Shlomo Gronich

Matti Caspi and Shlomo Gronich first met at the"City of Men"musical which Caspi composed and arranged, and where Gronich played the piano.

That time he wrote and recorded with Caspi songs like“Dear Husband and Sweet Wife”and“What will Become of Me”.".

In 1972 the two recorded"Ben Gurion"" and "A Painting".".

Also in 1972, Matti performed the songAnd YouThe lyrics were written by Shlomo Gronich, after he strongly disliked the song’s original lyrics which were about the Ridding D chimneys (written by Dan Almagor) for a satire show. Gronich felt the music (Matti’s) deserved more beautiful lyrics, about love, and created a classic. Gronich also arranged the song for its festival performance.

The two performed with Susanne and Fran and with Shlomit Aharon, to whom they composed several songs.

Then they performed at their joint show"Behind the Sounds"Gronich at the piano, Caspi on the guitar, and both in singing. The show included songs they both composed together, such as"God Has Mercy"and"My Father"(Y. Amichai),"A Painting"(Gronich), and"Behind the White Fence"(Gronich), songs by Gronich, like"Quinta"and"Please Don't Go"and songs by Caspi, like “When God First Said”. It was a one-time phenomenon - a combination of two talented artists in the beginning of their career, who together managed to create a convincing and fascinating masterpiece.

Eitan Gafni produced a record from the show in 1973(Behind the Sounds 73),which later became a milestone in “advanced” Israeli rock.

SWScan00629 כספי

Yoav Kutner:

“Thirty years later, it may be hard to understand the power of the revolution Shlomo Gronich and Matti Caspi have made in early 70’s Israeli music. Now, when most of their songs have long become “classics of the Hebrew music” that encounter between the two young and hungry musicians seems and sounds perfectly natural… but back then in the early 70’s, it was totally different, strange, and surprising, hard to take in… a minimalistic ensemble, almost naked, which presents a unique outburst of talents that are not afraid to incorporate rock elements in jazz, classical music, in folk music influences, to sing poems alongside personal songs, to not think about what was popular in Israeli pop… that was all new and fresh and very uncommercial…

Only in hindsight you can see that “Beyond the Sounds” was the beginning of a new genre in Israeli music, which for convenience purposes, we’ll call “advanced music” (including Yonni Rechter, Avner Kener, Shem Tov Levy, Shlomo Yidov, Zohar Levy and many more). The revolutionary tone of the genre may have faded near the end of that decade, but Caspi and Gronich’s victory is in their implementation of their revolution in the legitimate Israeli music”.

In 1982 Matti Caspi produced Gronich’s album“Cotton Candy”and in it played the harmonica and the percussion, and sang backing vocals.

In 1984 Gronich and Caspi returned on stage with the"Behind the Sounds"tour including twenty songs from the original show, both the artists’ songs and also new songs like"A Fresh Love Song".", ""You Can Live in Tel Aviv"and the humorous song"K.G.B"composed by Caspi who played the mandolin and also wrote the lyrics. The show, which gained much success this time, was recorded like the former one as a live show(Behind the Sounds 84).).

Gronich and Caspi who were interested in giving the old songs a new tone, decided to each perform the other’s songs. And so we can listen to Gronich perform Caspi’sA Place for Careand play the known melody on the piano with an exceptional arrangement, while Caspi plays the harmonica as a tribute to Stevie Wonder, and sings Gronich’s"A Fresh Love Song".The will to “invade” each other’s musical territories yielded one oft he amusing parts of the album - Caspi’s improvisation in Gronich’s song“I Have Sympathy”where there’s an air of spirituals.

On the cover of the album, Caspi and Gronich are seen dressed as king and queen respectively, as part of a skit which was included in the show, but not recorded in the album. However, the album which lacks the linking pieces (which make unexplained laughter and applause appear) does reflect much of the humor Caspi and Gronich incorporated in their show. In light of the tour and album’s success, which in a few months sold more copies than the original album did for more than a decade, Caspi and Gronich intended to release a second album (which wasn’t released eventually) including songs and skits from the show, which lasted more than two hours.

