Passions

Yaron Herman

Yaron Herman follows an eclectic path where beauty can appear at any moment. As a soloist or part of an ensemble, this Israeli-born, French-resident jazz pianist shakes free of musical constraints and conventions to spin a vast kaleidoscope of colourful creations.

Can you sum up your career path in a few words?

I’m 38 and grew up in Tel Aviv. Though I had always imagined a career in sport, at 16 I started to play the piano alongside a jazz pianist who opened my eyes to the world of improvisation and allowed me to realise the key role of music in our lives. At 19 I moved to New York to pursue my passion. Two years later, almost by chance, I landed in Paris when I missed my connecting flight. To kill time during this impromptu night in the capital, I ventured into a jazz club. A few hours later, I joined a jam session and basically never looked back! It would have been so easy at the end of the evening to pick up my life where I had left it, but I truly believe that when you hit upon a successful melody, you need to allow it time to develop. Which is precisely what I did, grasping the hand of fate there for the taking.

 

How do you work?

I believe there are several aspects to the concept of work. Firstly, obviously practising every day, which allows you to make the step up from those first tentative notes to mastery.

It takes concentration, discipline and regular routine, but also requires developing self-awareness and belief. The other aspect of my work is feeding my creativity, and in this regard my appetite is insatiable. It would take an entire lifetime to explore all the creative avenues out there. But I see this hunger as a means of expanding my musical palette; the more colours I have, the more I can use emotion in a very real, timely way.

 

If you were to name three artists you admire, who would you choose and why?

That’s a tricky one, as I am constantly discovering new music. But if I had to choose three, it would be Bach, Keith Jarrett and Radiohead, because they are all masters of their genre and transcend their discipline.

 

“On a personal level, everything can be a source of inspiration, from a painting or a magnificent piece of furniture, to meaningful experiences or even a bottle of water.”

 

More generally, what inspires you and what is your impression of beauty?

Inspiration is not something we can control. It depends essentially on how receptive we are. As an artist, one aspect of my work is building the foundations on which inspiration

can flourish. This, for me, is what it means to be inspired. On a personal level, everything can be a source of inspiration, from a painting or a magnificent piece of furniture, to meaningful experiences or even a bottle of water. Anything can amaze me: I am fortunate enough

to have an instrument that allows me to express my feelings and give life to a new, global work that surpasses personal experience. On the question of beauty, I’m not even going

to attempt an intellectual response. I would say it’s just something that takes us to another level.

 

Do you think everyone can be creative?

We are all creators in our own right; every moment we are creating the world around us. But not everyone is fortunate enough to find the right medium to express our creativity. And yet we are all spontaneous creators in our early years! I would really love society to allow us to stay in touch with this innate creativity. 

 

Latest album: Songs of the Degrees, Yaron Herman Trio, with Sam Minaie and Ziv Ravitz (Universal, 2019).

 

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