Yanni - 11 - Whispers in the Dark - Love Songs The Ultimate Romantic Collection.mp3

                                          YANNI    BIOGRAPHY

YANNI CHRYSOMALLIS

BORN: November 14/1954 in  Kalamata, Greece

YANNI  

COMPOSER, KEYBOARDIST

 

Many people  think they've never heard Yanni's music.  Yet in the early 1990's, the keyboardist work was heard by more people than perhaps that of any other composer, from commercials to soundtracks to sporting events.  This Greek-born synthesizer whiz has been everywhere, establishing a fan base beyond his die hard New Age constituency. 

When, in 1972, he left his home in Kalamata, Greece, at age 18, Yanni Chrysomallis had no plans to become a New Age music star.

Yanni, coalesced the electronic progressive and neo-classical wings of the New Age and added something notably lacking in the music: drama and charisma.

The charisma part is obvious.  Born in Greece as Yanni Chrysomallis, he sported darkly handsome Mediterranean looks.  There's the jutting jaw, dashing mustache, and dark, penetrating eyes that made women think they were looking into the soul of the universe.  Then there was the hair, a long black, luxurious mane that rivaled that of romance novel cover model, Fabio.  It was all set on the compact, muscle body of a man who was on the Greek National Swimming Team.  He set the Greek free-style record when he was 14.  Women couldn't resist and it got him into the hearts of America and actress Linda Evans, with whom he lived throughout most of the 1990's

Appearance only got Yanni in the door and this ultimately his music that keeps fans coming back album after album, tour after tour.  That's where the drama comes in.   Yanni's music speaks of exotic lands, spectacular vistas and romantic liaisons.  On tracks like "Keys To Imagination," Yanni unlocks your own fantasies in a heroic journey for which he provides the perfect soundtrack.  And Yanni has matched those epic visions with extravagant performances documented in his Live At The Acropolis and Tribute videos.  Yanni doesn't just perform concerts, but creates cinematic tableaus.  He was the first western artist to perform in Beijing's Forbidden City.

Yanni's family was musical.  His father played guitar, his mother sang and songs were part of every family gathering.  Yanni's 1987 album Out of Silence, was inspired by his return to Greece after many years away.  Yanni began playing accordion and piano as a child, and when he moved to college in Minneapolis he also discovered the synthesizer.  On his way to a Bachelors Degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, Yanni played everything from frat parties to a stint with a semi-popular rock group called Chameleon.  Yanni was hearing a sound outside of rock and roll.  In 1984 he released his first album, Optimystique, and it shows the influences of progressive rock players like Rick Wakeman of Yes and Kieth Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

With the advent of digital synthesizers and samplers, Yanni began realizing the orchestral sound he heard in his head.  "I want to use synthesizers like Beethoven used the orchestra," he once claimed.  Trumpets, violins, and percussion surge through his music like the London Symphony Orchestra in a box.  Yanni's demo tape caught the ear of Peter Baumann formerly a member of Tangerine Dream, the pioneering German space music band.  Baumann had started his own record label to put out more personal, intimate sound which he called Private Music.

Yanni opened the door with Keys To Imagination, an album of fiery keyboard orchestrations that included songs that remain staples in Yanni's repertoire, including "Looking Glass", "Nostalgia" and "Forbidden Dreams."  You could hear Yanni's Mediterranean roots emerging with the hammered dulcimer triplets and Greek dance rhythms that suffused his music.

Yanni followed up with Out of Silence, Chameleon Days,  Niki Na Na and In My Time and right behind then came the Yanni jokes.  Everyone took a shot at Yanni, from Mystery Science Fiction Theater 2000 to New York, which ran a cartoon of a dentist asking a patient, "Novocaine or Yanni?"  However, when the producers of sports broadcasts like Wide World of Sports, Tour de France and the Olympics are scoring their coverage to the music of Yanni, they aren't looking for mellow.  In fact, Yanni's music is full of bombast galloping rhythms and lightening dynamic shifts.  Tracks like the techno and metal guitar a overdrive of "Running Time" would rocket any new age meditater into cardiac arrest.

Among his fans was Linda Evans, best known as Krystal  on the television nighttime soap opera, Dynasty.  They became lovers and Evans guided Yanni into a new publicity dimension.  Even though Yanni was already the leading seller of New Age music, there was still a vast untapped audience for his music, and audience which didn't even know they wanted it until they heard it.  Forget radio or MTV, both of which had effectively shut Yanni out for nearly a decade.  Yanni had Linda Evans, and Linda Evans had Oprah.  In 1990, Yanni appeared on the celebrated and highly rated Oprah Winfrey talk show and overnight took a quantum leap, in two weeks selling 600,000 copies of Reflections of Passion, a collection put together by Evans.

Yanni took his reported 2 million dollars in profits and in 1993 financed the staging and filming of Live At The Acropolis, a monumental event staged in the Herod Atticus Theater with the Parthenon illuminated in the background.  It was a triumphant return to Greece for the musician.

With Live at the Acropolis, Yanni's charm and charisma as a performer leapt into the homes of over 1.5 billion people worldwide and especially in the U.S. through nearly constant airing as a PBS pledge special.  Instead of being a remote New Age knob twister, Yanni was revealed as a potent keyboardist, playing most of the performances at an acoustic piano as he and conductor Shardad Rohani led the Royal Philharmonic  Orchestra in arrangements that brought new life to many of his best loved themes.

Now launched into true super stardom, the world was the limit for Yanni.  He crafted monumental performances events at the Taj Mahal and China's Forbidden City.  His group included Australian didgeridoo players and gospel soul belters. 

In an era of grunge, rap and confectionery pop, Yanni offers a view into more adult, genteel and optimistic era.  It's a world of grandeur and elegance that recalls an earlier time, a time in which perhaps Yanni wouldn't be a New Age composer, but a classical composer, his songs heard as symphonies played in the grandest concert halls of the west.

Yanni has continued to out do himself, year after year, with Live the Concert Event, Yanni Voices.  Yanni has recorded two new albums Yanni Mexicanisimo and his newly released Yanni Truth Of Touch, which I feel he really did a grand job in composing this amazing album.  It has exceeded our expectations.  Yanni is the greatest composer ever.

Beverly Goerz