Garik Krichevsky: “I always consider Israel my country, although I am not its citizen”

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 Garik Krichevsky: "I always consider Israel my country, although I am not its citizen" ;

September in Israel will be marked by the tour of the Honored Artist of Ukraine, 10-time winner of the Chanson of the Year award. Chansonnier Garik Krichevsky, who does not call himself such, preferring the modest title of the author-performer of his songs, invites his fans from September 10 to 15 to creative apartment evenings – “For their own by pull”. On the eve of the tour, Garik spoke about who the song “The Way Home” is dedicated to, how the events of February influenced his work, about which of his songs is most associated with Israel, and, of course, about the upcoming tour and the new format of concerts.

Interviewed by: Gyuna Smykalova

– Garik, I greet you on behalf of all the Israelis who have been waiting for your new concerts for three years!
– Yes, before that I came to Israel after a 9-year break, and it was really long, and now only three years have passed, but so much has happened during this time…

< strong>– You even released a humorous song about the coronavirus…
– Even a couple of songs, I would say!

– How would you generally describe your situation during the pandemic?
– I was such a cautious optimist and skeptic, because I was familiar with the problem, which is called the virus, perhaps more than most people – viruses were once my specialty. I once studied at a medical institute a long time ago, studied virology. Therefore, at first I did not believe, I thought that these were fictions, but as I received information, the logic evolved on the basis of the knowledge I once gained, and I understood more and more that the coronavirus is serious.

– Many have found themselves suffering from isolation, and some, on the contrary, have found that they are more productive in “remote”. Did you feel productive, efficient, or did you suffer? How were the songs written?
– I actually fell ill in the forefront when the pandemic specifically covered Europe. After the next tour, there were still some tours (sluggish, but there were), I personally felt that this disease was completely different from what we had before. It's not the flu, it's not just a cold, it's a completely different story.
After the illness itself, there was also a post-covid syndrome, when depression occurs, a breakdown occurs, and memory suffers. In addition, there were no concerts. And it all affected me. At one point, the artists became unemployed, all attempts to give creativity a chance to survive went into making Internet stars out of artists – many began to perform remotely. I myself gave a couple of concerts online for my listeners, but this is all a child's game of a rat, as Ostap Bender said. And songs – my body reacts to events like this: sometimes I write poetry, sometimes songs, and when I can write prose. During the pandemic, I wrote a short fantasy-humorous story called “The Time of Dogs”; (I did not advertise it specifically, it is available on the Internet).

– Tell us where you live now, did you become an emigrant involuntarily in connection with the February events?< /strong>
– I can't call it emigration, because I have been living in Germany since 1994, in fact – in two countries. Now I have returned to Germany, I hope, temporarily, – as soon as the war is over, then at the first opportunity I will return. My home is Kyiv.

 Garik Krichevsky: " I always consider Israel my country, although I am not its citizen

– On the one hand, the artist lives on tour, but now, due to the current situation – with the period of the pandemic and the outbreak of hostilities – how is your touring activity going?
– There are no tours in the same mode as it was before: today there can be no concerts in Ukraine, I perform a little in Europe, plus tours in America and Canada are planned. Basically – charity concerts, in the sense that part of the funds, and sometimes all, I transfer to funds for those in need who suffered from military operations.

– In early July, you presented a new video for the song «The Way Home», for the video sequence of which footage from the documentary chronicle was used…
– This song is dedicated to my new and my former friends… I wrote the song after leaving Kyiv – in Lviv (this is my hometown, I was born there), – that day Lviv was also bombed. I was in the company of absolutely new friends of mine, who helped me in that period with everything they could, especially morally. And already in Germany he recorded a studio version, for which the video was filmed.
Through the song, I expressed my emotions: it was the first time I found myself in such a situation, like most of the inhabitants of Ukraine. In Israel, I was not caught by the bombings…
Although by that time I was already mentally prepared that this could happen. To say it's unpleasant is an understatement. It's unpleasant – when the car was damaged, and when those who called us brothers are shelling Kyiv with rockets, it's a different feeling…

– If you choose one word, how can you comment on this situation ?
– Meanness.

