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"The last thing that interests me is if they play my new songs" - voila! culture


An interview with Yoram Gaon about his refusal to sign the musicians' letter against the closure of Kana, the secularists' fear of religious coercion, the radio's ignoring his new songs and 40 years of "close relatives"

Yehoram Gaon (Photo: Niv Aharonson)

Hundreds of musicians signed the manifesto against a dramatic cut or closure of a corporation here, which included among other things the words "It's no coincidence that someone who tries to bring about a coup d'état chose the elimination of public broadcasting as one of his first goals."

Among them are many of the biggest names in Israeli music such as Shalom Hanoch, Shlomo Artzi, Rita, Ehud Banai, Margalit Tsenani, Yehudit Ravitz and Yehuda Poliker.

One of the names that stood out in particular in his absence is Yoram Gaon, who throughout his life participated in many productions of the public broadcasting, first at the Broadcasting Authority and later at the corporation here.

Yoram, why didn't you sign the letter?

"You know, I have a radio show every week on Gali IDF.

I voiced my opinion there on the issue of closing the corporation.

I was the first to whom the CEO of the corporation, Golan Yokhpaz, wrote a message. Here I am reading it to you: 'I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of the employees of the Broadcasting Corporation and on my own behalf for the words of support you voiced on the IDF airwaves yesterday, for standing up for the right of public broadcasting.

Your voice is of great importance in this context.'

Did I answer you?".

That's very nice, but why did you refrain from signing the letter? Does it have anything to do with the mention of the words "regime coup" in the letter?

"I never sign. I don't want to be part of a crowd. Don't want to be part of pilots, don't want to be part of hi-techists, don't want to be part of lawyers. Don't want to be part. I express my opinion. I'm one person. As soon as I Joining it suddenly becomes a herd. I don't want to be. I want to express my opinion because I have something to say, and I say my opinion on the radio. As soon as it takes on the image of an 'army of', like an army of actors, an army of artists, I don't I want to be part of it."

Cultural giant and Israel Prize laureate Yehoram Gaon is releasing these days a new version of the song "Nigunim" together with the Hiva Orchestra, written by Penia Bergstein and composed by David Zahavi, arranged and musically conducted by Elad Gabai.

The song was produced as part of the "Love of the Piyot" project founded by the Jerusalem Hiba Center and the Zalman Shazar Center in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture. The project's YouTube channel contains clips of many piyots produced by the Hiba Center and performed by bards and singers, including Avihu Medina,

"When few know what a peyote is," explains Gaon.

"When you say the word piyot, you think of the testimony of the East, but it is not like that. Piyot is a way of expression, it is not a song but a song of request. This song is part of a project of 'affection' that cultivates the piyot. They are doing a huge project, which takes the power to Hapoel all kinds of poems that people have sung throughout the generations and record them. The song written by Peña Bergstein is an expression of all the actions of the people who work with such loyalty and diligence in 'affection'. She wrote 'You have planted songs in me, my mother and father, songs from forgotten songs'. This is an explanation for all this work of 'affection'".

Gaon says that from his early childhood he was connected to music, hymns and poems.

"Our house in Jerusalem was really a house of nigunim, all the time. It was not a table where they ate and quickly ran out. It was a table where they ate on Shabbat nights and started with a series of nigunim, some of them also Spanish romances. ``You planted nigunim in me, my mother and my father.'' , and indeed it was implanted in me right from the day I knew myself. From there it went to the synagogue when I fought with other children my age to sing the line in the hymn, there was a great competition. This story of the psalms, the tunes and the poems is part of the being I was born into. That's why I performed the song This one with great joy."

The one who produced the song with Gaon, the artist Elad Gabbai, says: "Yhoram represents the genesis of Israeli culture, he is a contemporary artist as well as a veteran, it is a privilege to produce the song 'Nigonim' together with him, which is an asset of an iron sheep in Israeli culture, and there is no one better suited to the image of Yehoram Gaon."

Yoram, it is admirable that you continue to release new songs, at your age, from the height of your status and after a glorious musical career, it is not obvious that you are not resting on your laurels.

"I don't believe in laurel wreaths. I believe in work. The fact that you work and are desirable - that's the biggest laurel wreath you can wish for yourself."

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While the radio plays your classics beautifully, it hasn't played your new songs for years, with the exception of the song you recorded with Idan Reichel in 2019.

Does it bother you?

Where does your motivation come from to continue recording quite a few new songs?

"I'm at an age where in my scale of values ​​and importance the last thing that interests me is whether the song will be heard or not. I know it sounds a bit pretentious and as if inaccurate and incorrect, but I go into the studio, after talking about the arrangement, I sing these words, and I enjoy everything My second in the studio. Not long ago I performed the words 'I thank you, living and existing king, that you restored my soul in me, with great compassion your faith.' My feeling as soon as I hear someone playing it on the radio - and my feeling in the studio while I sang it, accompanied by an orchestra. This feeling is in the first place for me, and then either the listener likes it or not, but that's less interesting to me. At the height of honesty, I I tell you, I recorded so many songs, and there was a time when it was very important to me how it would sound, how well it would sound. Believe me,Today I am in a place where entering the studio with these wonderful words and the wonderful melody I chose to sing and the accompaniment they put on it, the recording itself is a pleasure."

