th inauguration of the government, more than 35 years since the song was written, Gavryalov does not sound more optimistic.
"What is happening in the country today makes me depressed," he tells Walla!
"My soul is sensitive about the matter. I don't know if the country is going to die. Today they will swear in a new government, I'm already hearing all kinds of things. I don't know if they will close the corporation or not. I don't know what someone like Shlomo Karai is going to do. I don't know What will happen to the Ministry of Education. I don't know what will happen to the courts. I have no idea what is going to happen, there is total chaos."
"Chaos" is also the title of David Grossman's article in Genesis last week.
It's actually about 75% of ultra-Orthodox, religious and extremists in this government, and Bibi is the only secular one, who does all kinds of things that are the opposite of religion and yet he controls this government.
He supposedly reassures the public, and says I will be everyone's prime minister, and everything will be fine.
If he is as 'reliable' as he is and as everyone says he is 'reliable', then Grossman may be right and this is a dark time and we will not be able to go back."
"Imagination today has shrunk and is focused on other things. I try to develop the imagination for my grandchildren."
Gabrielov (Photo: Reuven Castro)
In a week it will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of the national poet Haim Nachman Bialik, and on the occasion of the date, Gavrilov will release a new album on the same day with ten songs he composed to Bialik's words.
The name of the album is "From Gold and Stain", words derived from the song "The Summer is Dying", which is also the first single that comes out today (Monday) from the album and is premiered here.
The beloved 73-year-old singer, creator, and musician, winner of the Ekoum and Emmy Awards for Lifetime Achievement, has been active in Israeli music for nearly 60 years and has signed many Israeli classics. Eric Einstein and his "armed with glasses" - that's when he composed the hits "The Chinese under your wing" and "She's sitting by the window".
These classics and other Bialik songs composed by Gavrilov over the years - "Stars peeping and burning", "False promises" and "I did not win light from the prodigal" - receive new performances on this album.
In addition to the renewed performances, additional songs by the national poet were composed for the new album, including "The Sea of Silence Emits Secrets", "Teresa Yaffe" and as mentioned "The Summer is Dying".
"When I started working with Eric on the album 'Armed with Glasses', Eric came to my house to work with me and we read books to find ideas for new songs. Bialik, Alterman, Leah Goldberg, whatever was in the library," says Gabrielov.
"We came across 'She is sitting on the window' and 'Hekhinasini under your wing', a song I didn't know had been composed before, both in folk form and by Norit Hirsch, and it is precisely my melody that remains the best known and most loved. I simply connected to the text. Over the years, when I composed more Bialik's songs, I discovered that there is something mystical that connects us despite the differences in years and cultures. I felt that there was some depth in his sadness, requests for love and lack of love, and this connected me to him completely. In Bialik's songs I feel the pain he has and the desire to reach brighter places, More enriches the soul, and I quite connected to it. Composing Bialik's songs is not easy because it is not a modern language, yet there is depth in it."
In the song "I didn't win light from the prodigal", which you composed, Bialik describes the difficulty of the poet's work and likens the work to strenuous quarrying.
In the last stanza, Bialik describes the moment when the poem escapes him, is published, the audience appropriates it and gives it an interpretation that nullifies the poet's intention.
How do you connect to it?
"I connect with this song, which talks about things I know - how you carve out words from your soul in Bialik's case and a melody in my case, when you feel it's the whole thing you put it out to readers or listeners. You believe that this is what will convey your feelings in the right way. Then it's no longer in your possession, and the listener or reader interprets it in any other way," says Gabrielov.
"In the case of the song 'I took you under my wing', when I composed it I didn't put too much effort. I just saw the text, it spoke to me and within ten minutes it was almost a song. And since the song came out in 1980 it has remained loved, known and I know that it is taught in schools with the melody like other songs by Bialik that I composed. And this is very surprising to me, because in my youth I didn't even rhyme with Bialik's songs, yet I composed and the song takes on a different meaning than it did before, and I was surprised that there were intellectual discussions in the academy about my melody, and about the fact that the song is no longer in pronunciation Ashkenazi but in Spanish spelling and that changed the whole section of the song.
Miki Gabrielov - Summer is dying
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In contrast to "The Knessinini Under Your Wing", which you composed effortlessly, which of your songs was particularly difficult for you to compose?
