Interview with multitalented artist Boaz Zippor - his creation is based on the frustration caused by people

"I miss integrity and originality. I hear the same thing over and over, same recycled ideas, same perfectly executed carbon copies of things done by better people. I miss the commitment creative people had before the hipster disaster fell on mankind."

Boaz Zippor: The Blues Of Humanity

Bangkok Thailand - based multitalented artist, ptotographer, poet, author, and musician, Boaz Zippor was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel 1972. Educated in Milano, Italy, majoring in industrial design and visual communications. Was founder and GM of several multimedia and design companies in Italy and Israel, before moving to Thailand in 2003, as art-director and creative-director for multinational marketing. Following several exhibitions of mixed-media and large scale prints, debuting in a solo exhibition in Milano in 2001, and 14 exhibitions since, is now concentrating on fine-art and writing, and runs a specialized bespoke private photography studio in Bangkok.

During the years, Numerous Art works have been bought for private collections in Italy, Israel, New-York, Hong-Kong, Shanghai, Barcelona, and of course Thailand. After active involvement in social projects in Israel, is now supporting several projects in Thailand, especially in the field of education for under-privileged children. Self-published his first book of poetry in 2010, and an anthology came out in 2012. In 2011 gathered his experience from writing to magazines and daily newspapers to launch his online article content reservoir with over 280 articles bucketmoon.com, and in 2012 the travel photo essay section of the site was launched.

Interview by Michael Limnios

What has been the relationship between music and poetry in your life? How does affect your mood and inspiration?

Both poetry and music have the same scope – letting out emotions, expressing them so they will not boil you from inside,  the a  pressure valve, like a broom taking out the dirt gathered in our everyday life. One of the first pieces I recorded was named “making music makes me want to kill people a little less”…
Any form of expression is healthy, like going to the gym. It is not a matter of talent or even the will to say something, it is a matter of survival.
The beauty of poetry and of music is that if you do them right, there are no rules, it is a very personal artistic expression and open to private interpretation, a clear canvas where everything is possible and no one but you is in control. How does that affect my mood? It is like taking a really good shit, extremely liberating and makes you feel light and agile.

What were the reasons that you started the music researches? What characterize your music philosophy?

One of the reasons I started making music is that I don’t like the music being made around me, and I just wanted music for myself. It is the same thing with my art work, before I did 14 exhibitions around the world my only goal in creating art was having cool things on my living room wall. We are in a low point in creativity with commercial music being nothing more than Mc-music and the “alternative” part of the spectrum is ruled by millennial who have never heard of commitment or hard work, making the whole music scene as interesting as a gum you have already chewed for the past three months.
Blues, like classical music, is a dying art form that brings back the spirit of the past, trying to keep what once was the magic of music. I have been researching various music types for decades, looking for what is original, what is pure, what is interesting, from Bulgarian folk music to Mongolian throat singing, from Mali blues on a three string guitar to Shostakovich string quartets, Brazilian medicine music by such as Airto and key stroke manipulation by Thelonious, I have always tried to see “how they did it” and tried to understand what is the essence of each musical culture, do they live by the beat or by the note, do they see structure as fixed or fluid, each culture has it’s magic. Blues just got more famous because of its emotional factor that speaks to people and the American mystic that surrounds it, the show…I always laugh that I can’t be a real blues man because I don’t have a hat.  But my own private philosophy when it comes to music or art is that if it is real you feel it, and you can’t force it. There is no way to explain why some things work and why others don’t, and every time you try to follow some “rules” about what music should be you are just getting further away from the truth.

"The beauty of poetry and of music is that if you do them right, there are no rules, it is a very personal artistic expression and open to private interpretation, a clear canvas where everything is possible and no one but you is in control."

What experiences in your life have triggered your ideas most frequently for poetry, music, and photography?

Most of my creation is based on the frustration caused by people being extremely stupid. Most of human suffering can be avoided but “human” is such a low level form of existence we seem to love the troubles we create for others and for ourselves and celebrate them as part of life. People’s stupidity causes frustration which causes anger. Anger is energy, and in an artistic surrounding it is a powerful emotion that brings interesting creative results. Anger is also the source of a lot of my more “relaxing” pieces of music, as an antidote, medicine for the soul.

Most of my creation stems from anger but I do leave a small part to celebrate what is great about life, if only to remind us why am I so angry, what life could have been if people were a little less …human.

When I compose a peaceful acoustic harmonious guitar piece it is usually an escape, a dream I can dive into for four and a half minutes and not think about the world’s condition. An audio magic potion, a musical drug that takes me into real harmony and real emotions.

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss integrity and originality. I hear the same thing over and over, same recycled ideas, same perfectly executed carbon copies of things done by better people. I miss the commitment creative people had before the hipster disaster fell on mankind.

Hopes and fears? I hope the human race will be extinct as soon as possible so the world can shrug its shoulders and start again and I fear it is not coming fast enough. But while we wait for this graceful ending for this nightmare we call life I fear we have already sold our soul to the smart phones and empty screens of empty social interactions. Everything good has been taken over by corporate greed and I have been a recluse that avoids human company because I really can’t stand any more of the “Heineken blues festival” or “Sony awards”… We are all clients and whores , never really knowing which one of the two we are today…the fact idiots around the world celebrate Steve Jobs, a marketing expert, as the most “innovative” and “creative” person in the world, shows there is very little hope. You have an app for “creativity”…precooked sounds…plastic surgery filters…sound bites conversations…

"Well, blues Is blues. People hurt, they sing about it, they pluck strings about it. Doesn’t matter where you are, the suffering is there. I think there is more in common in the folk songs than in the blues."

