Matti Caspi arranged and musically produced Meir Bannai’s album“Rain”(1987), and played the keyboards and percussion.
The album is considered one of the most important and fascinating of that time, and has reached a golden record status and great success.
Meir Bannai passed away on January 12th 2017.
“I didn’t know he was sick, that’s why I’m shocked.
He was a humble, pleasant man, with a sense of humor, sharp, just a good man. He was extremely modest, didn’t look for fame and visibility. He lived quietly, just creating and recording, and was a unique singer.
I remember I was invited to a show at ‘Hammam’ performed by a group that sang from the songs of Nahum Haiman, and among them was Meir Bannai, in his very first days. I heard a man who sang extraordinarily and exceptionally, and I’ve followed him ever since. I attended another show where he performed with one Yair Michael accompanying him with the electric guitar, the same guitarist who’s been accompanying me in my shows for many years now, and that’s where we became friends. Meir asked me then to produce him the album which later became his career breakthrough, ‘Rain’.
He was a wild singer who sang like a wild beast in a good way. Meir sang in a way no one else could sing, with an enormous internal power and a very special voice. He was a wildflower in this artificial world - that’s what made him unique. He didn’t sing artificially or made his voice sound more beautiful. He simply sang what he wanted to sing in the most direct, bold and beautiful way.
In four hours he sang the entire album, unlike other singers I’ve worked with, who only gave their best after an entire day’s work at the studio, sometimes two or three days. With Meir it was just wild and natural. He sang in one take what he could’ve sung in the tenth take. It didn’t matter and there was no difference, and that was perfect to me as a producer. During those four hours I sat from the side and just enjoyed it all. I was enchanted and I knew it shouldn’t be touched. Most of my work went on recording the playback and then edit the mixes, but there was no need to even supervise any song because he sang it one time and that was it, it was perfect. There was no need to work on interpretation, clarity, or attitude. No need for decorations or to hide anything. As a producer I understood there was no need to cover him with many instruments, but instead to give his musical personality and his voice the center stage. there was no need for many instruments because he sounded so good he could be accompanied only by a guitar as well. There were many artists to whom I’ve produced a much richer frame of playback in order to draw attention because they needed more ‘wrapping’ on the edges. He didn’t need that wrapping. He would simply sing the song with total confidence and captivate the listener in a second. He sang with a most unique voice, it had an enormous power.
I was thrilled about the album’s success. His music was unique, unlike any other music. He was a strange creature in this field of culture and art”.