– You have been performing in concert for 30 years, is it possible to get used to the fact that the audience gets up and sings in unison with you?
– Well, firstly, this does not always happen, I'm not used to it being daily. If it's a good concert, if my audience came and everything turns out well, there is chemistry between the audience and me, and many people sing songs with me, come up to the stage, etc. – yes, it's all incredibly nice. But it's impossible to get used to it. For any artist, this is an indicator of his professional suitability, this is the feeling that you are doing your job right. Although I can’t even call it a job, it’s still a hobby for me. And, secondly, the singing of the hall is not always possible; there are concert formats that do not provide for this, for example, some more homely, more chamber, so-called apartment concerts. Just such a format of concerts will be held in Israel.

– People who know the songs come to the apartment building and usually sing along. You promised songs with a guitar, surprises. Open the veil of secrecy, what can listeners expect?
– There are no secrets, there will be no corps de ballet! Apartment or creative evenings – this type of concert is now quite popular in Europe – these are more bard concerts, when there is a minimum number of musicians on stage. Of course, I will be there with an instrument, there will be a lot of songs accompanied by an acoustic guitar, we play something with musicians, and in some songs we use orchestral playback, but in this case there will be only live music and communication with the audience is obligatory. That is, these are full-fledged concerts in small halls, but with the atmosphere of an apartment house. As a rule, an audience comes to such concerts, which knows where they are going and what they will get. For Israel, this format is a novelty, with such concerts I performed in Germany, Italy, but I have not been to Israel yet. Therefore, those who attended the concerts three years ago can come and experience the feeling of something new.

– And what about the surprise of the program – your daughter on backing vocals?
– My daughter often performs with me, recently it has been less common, since she graduated from college and moved to Germany to her husband before the war. Now she has the opportunity to go with me to Israel as a backing vocalist, but such an opportunity falls out less and less – she has decided: medicine inspires her more than music. Yes, and we worked well together, we already have a lot of experience and experience – roughly speaking, she has been performing with me for five years, which is about 20 years already.

– Which of your songs do you most associate with Israel?
– You know, several songs connect us with Israel. It so happened that I do not perform all my songs at concerts, for example, “The Envelope from Tel Aviv”. This song was written in the early 90s or 80s, I don’t remember anymore, it was included in one of the first albums. There is a song “Darling”, in the text of which there is no associative row with Israel, but I wrote it there, either on tour, or just on a visit. Israel is one of my favorite countries. The country to which I have a special relationship – I always consider Israel my country, although I am not a citizen. Whenever something happens in Israel, I perceive it very painfully, exactly the same as if it happened in Ukraine. There is something in Israel that cannot be explained: despite the high cost, not the most pleasant climate, but I come – and that's it, the feeling that I'm at home. Apparently, this is how Jewish roots work, genes.

– You said that you like smooth-jazz (smooth-jazz), but listen to modern music? Now we are not talking about the genre that I represent, which is also interesting to me. I don't listen to youth pop music at all. My kids do it with headphones. I've been listening to one format all my adult life – music also changes over the years, new musicians appear, but the format is the same.

– Is there anyone in the music industry that you would like to sing with?
– I have no such desire, moreover, I will say that I have always been surprised by the attempts of pop performers to make a concert with a symphony orchestra. I do not understand this. And what about a rock or pop musician and a symphony orchestra? Is this some kind of attempt to elevate the genre to the classics or lower the classics? I can't understand why? Some pathos. I don't have that at all. If I meet some musician at the table, then we will drink vodka with him and we will have a fresh idea – this is interesting to me. And I don't know who this musician will be. I don't want to get acquainted with those performers that I like. I don’t remember who the author of the statement is and I’m not quoting exactly, but someone once said that if you like a picture, don’t meet the artist, often after that you will be disappointed.

