Friday, December 22, 2006

Yanni - "In My Time" {Greece} [1993] (New Age - Contemporary) @256

1993 was a good year for me I guess. Rising to the ramparts of surreal journies through space (viz Ship Of Fools) to the classy inner spirit journey that Yanni provides. These sounds are more at home if you are some kind of Spiritual healer or channeler of energies - and that does bear some relation to the sounds of Ship Of Fools who channel energy in a totally different kind of manner.

extract from Wikipedia... Yanni, (born Yiannis Chrysomallis, Greek: Γιάννης Χρυσομάλλης, on November 14, 1954), is a Greek keyboardist and composer. He was born in Kalamata, Greece.

Yanni is a self-taught pianist who began his musical career by giving recitals for family members. Early in his life, he was also a competitive swimmer in Greece and set a national record in the 50-meter freestyle competition. He later attended the University of Minnesota and earned a B.A. in psychology. After graduation, Yanni chose to try a career in music, although he could not read music and had no formal training. Using his own form of musical shorthand, he began writing original works that defy categorization.

While a student at the University of Minnesota, Yanni joined an up-and-coming local group called Chameleon, which was headed by drummer Charlie Adams. [1] Chameleon earned some modest commercial success touring throughout the Midwest, particularly in the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and South Dakota. Eventually, Yanni grew tired of the rock and roll lifestyle and focused solely on his instrumental career as a soloist. He moved to Los Angeles and eventually formed a small band including Charlie Adams and John Tesh.

All music composed and produced by Yanni
Endre Granat – Acoustic Violin on The End of August and Felitsa.
Charlie Adams – drums
Osama Afifi – Bass
Charlie Bisharat – Violin
Karen Briggs – Violin
Michael "Kalani" Bruno – Percussion
Julie Homi – Keyboards
Bradley Joseph – Keyboards
Sachi McHenry – Cello

Review by Backroads Music/Heartbeats:
Yanni's latest is another extension of his creative spirit and stirring passion for life. Focusing on piano as his primary instrument, Yanni infuses his "signature" style with timeless, eloquent themes and plenty of romantic energy. No longer are rhythm and dynamic currents as vital to his sound, since he seems to have stopped fueling his music with "rocket power." His romantic outpourings lend a personal nature to In My Time, and this new effort should be received with enthusiasm far and wide. Yanni is uniquely expressive, and this new music is deeply touching on many levels.

ZaXXoN View:
This (his ninth release) opens with 'In The Morning Light' - peaceful and gentle. Delicate notes wistfully gracing your ears. This is New Age piano worthy of a Reiki or Seichem healing session. The orchestration is very relaxing I can imagine the new day dawning as I hear this. Then comes the haunting 'One Man's Dream' - for me personally this is my favourite track by Yanni - It was the first mp3 I ever downloaded from the internet and I was amazed at it's inner belief and radiance. Even now - after many years of listening - this song carries with it (for me) an innocent yearning for understanding and soul searching that defies belief as to how the past lives on through our days and stays with us as we forge into the future. It contains some of the most magical moments of piano playing that I can recall. As soon as I heard this I just had to rush out and buy myself a copy.

'Before I Go' changes the mood slightly - still with delicate piano movements but, as in the title there is a sense of impending movement. Again this would be an ideal track for a New Age Meditation and I can envisage entering a shop that is wistfully burning insensce and is full of Crystals, Tarots and I Ching. The next track 'Enchantment' is also a really nice tune - a little more lively than the previous three tracks with rippling melodies fulfilling the song's title. What is good about Yanni's style of play on this album is the way the titles of the songs are evoked into intrumental music that allows the imagination to be awakened.

'The End Of August' has always been a favourite of mine - I think of evenings that are starting to grow darker - late summer evenings in English gardens and parks. Enjoying time with other people, this song has some nice violin passages which sets off the piano beautifully.

'To Take... To Hold' is a serene and gentle selection that seems to place the listener in a mood of sincerity. Another composition that I can listen to over and over again.

'In The Mirror' has some of the haunting quality of One Man's Dream but, also has a joyous background - It is amazing how Yanni manages to select notes from an instrument and lift the listener into worlds that exist within the human
consciousness. Towards the end of this piece there is a gentle uplift in orchestration that has some really wonderful accompaniment to it. I have heard Yanni described as Middle Of The Road - But I feel he is Top Notch.

'Felitsa' I would suggest is a Love song, certainly I imagine being with Felitsa or being with a close friend of the opposite sex. It has a waltzing theme and some grandeur, Imagine yourself in some wealthy aristrocrat's ballroom in the 1700's dancing with the enchantress (heh heh Only kidding about the enchantress, but she is unknown [to me]). I was not joking about the place this music takes me too.

'Whispers In The Dark' is also aptly named notes are softly played with the orchestration being slightly proud. It does have some wonderfully played sections at times as if his fingers are tip-toeing over the keys and with the orchestral foreground providing a scenery (that sceenry is the dark). 'Only a Memory' could easily be filled with some lyrical content (well as all these pieces have beautifully crafted melodies I guess they all could, but this one especially).

The final track 'Until The Last Moment' has some rising (and especially attractive are the falling rolls at the beginning), it develops into a lingering melody that hangs in your heart way after listening to the track. Shortly after there is a movement change and around the middle of the piece we get some serene moments of peaceful spiritual inner life before the playing picks up again and moves on into a stronger (but never harsh) environment. It seems the best was saved till last as the final 90 seconds is pure, majestic playing of intrigue and wonder. I love it.

Ideal if you want to do something and do not want the distraction of vocals, as well as simply relaxing meditative times.


1 In the Morning Light 3:49
2 One Man's Dream 2:43
3 Before I Go 4:30
4 Enchantment 3:51
5 The End of August 4:51
6 To Take...To Hold 4:01
7 In the Mirror 4:04
8 Felitsa 4:51
9 Whispers in the Dark 5:24
10 Only a Memory 4:15
11 Until the Last Moment 6:22

Running Time: 48:40

All Music Guide:
Genre : New Age
Styles : Contemporary, Instrumental, Adult, Alternative, Progressive, Electronic.

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