Tag Archives: music

Geppetto from South Tel-Aviv

Anton 18-s

A year ago, while filming a movie at the Neve-Tzedek quarter in south Tel-Aviv, I “accidentally” picked through one of the house’s window. I know it’s not a very polite thing to do, but the next thing I did was even ruder: I knocked on the window and asked the interesting looking man inside the room if I could possibly take his picture. The man raised his head from the thing he was doing and luckily agreed. That was my first encounter with Anton Avramov. “What are you doing?” I asked him with growing curiosity, and he pointed his finger toward the hangers hanging over his head and said: “I create figures from metal wire”.

The Artist-s

After that coincidental meeting I couldn’t just leave things for chance and scheduled a meeting with Anton where I was going to document him during his work. When we met again, Anton wanted to sculpture a whole band of musicians. He arranged his working tools on the floor of the workshop’s yard and started working with an amazing pace. While I was filming him working, the little figures started to round on the table: A pianist, a trumpeter, a drummer, a harmonica player and a guitarist. “How did you come up with working with a metal wire?” I’ve asked him, amazed. Anton kept his fingers working and told me his story.

Anton 14-s

Anton grew up in Bulgaria, and as a little child he liked playing at his uncle yard. He was especially drawn to the copper wires his uncle stacked at the back of the shed, but it was out of his reach, and his uncle forbade him from touching the material since it was very expensive. In 2002 Anton immigrated to Israel and lived in Kibbutz Ein-Hashofet. As a youth Anton worked at the Kibbutz factory where they manufactured chokes for light bulbs. Anton was very happy to discover that chokes are made from copper wires. The turning point was when his boss gave him a pliers as a present, and he started to play with the desired material. But the pliers had no cutter in it, so Anton had to work with the wire without cutting it. “I can’t really say, it’s very natural for me” Anton told me, “When I see objects I imagine them as one continuous line”.

Anton 4-s

Anton discovered his art by chance, after looking for it in architecture and acting studies. From the acting he probably got his unique and dramatic appearance and his love for inventing characters. Since he began sculpturing with metal wire he made a large variety of artifacts: little delicate figures, portraits and even gigantic objects made with vice, welder and metal chain cutter.

Anton finished his band of musicians and set them on the table. Suddenly, it seemed as if they were coming to life and started playing music. You are welcome to watch the clip and judge for yourself:

Video: Yaniv Berman

Artist: Anton Avramov

Music: Old Fish Jazz Band

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Musicouple – Liat & Yogev

Suzan Dalal - 1s

It’s great fun to work with music and talented musicians. After my work with Joca Perpignan who gave me a wonderful Brazilian joyride I jumped on the wagon of Liat & Yogev. I met them through a good friend called Eyal Atzmon who play with them in a band called Ha’rochvim (The Riders). Liat plays the violin and Yogev plays the guitar. They decided to join forces and work together on a show. They’ve named themselves – Musicouple. I had the honor to produce a few videos for them while they were recording wonderful covers in Nir Averbuch’s studio.

After they’ve accomplished forming a musical repertoire, I was called to make a commercial video introducing them at work – playing in several different situations – from a studio recording to performing in front of audiences. We shot the video in Tel-Aviv in one day, jumping from one location to another.

And here is another clip:

Liat & Yogev, I wish you all the luck in the world and I can’t wait to watch you on your premiere!

LY - 8s(Drinking Arak from left to righ: Yogev Cohen, my hand, Nir Averbuch & Liat Rozenberg)


BenHaim Winery

BenHaim 1s

I always thought that most of Israel’s wineries are situated in the Golan Heights, so you could imagine my surprise when I discovered that I have a boutique winery just under my nose in Ramat-HaSharon, adjacent to Tel-Aviv north border. I was amazed to realize that I pass right next to the place twice a week when I jog by the road leading from the city noise to the grapefruit orchards of Kibbutz Glil-Yam. So what can one do with a winery by the house? The first thing to do is to knock on the door and ask to have a taste.

BenHaim Winery is a small family business with an interesting history. Itay BenHaim is a big man that rides a Harley, and he’s got a large smile and loud laughter of a man that’s got wine in his soul. Those qualities, most likely, led him to be the vintner. Itay doesn’t waste much time on talking and opens a bottle of a 2007 Cabernet-Sauvignon. Deep into our drinking he starts telling about his great grand-father who built wine barrels in Romania. The oak wine barrel have a very important role in making the wine. It gives the wine the right amount of oxygen that it needs during the maturation process. When the BenHaim family came to Israel in the early 40th, they kept their Wine Barrel production tradition. In those days their barrels were bought by Carmel Mizrahi famous winery, but also by Assis company that used the barrels for their juices.

old photo - s

(BenHaim Wine Barrel Factory. Haifa, 1951)

Many years later, when the wine barrel factory wasn’t profitable anymore, the BenHaim family decided not to surrender and to continue their heritage in the wine industry. They acquired their vineyard on the biblical mount Meron at the Upper Galilee. After the grape harvest the fruits are being broken and chilled next to the vineyard, and only then sent to the winery in Ramat-HaSharon, in order to preserve its qualities. Itay BenHaim emphasizes the fact that they make the wine by the ancient methods and tradition. It means that the wine is being aged in the barrel for 24 to 30 months before it goes for another aging period in the bottles.

