First Turkish press for the artist known as Danielle Hebert

September 6, 2015

Hello my friends,

the heat has come back, I sit here around 11 PM and I am just so hot. Two weeks ago I was so happy to see that the renovations on the house across the street were over, we had been serenaded daily with the sound of chisels on stone, (which I didn’t mind) the loud talk of workers, the occasional clangs and twangs and bangs of metal against stone, against sidewalk, against each other, and this sprinkled with the song of power tools chewing on hard things. That had all come to a stop. Nice.

Yesterday we were jarred out of sleep by massive clangings of metal on metal, suddenly they were erecting a scaffold … for our building. They are now renovating our building… remember the cement piece of masonnery that had hit the street a month or so ago? Well now they are refacing the whole building. There are workers in my windows at any time of day, one asked for cold water… they are breaking the external surface of the walls, which then falls below, to expose the bricks underneath. There seem to be a lot of water damage. My flatmate told me they will work for a month. …sigh… This morning was so noisy, my bed shook as they were pounding on the wall by my balcony. No morning sleep is the picture for the next month.

Here is a chance to practice equanimity…

I have resumed my practice of meditation and I can feel the benefits already. I have started to be able to sleep again, I was experiencing massive insomnia… and another benefit, is that I started to land in my shoes here in the now, and not being in a constant worry state eyeing the future. I still have a host of symptoms, and some mornings I am just in such a state of discombobulation it feels like my whole being is refusing to function, but gradually the meditation is helping me at least handle the mind, change the mind and the body will follow…

One piece of “career”action; I have had a very first interview as an artist in the Turkish press.

Here are the links;

it is basically the same info but the guy publishes in a few publications. These are the questions I was asked answered in English, he then translated them to Turkish :

When and how did you start to music?

I was about 8 years old when I started taking piano lessons. My mother was very musical, playing piano, recorder and flute so she sent both my sister and I to piano lessons. But things didn’t go so well for me, I was doing everything by ear and one day, my teacher turned the page of the music book in front of us and asked me to sight read, but since I had not heard her play the song first, I stumbled through the notes on the page and my teacher had a fit and berated me so harshly that I quit piano forever that day.

In my teens I started to play guitar, we had a guitar at home that my father played a little bit, so I started to learne things by ear again. A bit later our neighbor who was a professional guitarist playing on TV shows, started to teach me both jazz and classical guitar in exchange for me babysitting his lovely daughter.

In the house there was always music, my mother was mostly into the classics, she played Beethoven and Chopin and Bach on the piano and baroque music on the flute. My father was into Miles Davis and flamenco music that he listened on records. My sister had a Beatles phase so we heard everything in the house.

What kind of education and trainings you have?

I had the privilege of playing in a highly rated big band in high school, I first was playing bass, then jazz guitar, this was an amazging learning ground. The band was excellent, the equipment was top notch and there were many professional opportunities for the band. At the same time I was also studying classical guitar, taking private lessons in Montreal, that led to college auditions. I was accepted in the classical guitar department of the CEGEP St Laurent in Montreal but a week into the program, I didn’t like the teacher whose views in my opinion were too narrow, so I auditioned for the jazz guitar program and was accepted. A few years later I went back for a second jazz program, this time in Vancouver BC in Canada, there I also was selected for a prestigious jazz vocal choir called Soundwave and was awarded the “Most promising Guitarist award” at the end of the first year. To this day I feel I never fulfilled this award!

Which Countries did you play?

Canada, USA, France, Portugal and Turkey.  I really wish to do more of this, that is one of my dreams, to go play around Europe…

When and Why did you come to Turkey?

I arrived here on May 28 2013, a few days before the Gezi Park demonstrations started. I lived steps from Istiklal street so I was in the heart of it all. This was my introduction to Turkey. Very intense. I have been here ever since. It changed me, my life, my outlook on life, humanity, politics and so many things.

I came to Turkey to learn bağlama. Yeah, that was the reason. I feel in love with the instrument, its sound, its soul and the music, rhythms, it was as if I had landed on another planet when I discovered this music. I lived in Ottawa Canada for a bit and met Turks there, they were always playing Turkish music and I was mesmerized, taken by it. They eventually gifted me a bağlama, the first song I attempted to learn was Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayım, Aşik Veysel. Since this music is basically the soul and heart of the Turkish people, I thought that the only way to learn something and maybe capture some of the soul of this music was to come to Turkey. It came to me as clear vision one night, It spoke very strongly to my soul in ways I cannot explain. I had to come. A few months later I arrived here. Learning baglama was not to happen so easily. Being Yabanci and a woman the first few teachers I had did not take me seriously. Then I ran out of money to pay for a teacher and then life happened in strange ways, I never planned to come here and play my own music, but somehow I was getting calls and invitations to do that…

How is it to be a musician in Turkey? Can you earn enough?