Gronich & Caspi 1984 interview
Gronich & Caspi 1984 press

In 1988 Shlomo Gronich published a tape-book in the Hakibbutz Hameuchad publishing house by Nirit Yaron called“Because of the Mango”.The compositions and arrangements were written by Shlomo Gronich, who also narrated and sang, along with Daphna Armony, and Matti Caspi was responsible for the musical production.
The story “Because of the Mango” was originally written as a radio play for Galatz in 1979.
When asked about Matti’s role as musical producer compared to his role as arranger, Shlomo Gronich explained that as musical producer Matti had more decisions to make regarding sound, recordings and mixing, but he also gave advice regarding the arrangements. Matti also played the accordion and the cuica in the song “Mango”, and in other songs he played the clavinet and the congas and more, and even made mouse sounds in the song “Before Yesterday”.

In 1990 Caspi and Gronich returned for the third time to the stage for the tour“Behind the Sounds 90”,where they also arranged new songs with Haim Romano:“Until When”and"The Happy Hell".".

Behind the Sounds Small

As from January 2002 Caspi and Gronich have run the tour again, spontaneously decided, for the fourth time, and this time they are joined by singer Raquel Caspi - Matti Caspi’s wife, and harmonica player Michal Adler - Shlomo Gronich’s wife.
In light of this tour’s success, Gronich and Caspi decided to memorialize it in a double album which was recorded during a number of live shows in the course of 2002:"Behind the Sounds 2002".".
Apart from the wonderful performances, the album includes two unexpected surprises - the first is the new performance of “Little Pinkas”, hidden in the first record. In this song Gronich and Caspi rienact their first musical encounter. The second is for whoever didn’t see the shows, the new song the two have written for the show - “A Girl Left on the Beach”.

בידור ובמה מאחורי הצלילים

In 2008 Caspi and Gronich reunited in order to write a new song together. After digging through piles of texts and not finding anything they liked, Michal Gronich (Shlomo’s wife) turned to Raquel Caspi (Matti’s wife) and she and Matti wrote the lyrics together. Caspi suggested the song’s theme would be the fact they couldn’t find one, and the result is a song namedWe didn’t find it so we wrote it".

We didn’t find it so we wrote it Raquel and Matti Caspi / Matti Caspi and Shlomo Gronich [Lyrics]

כשרצינו להופיע
רעיון חדש הפציע
כך נברנו בדפי
המילים הם שם הרי

לא ידענו מה לכתוב
אז חיפשנו משהו טוב
פקס שלחנו זה לזה
ומלמלנו: מתי, שלמה, זה לא זה

כי כתבו כבר על שמחה
על כאב וגם על עצב
עם או בלי חרוז מתאים
עם הרמוניה או בלי קצב
בלי קצב
בלי קצב
בלי קצב

וכמו חלום רחוק
פעם זה היה החוק
וחלום הרע עבר
תרבות הוצגה כגאווה

אך אותה קברו מזמן
מעדר וגם שדרן
לשירים ריקים מתוכן
יש קהל מלא החופן

אס אם אסים לא בחרו בנו
בתחרויות זולות
ולכן בהן אין טעם
לנסות להתחרות

כי אנחנו לא צעירים
עם שרירים מפותחים
שללא כל כשרון
את הרייטינג מבטיחים

ובחזה שלנו
צמחו רק שערות
סיליקון לא יעזור
את הקהל לפתות

תת אלוף ותת רמה
לא יודעים שרים על מה
אנו לא מייללים
על חיינו האומללים

ואני אמשיך באלתורים
ואני בבוסה נובה
וישליכו לעברנו
מטבעות אל תוך הכובע

כשרצינו להופיע
רעיון חדש הפציע
לא מצאנו אז כתב...

מה? זהו.
זה טוב.
Skip to content