You say that today you don't care how many of your songs are played on the radio.

On the other hand, your former Gesher Hayarkon Trio partner Eric Einstein, whose death will be a decade this year, was deeply hurt by the fact that radio largely ignored his new songs for at least his last ten years.

Radio still largely excludes veteran artists, however great they may be.

Then the programs will be filled with not only classic songs from the past but also new classic songs, because this is in the spirit of the old artists, who don't know how to sing other songs.

They only want to sing songs with words that have content and meaning and that have melody and arrangement."

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Protest against the closure of the corporation (Photo: Walla! system, Sagi Ben Non)

The song "Nigunim" was written by Penia Bergstein in 1944 against the background of her desire to lead the Shabbat candle lighting ceremony in the kindergarten, something that was criticized by her secular members of Kibbutz Gebat.

In contrast to this moment, in this period many secularists are very afraid of the threats of the religion and actual religious coercion that is already manifested in actions and not just words on the part of the current government.

"I think these are false anxieties. But I think there is definitely a desire for people to feel that they are part of a bigger story than the current day-to-day story. People today want to feel that they are a link in a long lineage, which has a vast past that goes back 4,000 years, they want to be part of a people, Part of a vast history that goes back many years, and you can't be detached from it. People who don't understand this feeling call it 'religion.' Be part of".

I learned that you were offered to write regularly for Israel Hayom - and you declined the offer.

Is it because you don't want to write in this particular newspaper, even though you supported Netanyahu in the past, or for some other reason?

"I really respect this newspaper and appreciate the people who write in it. There are people there who write wonderfully and great. I just said that I have a radio show, where I write nine articles every week, and I can't free myself to sit down and write another weekly article. It's just a matter of time. If I were free I would certainly write."

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Yehoram Gaon in "Close Relatives" (Photo: Reuven Castro)

Next Tuesday (February 7) will mark exactly 40 years since the rise of "Close Relatives", which was a pioneer in the history of the Israeli sitcom.

Could you understand in real time what she would become?

"No, in real time you can't understand such things. These are things that happen. You can't assume such a thing. Just like you can't assume that a song will be a hit, you also can't assume that a series will be a hit. I mean, from episode to episode it gained momentum, went And grew, grew, and grew, until it became such a wonderful and great sitcom."

Did you like your impersonation arranged for you by Moli Segev in "Aretz Fahadrah"?

"Yes, why not? Imitation is always some kind of evidence of popularity."

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Yehoram Gaon in the movie "Casablanca" (Photo: GG)

Later this year will also mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the movie "Casablanca" starring you.

Did you see the musical "Casablanca" in Bhima?

"No, I haven't seen it, because I perform many evenings a week, and on the free evenings I have I sit at home and read a book."

You haven't seen the previous version of "Casablanca" in Camry either.

"No, I didn't see it."

In "Casablanca" you sang "We are all Jews and so nice".

Is this line still relevant today?

"Yes, of course. You can't live in this country if you're not optimistic and if you don't hope. I only hope and I'm optimistic all the time. I love this country, and I'm a Zionist not for the purpose of recommending, but a Zionist in truth. And I believe that things will work out, and things will be found You're in the right place. So I'm not worried at all, I never was and I won't be worried either. I was in the war of liberation in Jerusalem and went through a siege. There was no water. We went through very difficult times.

Today we are in a completely different place.

And I only look at the glass half full."

Is there anyone in the government today to whom you can sing "And all the best to the minister"?

"Whoever is elected, I wish him nothing but success. His success is my success."

Aren't you bothered by the fact that Ben Gvir is a senior minister today?

"I'm telling you I'm not bothered at all."

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Yehoram Gaon in an interview at the studio Walla!

Sagi Ben Nun interviews Yoram Gaon in an interview at the Walla Studio!

NEWS (Wala!)

Even after an illustrious career, it is amazing that even at the age of 83 you are one of the busiest artists.

Among other things, you were also cast in the movie "The Pool" directed by Amichai Greenberg, in which you play Meshi Kleinstein's grandfather, a widower and a statistician who calculates life expectancy.

"The film is now being edited and will be released shortly. I play a very interesting type, who calculates everything. Calculates life expectancy calculations and all. I am Meshi's grandfather and she is wonderful and wonderful. At the beginning of the film we are at a huge distance in our relationship and at the end of the film we become very close and really become To be grandfather and granddaughter."

And by the way, life expectancy, age and death bother everyone to one degree or another.

How much does it bother you?

"No, not disturbing. I'm not everyone. The main thing is to do."

For dessert: which camp are you in, Anna Zak or Noa Kirel?

"I know they are two very successful singers, but I didn't know there were camps, I'm sorry. I wish them both great success."

  • culture

  • music

  • Israeli music


  • Yehoram Gaon

  • Poems

  • Here is 11

  • very close

  • Casablanca

Source: walla

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