Drinking makes you heavy, so Itay makes us stand on our feet, and leads us to the barrel room, where he do most of the work, monitoring the aging process of the wine. Like a good Romanian, Itay has a weak spot for Port Wine. He proudly introduces the barrel where he’s slowly aging a 9 years Port Wine. By the end of 2013 the Port will grow up to be 10, and then it will be launched to the market in a special edition. He gives me a taste of the Port and I’m in heaven. Well, I’m also part Romanian…

We head back to the welcoming parlor. BenHaim Winery is not a big place, but it has a lot of character in the interior design, with outdated wine barrels stacked together from wall to wall, among them all kind of wine bottles from the rich history of the winery. For the main course Itay frees the liquid from a 2005 Merlot. When I ask Itay about the many awards that his winery won, he humbly suggest that that’s not what counts, but by the evening of that very same day the members of the jury of Terra Vino 2012 gave BenHaim winery 6 awards, among them the very prestigious award for the best Boutique Winery in Israel. And so, with the wine filling our body and soul, Itay sits before the piano and start playing a merry/light headed tune. “I’ve also got a Saxophone hiding somewhere” he says, but with all that drinking he couldn’t find it. By the end of the visit my head is light. But no worries – after all I’m not so far away from home…


The smooth sound of Samba – Joca Perpignan launches new album

I always thought that Brazilian music has a unique calming quality. It might be the Portuguese language that flows most elegantly in a song, combined with a very enthusiastic rhythm. Since the Carnival is thousands of miles away from here, every opportunity we’ve got to enjoy the Samba is very special.

Joca Perpignan was born and raised in Brazil, but for more than 20 years he lives and creates in Israel, where he specializes in flavoring everything with Brazilian music and rhythm. He’s involved in many interesting projects, contributing his percussionist skills to many talented local musicians, like Idan Reichel, Mati Caspi, Yoni Rechter and many more.

And now, after he already made one album in Brazil, he launches his new album, called: “Manso Balanco”. This album combines Brazilian music with middle-eastern motives, which Joca absorbed during all the years he performed with local musicians. In “Manso Balanco” Joca collaborates with song writers like the great Samba poet Delcio Carvalho, and South-American musicians like the guitar player Marcelo Nami, Percussionists Juares dos Santos and Rony Iwryn, and local Middle-Eastern musicians as vocalist Din Din Aviv and Palestinian-Israeli Mira Awad. The Album was produced by Joca and his two long time partners – Uri Kleinman and Marc Kakon.

The meaning of the name “Manso Balanco” is smooth movement. I believe this name testify, more than anything, for the good nature of Joca’s character, that plays his music in the same smoothness with which he talks and sing. In the following concerts, Joca intends to place the percussion instruments at the front of the stage, a place usually occupied by strings and keyboards.

Here is a small taste of “Manso Balanco”:

The article in hebrew on YNET


April Snow

Rimon School of Jazz & Contemporary Music has a very interesting program with the Israeli nonprofit Mental Health Association (Enosh), where selected talented students take lyrics written by mentally ill patients and transform them into wonderful songs. The program is managed by song writer and performer Ariel Horovitz, and it’s called “Hahani Hahacher” (The other me).

This year they asked me to make a video clip for one of their songs. They’ve selected “Moridat HaShlagim” (The one that bring the snow) written by Lauren Milk, composed and performed by Naama Chetrit.

I had a few ideas for making the video clip; one of them was to involve my street artist friend Imaginery Duck to do some time lapse drawings. After conferring with Naama we decided on a script and launched a small scale production. Shahar Ziv and Almog Sella volunteered to help me in the shooting, while the other participants in the program came to play the extras.

For the scenery I chose a ruined boarding school for girls that I discovered during my “Haunted Houses” project. It has a creepy feeling of sadness and death to it, so we played on that notion with the extras playing as the ghosts of past students.

Even though the production was scheduled for the whole day, we shot it on holiday and had only until noon to film it, before all the participants dissolved. I used a Canon 7D and Almog brought her Canon 5D, which helped to gain more footage from a single performance. Since we had very little time, and no electricity in the near area I used only available light, which could be a problem in a day when the clouds play hide and seek with the sun. A good thing is that Almog has a great L series 50mm f/1.4 lens which helped us in the low light environment.

Shahar, who is a very talented editor, took the materials I gathered and assembeled them for the final result, which you are welcome to watch here:

The photos of the behind the scenes were taken by Imaginery Duck, who roamed the area and did some magnificent drawings on the walls:

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