When certain people from certain generations hear the name Yanni, visions of 90’s moms come to mind. Or it’s visuals of foreign men with huge manes who look like they leaped right off the cover of a Walgreen’s romance novel. The mere thought of this man can also stir up memories of the nature store at mall that sold purple-crystal rocks and rain sticks.
It wasn’t until our friend Kurt Sloan pointed Uncle T in the direction of a track called “Forbidden Dreams” where I began to grasp the power of this Greek beast. Before hearing my first bit of Yanni’s music, just seeing the title “Forbidden Dreams” made the little hairs on my arm stand up. This intrigue lead to me to play the song and then, beyond my control, drift into a phantasmagoric dreamscape. I realized that if this was a reflection of even 1/4 of the man’s musical catalogue, what a foolish peasant I was for not tuning in earlier. It was around this time that Kurt and Uncle T happened to be working on the Deep Mountain Meditation Mix, where the song can be heard during one of the final training regimes in the mix. Let’s revisit:
Yanni – Forbidden Dreams [download]
This allowed me to discover ‘Keys to Imagination’, a record which is currently blowing my mind on a daily basis. The 8 tracks on the album feature little piano at all (if any), which was initially the only instrument I associated Yanni with. Instead, the long-locked stallion gets heavy with synthesizers and other electronic instruments, creating a progressive sound that delivers an extremely dramatic and passionate story from start to finish. The music is just as imaginative and mystical as the artwork suggests.
Yanni – Looking Glass [download]
My days of musical ignorance towards New Age music or at least “judging a book by it’s cover” have long since passed. If you love the work of synth scholars like Tangerine Dream and Vangelis, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give this album a chance. It’s currently the only Yanni music that I’ve heard thus far but it’s definitely my gateway drug to MORE YANNI.