"I had a few songs where I got stuck in the melody and took my time. For example, when I composed 'Go Slow', I was debating for a while how to break the usual rhyming structure of verse, chorus, verse, chorus. I wanted to break that rhythm. I started composing excerpts from the newspaper to practice. Then Eric brings me a poem that is actually prose. And I turned the text into a song with an unusual melody, but a melody in the form of five parts, and each part stands on its own, and the song is different from the usual chorus. It took me a long time. In another case, I got stuck when composing The 'song about Yossi the parrot'".
One of your and Eric's biggest songs.
"When I composed it, I got stuck in the part of 'like you, they are born to be pleasant chatters/with every poet, whose heart is fire and fury'. I couldn't relate to it. I even talked to Eric, and I told him 'maybe we'll take this part down', because we've already done things like this before. Eric He told me: 'No, no, no. You don't touch it. You'll break your head until the melody comes out.' Take your time, when you find after you've been looking, when you suddenly discover it - that's exactly the spark that Bialik describes. And it makes you happy. It's hard to explain."
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"There is some depth in him of sadness, requests for love and lack of love, and this connected me to him completely."
Bialik (Photo: Creative Commons, Zoltan Kluger)
You mentioned "Yossi's Parrot" which you composed to the words of Avraham Halafi.
Who do you prefer, Bialik or Halfi?
"I don't prefer anyone. I connect with everyone in a different way. Bialik gets to the bottom of things. Halfi has beautiful songs but I couldn't connect with many of his songs. I connect with Alterman in a completely different way. I connect with his political, social and cynical side. He releases From me there are things that I also want to express, as a person and as a creator. With Leah Goldberg, I feel more the naivety of a painting, words with an atmosphere that I connect with. One of the difficult dilemmas I had was how to compose Israeli music, and understand what an Israeli song is, like in the song 'Arab Mol HaGalad' Goldberg's. I broke the things I grew up with, until the spark suddenly came, and today I know that this song is defined as an Israeli classic."
And if you are comparing poets, Bialik was once the national poet, the most important poet of his generation, but he is no longer really read or spoken or composed today.
He is present in culture less than Alterman or Rachel.
"That's true. Bialik wrote all his poems in exile. When he arrived in Israel, he was already preoccupied with other things. He became a national poet because he spoke with content and essence related to the people of Israel, Judaism, exile and the New Enlightenment. Don't forget that in his time there was also Tschernihovsky, who is two years younger than Bialik and also He wrote beautiful poems, but we gave him less recognition in this matter because he perhaps expressed the Jewish-Israeli identity less. Bialik became the national poet and it is not certain that this was the best thing for him. His branding as a national poet actually determined his future. Alterman, Halfi, Leah Goldberg and others were a bit more modern, young and progressive. They wrote a lot in the Land of Israel, and he [Alterman - SB] had more of a social, political and political interest, saw the future years ago, wrote the 'Seventh Column', and also wrote for the theater. Leah Goldberg was less protestant, less deep, and what is deep in her is usually related to love, with a lot of longing."
Miki Gavrilov receives an award from AM for lifetime achievement (Photo: Reuven Castro)
They once heard Bialik, Halafi and Tschernihovsky in the hymn parade.
Today we hear Nuno, Anna Zak and Noa Kirel.
What do you think about the level of texts today?
"It's a complex question. Times have changed. The language has changed. There's nothing to be done, people on the street speak differently. Bialik's language, its content and its style are drawn from completely different worlds. It's a different time in the world and in ours that singers and creators write songs in a more colloquial style, even in hip-hop , out of a desire to express what they feel. You can say that the level of Nuno, Anak Zak and Noa Kirel is low but they don't feel that way. They feel that this is their language. I grew up in several worlds. I was born in the fifties, I was brought up and grew up in the sixties as well. I was In the rock band, The Churchills, I worked with Eric Einstein, I entered the world of Israeli texts. I worked with the texts of all kinds of poets who were in the past and also with new poets. I deal with songs at my age, my language has not completely changed, I can say okay, Great and chatty, but I don't write like that and I don't sing like that. I also don't do the arrangements for my songs in a new style like hip-hop or computers. I use musicians.I can't oppose the fact that today there are computers and new technology, and even those who weren't born for music know how to use a computer and make music, whether it's through dancing or jamming."
"Noa Kirel sings what she chooses to sing. It's a free market. There shouldn't be censorship and I don't think there is censorship. But there is a strange give and take here. Today there is Tiktok, WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Spotify. Today someone uploads a piece of song to Tiktok that becomes viral, and the radio also notices it. You see people's views. They did a very serious revision on the radio, they took old broadcasters out of the circuit and brought in new ones with a completely different taste, some of them came from the worlds of Tiktok. They are less involved with what used to be."
