Genre : Israeli
The Kibbutz is a paradise for kids
Matti Caspi was born on November 30th, 1949, in Kibbutz Hanita. Sometimes, he says, he thinks back on Kibbutz Hanita and its peaceful atmosphere: "I had a very happy childhood in the Kibbutz. I used to enjoy my solitude in natural surroundings. I was very quite. In kindergarten, I used to spend hours sitting on the top of the dirty laundry hamper, banging away to the bit and singing. My childhood in the Kibbutz had been the loveliest in the whole world... The Kibbutz is a paradise for kids. To this day, I still consider myself a Kibbutz native, even after all these years.
Matti with the harmonica
Music was the only thing on my mind
At the age of 5.5, as he attended first grade, Matti began taking flute lessons and then mandolin, but once he had heard Samuel Gogol playing the Harmonica, he insisted on his parents getting him his own, having been convinced of his ability to play the Harmonica himself.
"I've been a bad student in school, I was odd, but a truth telling odd. I used to love laziness and everything about it made me feel good. My parents were always told: "He has the ability but not the will" and I told them that it was true, since music was the only thing on my mind. The truth is that no one has ever talked to me about my situation. They talked to my parents, the teacher, and the school psychologist, but not to me. It never bothered me that everyone thought I was a fool. Before I enlisted in the army, I thought of becoming a teacher of physical education. It appealed to me, back then, more than all those piano practice sessions.
Matti at his first piano concert Nahariya, 10 years old
Matti's father had fought on his behalf for the possession of a piano, and finally the other members of the kibbutz agreed to purchase a piano for Matti. Since the age of 10, for six years, Matti had taken piano lessons in the Nahariya conservatory. "I never liked piano practice. My father used to sit next to me to make sure that I practiced for a full hour each day. That is why I played half willingly and half coerced".
His piano teacher, Draggen, gave him an assignment at one time, to write his own musical arrangement to a written musical piece. Matti has made his first attempt and succeeded. Matti Caspi marks that same musical exercise as a turning point in his path, moving from theory to practice and being introduced to an entire realm. He was only 15 at the time.
It was at the age of 16, when Matti made his first public appearance on a radio show. It was "Kol Israel"'s then highly rated radio program "Tshu'ot Rishonot" (Fisrt Applause), a musical competition meant to bring about the discoveries of young prodigies. "Leytzan Kippurim" (kippurim clown), from the album "Heydad latzeirim" (bravo to the youth) has been his first song ever to appear on a record, when Matti was 17.
The Southern Command Group and the "three fat men"
Matti spent his Military service days as a performer in the Southern Command Group, to which he got excepted only after his second audition, while still in basic army training. With the group, Matti launched his musical career as an outstanding composer and musical manager. It was there where he first started experimenting with different musical instruments. Matti composed two songs for the group's debut program in 1968 - "Zemer badarom" (singing in the south), and duetted with Behira Shalom in a song named "ne'urim" (youth). The next program to be recorded was called "Mutzav aleph aleph" (prime stronghold), that included great hits such as "to Eilat" and "quite commando". Caspi, with his Baritone voice, composed, arranged and sang the program's greatest hit "Ani met" (I'm dyeing), a song that was accompanied by a very memorable video clip from the early days of Israeli television. Caspi is seen there along with Gadi Oron and Ya'acov Noi, together known as the "Three fat men" while still in the southern command group. Apart from singing, "the three fat men" used to perform comical bits and mime. Right after discharge from military service, the three fat men became the "they don't care" trio.
"They Don't Care" trio
With the trio, Matti recorded one album in 1971 with the "phonodor" label. Seven of the original "they don't care" trio songs have been re-released in a disk by "phonokol" ("bapa'am harishona" - the first time). On the cover of that same album it says: "We have been witnessing the forming of many trios in recent years, however, different from them all is the "they don't care" trio, with their perfect harmonies, outstanding performance and diverse and fitting material selection. No doubt, they manifest a major step forward for the israeli song arena. It may be difficult to believe, but this album was recorded while Gadi, Matti and Ya'acov were still part of the southern command group, of which they were the founders, and the preparations for the album have all taken place between shows, on the road from one post to the next. The trio, whose members had all been kibbutz members, has performed publicly achieving tremendous success, especially with their presentations of hit songs such as "Yeush" (despair) "Ani met" (I'm dyeing) "Lama at" (why you). Reaching the charts, these songs were often being played in various broadcasts. Finally, we have before us an album that portrays the most convincing calling card of the "the don't care" trio".
Singles, plays and shows
The famous theme song from the "Hasamba" motion picture was performed by the trio following Matti Caspi's departure on account of his first recordings as a solo artist on singles. His songs "Efraim", "What will become of me", "My song and her's", "the happiest man", and many others, have never reached any of Caspi's albums. Throughout that time, Caspi has already accomplished composing music for two theatre productions - "Lili Gam" (Lili too) and "Ir Hagvarim" (city of men), as well as writing for music festivals and other singers.
Behind the sounds
"Behind the sounds", Caspi's on stage collaboration with Shlomo Grunich, preceded Caspi's debut solo album. "Behind the sounds" was a success. The album baring the same title was considered psychedelic and the boldest that had ever been recorded in the country at that time. The album included hit songs such as "Tsiur" (painting), "Veotach" (after you left), "Ben Gurion", "When God first said" and more.
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