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Make musical education and musical appreciation classes obligatory throughout the full twelve year school system, giving people the tools to understand and create music. That might bring the level of music consumed to a higher level than the repetitive shallow tasteless horrible junk we hear today.

If people think that shitty music is good music there will never be any improvement.

Not everyone has to be a musician, and those who do choose that occupation should have a decent living, but everyone should be able to enjoy music, both as entertainment and as medicine for the soul.

What do you learn about yourself from the blues culture and what does the blues mean to you?

The blues is playing with your wounds, not letting them dry, keep on pulling on that scab. It has a therapeutic effect but is also a kind of pathological behavior. I come from the blues and I often return there but usually I find the blues a little boring these days, like hearing your friend complaining about the same thing day in day out.

In my last album with singer and drummer Didier Mpondo we did a thorough research of African music as the real origin of the blues and it seems that in its original form the blues was indeed not only information and storytelling but a full therapeutic medicine music system. Original blues in its African form is always dancing music, which is something I appreciate, with too many blues players these days concentrating on the ‘whiney’ part of the blues.  Yes, it is nice making your guitar cry but am not sure how effective it is. Look at old delta blues players and see they were all making dance music, something you can jump with, that you can move with, they were sitting there in a dusty sweaty booze hall with one cheap guitar and they made everybody dance (or were stabbed if they didn’t, now THAT is a proof your music works)

Make an account of the case of blues in Thailand. What touched (emotionally) you from the local blues circuits?

There is quite a nice scene of blues in Thailand, as it is both easy to listen to blues and easy to play the blues, it is not very hard, you got your three chords, a couple of pentatonic scales and four types of beat…that’s it, you are ready to play in a bar. I don’t know many blues players in Bangkok who can actually live off their music, but I guess this is the case everywhere around the world.

There are some local talents both old and new but the scene still lives thanks to visiting Americans or Europeans bringing a different standard of blues playing. I see lately a couple of Thai singers trying to pull to the direction of the blues in their Thai songs but it is still a long way to go until blues and Thai language will be able to live comfortable in the same song.

Like everywhere in the world there is an avid community of blues lovers so bars that play blues seem to prosper, which is a nice thing and helps the musicians survive. A good fan base is always a nice thing to have and you usually see the same faces in the audiences.

What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues from United States and Europe to Israel and Thailand?

Well, blues Is blues. People hurt, they sing about it, they pluck strings about it. Doesn’t matter where you are, the suffering is there. I think there is more in common in the folk songs than in the blues. The blues as we know it is American, always was always will be, and there is nothing wrong with that. My wife left and took my horse? I sing the blues. I am poor and my kids are hungry? I sing the blues. Hurt is hurt, pain is pain. It does have some anger in it too, but unfortunately rap and hip hop seem to have taken the monopoly on anger these days, I guess blues is not aggressive enough for people anymore…

Are there any similarities between the blues and the genres of Israel folk music and traditional forms?

As I said, the most common aspect is the emotion in the music, the stories being told. The other common denominator is the guitar of course, the famous cheap portable musical instrument. You can’t really take a pianoforte with you to the rice fields to play when you take a lunch break… Thai music is closer than Israeli folk music as the Israeli tunes originate more from the Russian spectrum of the music world while Thai music is pentatonic in its base, so is more similar to the African original version of the blues.

"I hope the human race will be extinct as soon as possible so the world can shrug its shoulders and start again and I fear it is not coming fast enough. But while we wait for this graceful ending for this nightmare we call life I fear we have already sold our soul to the smart phones and empty screens of empty social interactions."

What is the impact of Blues on literature, and what is the relationship of blues to the socio-cultural implications?

I'm not really sure if blues had such an impact on literature, jazz did and we can say jazz is just elaborate blues form in the end but blues has encouraged more drunk conversations than heavy books I think. It is a self-contained hurt management art form, there is no need to talk about it, no need to dissect it or study it too much, it is raw emotion. It sure had a lot to do with social changes and was the soundtrack of many revolutions but not sure if it effected literature too much.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

Probably early eighties to buy a lot of apple stocks. This way I would have the economic freedom to create the way I want…lol…I don’t feel a need to talk to any of the dead greats and I have a strong enough imagination to emulate the feeling of being in Woodstock in a very empathic lever. Yeah, apple stocks. I could have a nice cozy studio with full time sound engineers and proper instruments and would be able to pay musicians to come and create with me (I am one of these few crazy people who actually pays his musicians even for rehearsal times…and unfortunately the painful lack of apple stock or funds is evident)

Being dependent on money Is one of the problems any musician or music producer faces. I have learnt to work “guerilla style” when I produce music but it does have its limits, limits which sometimes make things interesting but still. As John Lennon answered when asked how his millions changed him – “it is nicer to write songs sitting on a cushion” and if the symbol of hippie says so, who am I to argue?

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