The phenomenon of largely ignoring veteran singers led to your friend Eric Einstein's songs being ignored in his later years, and it hurt him.
"In 2013 I worked with Eric and we tried to make a new album because I really felt that something wasn't moving right there. I understood that he was very hurt by not playing his songs. I don't know if his songs were really good and if they stood up to the works he had before which he created with me, with Yoni, with a good name and with Shalom. It may not have worked out so well for him with Guy Bucatti. But it was still a piece of singer and a piece of creator and he should not have been ignored. I think it's such a trend, that a little guardia is removed old, in order to bring in the new. In my opinion, it's not right. I hope we change it, and that we don't just stay with light pop stuff. I hardly hear these things. Not long ago, musician guys wrote on Facebook: What is this level of the texts, why Our children need to hear it. So there are complaints about this. But I don't think it interferes with the radio, the Ministry of Culture or the promoters who make a living from it. We're not dealing with art here now. We're dealing with getting on stage, bringing in an audience and making money."
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"Times have changed. The language has changed. There is nothing to do, people on the street speak differently."
Gabrielov (Photo: Reuven Castro)
This year your debut album will be 40 years old.
How do you look at yourself in the perspective of four decades?
"I was relatively naive. I had a desire to create, and speaking of 'I didn't win light from the homeless,' it wasn't easy for me at first. It took me a long time to get to the point where I could record an album. The record companies didn't really support me. Bottom line, they kicked me off the stairs. Until In the end, they showed an interest in me, so they gave me the opportunity to create an album. I didn't have much experience as a singer and as a composer for myself. I was in Eric's shadow and it took me a long time to get out of that story and find my voice. Until I created albums that served my singing and my voice. This Not a simple thing. Part of the time I entered the place of ethnicity, I messed with my roots. It takes time. I'm what's called a one band man. And it takes a lot of experience for these things."
What would you say to Gabrielov of the beginning?
"I would tell him to prepare a lot more, try to perform in front of an audience and feel himself in front of the audience, and find the right things that express him, not only from the place of 'here I want an audience.' Today there is such a tendency, because there are reality shows so everyone is accepted For one program or another, and the next day he releases an album or a song, and you listen and say come on, it's not ready yet, it needs a little more. Dhilak, what's the story here, come up with a good song and we'll all love you. But it doesn't work like that. It's already become a different industry ".
You criticize reality shows, I mention that your daughter appeared in two of them - "American Idol" and "The Next Star for Eurovision".
"Yes, my daughter tried out in the United States for 'American Idol' because she wanted to develop her career there. She was accepted and passed auditions. In the end she didn't reach the first places. But she made a way to get to know herself. And they invited her to compete in 'The Next Eurovision Star,' she She didn't go off on her own. These shows exist. It gives platforms. It's part of the industry. It's very popular. I think the industry has created a situation where artists and singers when they go on stage in reality shows get a platform, and not all of them are necessarily good. I don't know that way . I know another way. I think that a singer who is an artist needs to perform in front of an audience many times until he consolidates his identity as a singer and gathers an audience. My daughter also does this way, even though she was on 'American Idol' and was invited to 'The Next Eurovision Star' .She works very hard to write good songs. She got her career because of what she does and not because of any platform or other.There were others who participated in reality shows - they had terrible problems afterwards, fell on their faces and were not accepted and all sorts of things."
Shira often collaborates with you.
How involved are you in its creation as well?
"Sure, I invite her to concerts, she will also be a guest at my concert at Zappa Tel Aviv on January 6. I work with her many times on songs, she consults me and I consult her, now I help her with songs she wants to record, I do a little analysis with her the songs and finds their form. It's exciting to see that she learns things and understands things at the level of a musician. Everyone needs help. A singer sometimes loses his way. When I was young I had no experience, I learned things on my own and no one helped me with it . When I was a child my parents loved me but they didn't teach me things that would help me throughout my life. When I was a child, my father told me 'what is playing, what are you a clown? You have to earn a living'. I don't want to be that kind of father. I try to help my children , teach them things and I will support them. If my daughter sings and writes, why not help her?".
In "Heknisini under your wing" Bialik asks: "Where is my youth?"
What moment from your lost youth do you miss the most?
