din din aviv 88.
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There was never any doubt in Din Din Aviv's mind about her choice of career. Now in her early thirties, she kicked off her singing career a full three decades ago. "I started performing at weddings with my mother [singer Aliza Aviv] when I was three years old," she says. "I've been through a lot since then."
Indeed she has. Her CV to date includes an appearance at the national children's Shirovision song contest with her parents at the ripe old age of six. She then followed the well-trodden route of performing in teenage bands and army troupes before coming to national notice with the highly successful New Age band Gaia. Her media profile rose even higher as a member of The Idan Reichel Project, and now, at long last, she has released a debut album under her own name. (See review below.)
"Yes, it has been a long time coming," admits Aviv. "I had a journey to take before I got to this stage. I've enjoyed the work I've done to get this far. I've had a lot to learn."
There was also the small matter of self-esteem. "I suppose I never really knew when to say 'It's my turn now'. It's taken me a while to feel comfortable about taking responsibility for the material in an album of my own."
Becoming a parent has also been part of that learning curve. Now mother to 11-month-old Eden, giving birth and being completely responsible for someone else's life has helped Aviv along her path to self-discovery. "I think having a baby has also allowed me to separate from my mother. I love her dearly but I think all women who become mothers themselves go through this. I had to learn to leave the nest and stand on my own two feet. Being a mother has brought its own lessons and wisdoms with it."
Throughout most of her adult musical life, Aviv has been an integral part of the emerging Israeli New Age scene. Besides working with Gaia, she is friends with members of seminal local New Age band Sheva. Sheva's (now solo) vocalist-guitarist Mosh Ben-Ari is a prominent influence in the new CD. "Mosh sings on the album and wrote one of the songs ["Halomot, (Dreams)"]. We come from the same places, musically and otherwise. We all come from rock and ethnic music, east and west. We're tuned into the same energy frequency. That comes out in the music too."
The first single, "Sodotai (My Secrets)", was released just a couple of weeks ago and is gaining a generous amount of radio airtime. "I like 'Sodotai' a lot," says Aviv. "It talks about my quest, my searching and learning. I don't talk about exactly where I'm coming from on the album. It's more about the actual path."
But there is some social comment in there too. "I try to put across the idea of looking inside ourselves, looking at who we are instead of rushing around like crazy the whole time. I'd be happy if the record encouraged other people to do the same. There is a song by [singer-songwriter] Leah Shabbat on the album called "Kol Halayla (All Night)" that says 'The family is the most important thing, and let's live to 120'. I'd really like to believe in that, and live that."
Still, the New Age shanti (peace, unity, tranquility) scene is no longer "the latest thing". People have become accustomed to festivals such as Shantipi and Beresheet, with their alternative ethos - so one may be forgiven for wondering whether the self-seeking thing is little more than a marketing ploy. "I've been asked that before," Aviv says. "But, you know what, even if it is fake, even if a person doesn't fully believe in shanti and the spiritual path, if you do it enough it eventually becomes real for you. They say 'fake it till you make it'. It works. If we choose to speak the truth, and take responsibility for it, it becomes real. That's what "Sodotai (My Secrets)" is about. That's my secret."
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