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Yanni finds a new rhythm for his music

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Saturday, March 26, 2011

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In his third decade of making music, Yanni has become all about doing things he’s never done before.

The Greek-born instrumental music pioneer incorporated vocals into his work on a pair of 2009 albums, “Yanni Voices” and the Spanish language “Yanni Voces.” They remain part of the program on some tracks for the new “Truth of Touch,” but this time out Yanni is delving deeper into rhythmic inspirations, resulting in a lighter and less bombastic sound than he’s explored on its predecessors.

“I wanted it to be fresh,” says Yanni (né Hrysomallis), 56, who’s sold more than 20 million albums worldwide since 1980 and whose PBS special, “Yanni Live at the Acropolis,” was seen by half a billion people in 65 countries. “I wanted the album to be edgy, and I also wanted it to be honest. It’s easy to say ‘Let’s make it fresh. Let’s make it edgy,’ and another thing to actually do it. But that’s how we approached it this time.

“It was very pure, like the old, old albums where I used to go in and do whatever I wanted. That’s exactly what I did with this one — no rules, walk in, ‘What do you feel like?’ I’d hear a melody in my mind and I’d go with it.”

In fact, Yanni says that he “wasn’t even trying to make an album” at home in Miami, and that “Truth of Touch” was as surprising to him as it will be to any of his fans.

“I just felt like writing music,” he explains. “I was just going in and having fun. I happened to be at a point where I wasn’t stressed out about going on tour or having to deliver an album for anybody. It was just a six-month period where every night I just walked into my studio and I had fun.

“It was effortless. I felt the music. It just showed itself to me. It was probably the best way to do an album.”

Yanni performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 27, at the Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $28.50-68.50. Call 313-471-6611 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

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