– Another question has been tormenting me for quite a long time: in your opinion, why do doctors make excellent musicians? You are a doctor, your daughter too, offhand – Billy Novak (Billy’s band), Alexander Rosenbaum, Dr. Alban…
– I can only explain this by the fact that I did not need mathematics to enter the institute. And people with a humanitarian mindset often chose medical universities, and humanities are capable of creativity. Let me give you a smaller-scale example: when I studied at the medical school, there was still the Soviet Union, then perestroika, a large number of amateur art concerts were organized in universities, which was comparable to the level of training of professional artists. And not a single university, including the conservatory, where professional musicians studied, could compete with the participants of Lvovka Honey, and I am still silent about dance groups. In general, according to my observations, just the humanities are more likely to be creative.

 Garik Krichevsky: "I always consider Israel my country, although I am not its citizen"

– Has your second book come out? You wrote the first part of the trilogy – “Angels in White”.
– No Unfortunately. When there was a pandemic, I still somehow wrote, and when the war began, all interest in prose disappeared. I do not know when interest will be restored, and I really hope that it will appear after all. The second part of the book called “Golden Time” was being prepared, but for now I will throw it “on the table” and I will write something more relevant, about what is happening to me today, my emotions, while it is fresh and while I have something to say.

– You are almost an emigrant, and Israel is a country of emigrants, plus the events of recent months forced someone to leave, someone planned repatriation anyway, but still couldn’t move because of the pandemic … Maybe you have some words or advice, to support people – both those who ran away and those who planned to emigrate?
– I would like someone else to advise me! It all depends on what the person is planning. If this is a temporary measure and a person understands that when everything is over, he will return home, this is one algorithm. If a person decides to stay forever in another country, this is a different algorithm. For those who are planning to return, I can advise the following: you need to drive away depressive thoughts, you need to make the most of the time that you now have for your own benefit. For example, learn the language of the country where you are, or the same English. And remind yourself that the moment will come (and it will definitely come!), And you will pack your suitcase, get on a plane and return home. And for those who decide to leave forever, you need to stop comparing life “there and here.” This is perhaps the most important thing, because even in Germany I come across people who are constantly in comparison – “and here it is, and there it is like that”; -&helli; You need to forget the past and not injure yourself, understand, yes, it was like this there, but here everything is different. Accept everything as it is – the local mentality, local traditions and not destroy yourself with various speculations. To Easy to advise… but that's all I can say to my brothers and sisters who are in Israel.

– And finally, share your feelings, do you miss concerts, is there a feeling of hunger for performances ?
– Undoubtedly! Although I had a period when I couldn’t even look at the guitar, but there was no question of going on stage. But I was asked when I arrived in Germany to hold a charity concert. I did it without much enthusiasm, and not that I did not want to help, I had neither moral strength, nor energy, nor desire for it. But I understood that I had to help people, they were waiting for me. It was a turning point. I overcame myself and performed. From now on, I can perform freely, there is no psychological barrier, I can even write songs. Of course, today it is emotionally difficult for me to sing something funny and joyful, but I understand that if I go on stage, the audience may ask for funny songs, and I know for sure that I will definitely sing them. This is what distinguishes a professional from an amateur: neither the state of health, nor the weather, nor what is happening in his personal life affects the pros, the pros can switch. A professional is a professional, he always tries for his fans, no matter what happens around.

Apartments Garik Krichesvkogo “For his own by pull” will take place on:

September 10 — Be'er Sheva, “Gechal ha-Tarbut Histadrut”;
September 11 — Ashdod, Matnas «Dune-Yud»;
September 12 — Petah Tikva, Beit Gold Theater;
September 13 — Rishon LeZion, Mofet Hall
September 14 — Netanya, audience them. Arik Einstein;
September 15 — Haifa, Rappoport hall.

Order tickets: or by phone: 03-5260260

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Tour organizer of Garik Krichevsky in Israel — The Guild of Independent Producers.

Photos courtesy of the concert organizer.

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