It's been 30 years since Yanni released his first album, "Optimystique," an anniversary that both surprises and horrifies the Greek-born composer and New Age music vanguard.
"I don't want to know!" Yanni (nee Chryssomallis) -- who, by the way, hates the New Age designation -- says with a laugh. "I mean, 'Optimystique' feels like a different lifetime, you know. It don't know if it feels like 30 years or whatever the time is, but a different lifetime, a different understanding of music, different equipment, different everything.
"But the passion for music was there since the beginning. I've remained as passionate as I was in the beginning, so in that regard it feels like no time has passed at all."
Yanni, 59, has certainly been productive during the past three decades, selling more than 20 million copies of his two dozen albums and several Grammy Award nominations. He`s also released regular public television specials of concerts filmed at the Acropolis in Greece, India's Taj Mahal, China's Forbidden City and other historic locales around the globe.
And his latest album, "Inspirato," was four years in the making, continuing his interest in vocal music by collaborating with vocalists such as Placido Domingo, Renee Fleming, Russell Watkins and Katherine Jenkins.
"It's much better than I thought it was going to end up being," Yanni admits. "When I do an album I'm always approaching it with caution; it's not finished until the last note on the last song is finished. And this one, it's not an opera album; it is a beautiful album, very listenable -- even to people who might look at it and say 'Placido Domingo? Renee Fleming? No, not for me...'
"It's very difficult to describe to people that there is no other album like this in the world. There hasn't been one before it. It's something I'm very proud of."
8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17
Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway at Schoenherr Road, Sterling Heights
Tickets are $49.50-$149.50 pavilion, $25 lawn
Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net
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