Aviv Geffen (אביב גפן, b. May 10, 1973) is an Israeli rock musician, singer, songwriter, producer, keyboardist and guitarist. He is the son of writer and poet Yonatan Geffen and a graduate of Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.
Geffen was extremely popular among Israeli youth, who were later known as the "Moonlight Children", in the 1990s. Politically, he associates with the Israeli left. His music contains subjects such as love and peace, but also death, suicide, the army, and refusal to serve. He is also controversial for his decision not to serve in the IDF as a conscientious objector, rather than because of his medical condition, and for his beliefs that are considered radical by some.
Geffen's first appearance was in the film Hamitpahat (1987), for which he wrote and sang the song "Ima". In 1992 he played a part in the teenage television series A Matter of Time. That year he also wrote a song for the Israeli movie The Beach Boys.
Aviv performed in clubs with his band "The Mistakes (Hatauyot)". He made his debut performance with "Cloudy Now (Achshav Meunan)", a song which later became his musical icon, and 12 years later was translated for the "Blackfield" project.
In 1990, he recorded his first song, "Friend (Chaver)", together with the band "Cats in the Piping". In 1991, he released his first album, That's Only The Moonlight (Ze Rak Or Hayareach). All of its songs were written and the music composed by Geffen himself.
"Cloudy Now (Achshav Meunan)" was Geffen's second album, which was released in 1993 and reached Gold in the same year. It was produced by Moshe Levi and Ofer Meiri, who took Geffen's influences and finalized it to a Geffen typical sound. Aviv expressed his generation's dissatisfaction with the government. The song Cloudy Now was followed by the question that many Israeli teenagers asked with Geffen - "Do you want a change?"
In 1994, Geffen released its third album, "Aviv Geffen III", when he decided to change a little bit of his sound. The production was made by Geffen and the engineer who became a producer - Lior Tevet. The main hit from this album was "Run Away (Haim Lehiot Bach Mehohav)", which was followed by a video. This album continued the success process that started with "Cloudy Now (Achshav Meunan)".
In his next album, "Nowhere (Shumakom)", Geffen was in charge of the production, with a little help by Reuven Shapira (the engineer), and producer Moshe Levi. As usual, Geffen wrote its own lyrics and composings. As a political awarded artist, Geffen also expressed the need of the youth to achieve peace with Israel's neighbours. Almost simultaneously to Aviv's success, in 1992, Itzhak Rabin had been elected as prime minister, also indicating the dramatic change that have been in the Israeli society in those years.
In November 4th, 1995, the Israeli peace political parties had decided to arrange a rally to support the peace process. Geffen was invited to sing in that rally, and surprisingly decided to perform Cry For You (Livkot Lecha), which Geffen wrote and gave to Israeli singer Arik Einstein. Only later it was found out the lyrics were a tragic prophecy of the murder of Rabin, later that night. Cry For You became a national anthem, and was the song that symboled the Candle Youth movement. In 1996, Geffen released The Letter (Hamichtav). [The Tears Rebellion (Mered Hadmaot) was written after the murder in 1995. Besides, it expressed a change and a turnout point in Geffen's music. Later, in 1996, Aviv has recorded what was known later as "The Israeli version of Imagine, Let's Walk For The Dream (Shir Tikva), which expressed deeply Aviv's vision.
In 1997 Geffen releasing his first compilation, that includes a first CD with the best songs of the early era, and a second CD which included B-Sides and live performances. The attempt to widen his audience in the global level, brought one of Geffen's weird albums - "Hollowed (Halulim)". Like his bigger "brothers", it was also produced by Moshe Levi, but unlike them, it is a hard, cold & alienated album, full of distortions - In my opinion the best album Aviv ever created. But commercially it failed, although the use of promos - such as billboards.
After that, in 1999, came out Aviv's 8th studio album - "White Nights (Leilot Levanim)", which was created under the influence of the changes in Aviv's life, again with Moshe Levi as the producer, when the combination created a soft & melodic album - compared to "Hollowed (Halulim)". One song that was above the rest, was "Mexico" that stayed in the Israeli charts for a long time.
A year later, in September 2000 Aviv is releasing his 9th album, "Journal", for the first time produced by Louie Lahav, and even in a new label - "Helicon". Geffen have worked with two colleagues - Daniel Salomon (who joined from the "White Nights (Leilot Levanim)" Tour) and Moshe Levi who was involved in the orchestration. Aviv had recorded 11 melodic songs, with a bonus track - a tribute to Bob Dylan - a Israeli cover to "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall (Geshem Kaved Omed Lipol)" (translated by Jonathan Geffen, his father). Three songs were popular in a special way: "Wake Up (Uri Ur)", "Scars (Zalakot)" & "Journal (Yoman Masa)" (together with Arik Einstein).
Two years after "Journal" - April 2002 - Aviv had released the first single - "Sad Song (Shir Atzuv)" - from his album, "Memento Mori". The name was taken from an artistic motif that means, in Latin, "Remember The Death". Like the previous albums, "Memento Mori" was soft (but still has its own expressions of anger, like in "Darkness (Hoshech)", and was dedicated to his grandmother who died a short time before the album's release date. From the album, "Ray Of Light (Keren Or)" & "Steppin Forward (Holech Kadima)" are the most popular till today.
Aviv has joined Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree to form the musical project called "Blackfield". Blackfield combines the musical efforts of both musicians and they perform their own original composition as well as Aviv's own songs translated into English. From the collaboration between Geffen & Wilson, that started in 2000, came out "Hello" - which was the first single from the "Blackfield" project, who was a build-up for a successful tour in Europe.
Two years after "Blackfield", in 2006 - the 11th album by Geffen was released, "With The Time (Im Hazman)". The theme song is a cover to a French chanson by Léo Ferré, which indicated matureness & sobering from the cliches that he symboled in his first years. Lately Geffen declared himself a radical leftist.
Geffen's lyrics and musical style is very influenced from rock band Pink Floyd, especially from the band member Roger Waters. through the years Geffen's musical style has been very influenced from other rock bands like U2, Radiohead, Green Day, Oasis, even Genesis and The Beatles. Geffen's piano playing influences by Pink Floyd's keyboardist Rick Wright and Genesis' Keyboardist Tony Banks. and his guitar playing influences by Genesis' guitarist Mike Rutherford, U2 guitarist The Edge, and Israeli rock band Kaveret's guitarist Danny Sandarson.