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PORTFOLIO

29.12.2014

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In 1999, music conductor Daniel Barenboim and literary scholar Edward Said founded the West Eastern Divan Orchestra in Weimar. Since then, young Israeli and Arab musicians have been playing together around the world, under Barenboim's baton. For violinist Georges Yammine, the orchestra is “a fixed star, a source of inspiration and strength, and the hope of understanding”. His aim is to use the M9 to “capture the transformational magic of music, which seems able to break through the silence of darkness and dissolve torpor with amazing ease”. We spoke to him about good portraits, inspiring passions and very special birthday presents.

For a number of years you've been portraying the West Eastern Divan Orchestra of which you are also a member. Why? What gave you the idea to do this?

The West Eastern Divan Orchestra has been my greatest intellectual and artistic challenge since 1999. I wanted to capture the musical moments in pictures, and I had the wish to dedicate a special gift to Maestro Barenboim on his 70th birthday. The idea that emerged went on to become the photo book A Spark of Hope.


When musicians play their instruments they are often immersed their own world. Does that make it easier for you to photograph them?

When musicians are immersed in their own musical world, their expressions convey a naturalness and a spiritual strength that makes it easier for the photographer to take a good portrait.


On our blog, you’re presenting pictures unpublished till now. Do you have a favourite among them?

During the West Eastern Divan Orchestra's 2014 summer tour, I dreamt of taking a joint portrait of Maestro Barenboim and the legendary pianist Martha Argerich. I managed to take my favourite picture during a brief moment of quiet, of introspection, where each listened carefully and with room to align with each other. In that moment, during the rehearsal, I only had a few seconds to put the violin aside and grab the M9.


You’re passionate about making music and about taking photographs: imagine you had to give up one or the other – which would it be?

Both my passions inspire and strengthen each other, so one without the other is inconceivable.


You will find an introduction to his photo book A Spark of Hope in LFI 1/2015.
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine
© Georges Yammine

Georges Yammine

Georges Yammine was born in 1979 in Zekrit, Lebanon. He moved to Germany in 1999 to study violin at the Franz Liszt Music School in Weimar. He has been a member of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra since 1999 and of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra since 2008.
A self-taught photographer, his book A Spark of Hope was published in 2014 by Corso Verlag.


www.yamminegeorges.com
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