"My youth as a child was in the Shapira neighborhood, and I didn't grow up with computers. We went out to play in the street, five stones, city land, I built rafts, built a bow and arrow and went hunting - things that don't exist. I miss it many times. My imagination was very developed. Things like that That doesn't exist today. Today's imagination has shrunk and is focused on other things. I try to develop the imagination for my grandchildren. I don't give up basketball and soccer for my grandchildren."
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"Eric told me: you will break your head until the melody comes out."
Einstein and Gabrielov (photo: Alona Einstein)
Almost a month ago, the great musician Yitzhak Kleftar, who was with Gabrielov in the Churchill band, passed away.
In an interview two and a half years ago, wow!
Culture, Clifter told about a crisis he experienced at the age of 27: "It was a year after a beehive broke up. It was very difficult for me to make a living, I had nowhere to live, I was in a difficult situation and their forces turned their backs on me. I also thought about committing suicide then. I thought about it but I didn't kill myself. I was in a difficult situation, I had nowhere to live and everyone turned their backs on me. There was no one to take care of me."
Were you in contact with him at that time?
"Yitzhak and I were friends in the Churchillian band, for three consecutive years until he enlisted and then I was not in contact with him that much. He lived alone with his mother, did not know his father. His world was music. He played since he was a child. After the Rachils and the army was in the band Beehive, there was great success there. After Beehive broke up he did fall into a crisis and had all kinds of problems. But a lot of people supported him, including me. We did shows for him when he underwent surgeries and went through other mental problems. I know that he He was also in mental health care at a hospital. They helped him a lot. I don't think his condition was what is called terminal, it could be treated, but it had a background. Yitzchak didn't really start a family. He didn't really get married. He really wanted to have a family. There He had a child not from the marriage but from someone with whom he was in a relationship. Yitzchak Zecharo was very sensitive. Very fragile. I imagine that one side of him wanted a family and another side could not handle it. It has nothing to do with him being a wonderful creator who wrote beautiful songs.He faced a lot of things."
And by the way, the crisis in Clifter's life, what crisis point did you reach in your profession?
"In my work, the difficulties were specific, finding my way as an artist, trying to insist on performing, singing and facing an audience that tells you ridiculous things."
"Many, many people supported him, including me."
Yitzhak Clifter (Photo: Nimrod Saunders)
What ridiculous things did the audience say to you for example?
"When I didn't have my own repertoire yet, I sang songs that I wrote with Eric or that Eric wrote, and they said to me: 'Why are you singing songs by Eric Einstein? What's the matter?' I'm a part of it. But the audience didn't get it. It took me a long time for the audience to get it. And when I came to record companies trying to record on my own, Eric's shadow was always there, for better or for worse. This business is tricky, when you start performing and want to be a singer then They translate it into other things, and not just art. It's a matter of money, it's a matter of how worthwhile or not worthwhile it is. So I dealt with such things that hurt me personally, and it wasn't easy, but I got stronger little by little and with that I made progress. And I'm happy That today they like my songs and that the situation is much better."
What do you regret?
"Everything that happened - happened, whether it was because of a mistake I made or an informed choice I had. Not everything I chose was right. I think that if I had gone then with the insights I have today, I would have taken other steps and decisions. On the professional side, for example, I really wanted to to be a pianist and I never persevered in it. I really wanted to be a guitarist, a real guitarist like Haim Romano and Yitzhak Klefter, and I never persevered in it, which is a shame. Because I was more attracted to composing and arranging. If I did it today I could perform, let's say, like Randy Newman, with The piano only."
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"Death? Trust me, I'm a little scared to think about it."
Gabrielov (Photo: Reuven Castro)
Bialik wrote: "After my death they paid tribute to me like this/ There was a man - and they saw: he is no more/ This man died before his time/ And the song of his life stopped in the middle".
We wish you until 120, and ask: how would you like to be eulogized?
"Believe me, I'm a little afraid to think about it, and I don't want to think about it so much, because I still feel active. I of course think about this matter of death, I see how my friends eulogize, each of them say something different. I hope very much who love me and I very much hope that they will give me a nice eulogy and say good things about me, whether it's in my musical career, whether it's as a father, or whether it's as a friend. I hope that they have a good impression of me and that they will give me a good eulogy."
How much does death scare you?
"Listen, it comes to my mind, there's nothing I can do, many friends have died, my parents have passed away, in dreams it sometimes suddenly comes. Sometimes I wake up depressed by it, then I get out of it. But the truth is that my grandchildren give me longevity. I see them, I see how they grow, and it makes me forget everything."
Haim Nachman Bialik