The music world here is completely different than the one in North America. North America is all about making stars out of anyone who has this sort of drive, many times I feel that many “artists” there are only committed to public exposure, winning awards and making potential hits. When I arrived here I was blown away by the caliber of the musicianship. It was astounding. Of course there is a star system here like everywhere else, but there is also a deep, deep rooted musical culture that goes into something very pure, mystical. The people who decide to be musicans here really work hard and with great dedication to reach their dream and it shows in the music.

Enough money? No I live extremely poorly, I’ve never been so poor in my whole life, but money is not why I am here, money is not a goal for me. In Taksim it can get very depressing, too many bars, smoke and a ruthlessness that can be numbing. What I see a lot in Istanbul is that there is so much money but held in very few hands so there is a lot of human struggle, being an artist here is a proof of faith in one’s passion, not a ticket to big money.

You have a very different and unique style.. But i guess you had some idols who are or were they ?

Yeah, my style, always difficult to narrow down to a few words, I think it is a decantation of all the music I heard, studied and grew up with. As I said, Miles Davis was a big thing in our house, I knew some of those albums by heart as a kid, then I admired Joe Pass tremendously, then in my teens I was fanatical about Gino Vannelli, he is a Canadian artist who blended perfectly jazz, rock and R&B (old school stuff) into his own music, him and his brothers were total innovators with sythesisers. They came from a big band back ground, their father was a big band singer. Gino Vannelli’s vocals are some of the best in the world. I was totally into that. Then there was Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn as well as Heitor Villa Lobos… a strange mix… But I never really got into copying someone, I never idolized someone and copied them, I always followed a more whimsical desire to create, make beautiful sounds, find the perfect notes to express an emotion and find the words to with the right cadences to say all that I wanted to express.

What is your suggestions to the new musicians?

To be true to themselves, to dare being themselves. I remember when I started out I was told things like: “that’s nice but this not how songs are written…” But true artists have unique voices and you cannot copy them. You must carve your own path. Once you decided that music is what you want, as an artist, you must dream, explore, create, make mistakes and do it again, write as much as you can, be curious, be brave, be excited. Keep the love of music alive,otherwise this music business can really destroy you and make you lose yourself in a maze of subjective things and opinions that mean nothing. Love what you do and do it with love.


The other thing I am finally doing is to digitally publish my first book, not the big one some of you had access to or read It is a tiny book of 10 poems on Kindle which publishes books in digital format for Kindle readers and then that led me to Create-space, that branch of Amazon offers the book in print format, so it will be possible to order that. It was something that had been nagging at me for a while, finishing these things, getting them done and behind. I decided start with the poems collection to get familiar with the process, later I will attempt with the “big” book which will be over 300-400 pages for sure. I had started working on publishing it, but the sheer size and formatting issues made me realize that I would be pulling my hair out very soon. There are around 70 pages with photos alone… I started to lay it out in Open Office, but the software started to choke immediately and madly crash and losing documents. After some research I found out that the new version of Open Office has issues with Windows 7. I lost all my fancy software earlier this year when I had to totally reformat my drive, so that leaves me with very clumsy tools for something a little too hefty.

I will update you in a little bit with links to find the book. I was questioning what the pricing should be, they say that the optimum price is 2.99 but I am thinking that even a cappuccino costs more than that… It seems that I have put more heart and soul than a 2.99 price… but how do you price heart and soul.. it should be free… I am already giving all my music albums away… I am as poor as can be at the moment, so I opted for 7.77 the numbers are beautiful and it’s not so much money and a few more dollars really make a difference for a creator.

So there it is, I am pondering and organizing other projects, artistic projects. I’ll tell more soon. In the mean time I am attempting to tune in to peace and the magic of this magnificent universe.

the cover:



One Response to “First Turkish press for the artist known as Danielle Hebert”

  1. Charlotte Says:

    I am glad you are doing well! I miss seeing you on FB but am glad you are taking a digital holiday.

    Love, Charlotte

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