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Greek Grandeur

by Davina Munro on Dec 31, 2016

When it comes to new age musical composition, Yiannis Chryssomallis, popularly known as Yanni, is a soulful genius. With a passion and an ear for music from a young age, his consistent exploration of the world of electronic sounds, new sounds and instruments have seen him become a sensation the world over.

After his first few albums in the 1980s, Yanni added a new dimension to his already distinct style when the Dallas Symphony Orchestra accompanied him in concert in 1990. Post this, he hand-picked his band members who would accompany him on tour and eventually added an entire symphony orchestra to his act.

As his fan base expanded, so did his tours. The venues also grew larger and more iconic, with Yanni performing at the Toji Temple in Kyoto, Japan; the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Acropolis in Greece. In fact, Yanni also became the first western artist to perform at the Taj Mahal in India and the Forbidden City in China.

After his successful performance at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai in 2011, Yanni finally made his big debut in Abu Dhabi in September this year, which saw over 5,000 attendees flock to the du Forum on Yas Island.

Sound & Stage Middle East caught up with the events team involved in the concert to find out what it takes to execute a show for the Greek god of new age music.

Speaking about how they brought this concert to the capital city, Haidar Shukry, senior manager at FLASH Entertainment says, “As an event organiser, we’re committed to selecting the best international talent to bring to the region. Our focus is to be in line with Abu Dhabi’s vision to become a global cultural hub and these type of artists support this. Naturally, our audience’s preferences are taken into consideration as well, and the artist’s global tours influence the process too.”

Given the grandeur of Yanni’s shows and its history of perfection, every technical element had to be kept classic and sleek to ensure consistency with the atmosphere created by him and his 15-piece band.

Shurky explains that the stage had to have a footprint of 14.5m deep by 17m wide by 1.5m high, which was substantial for the du Forum, and there were also a series of risers set up on the stage with a couple of vertical lighting PODs that added to the performance.

“In terms of the venue and production arrangements, the main area of focus was the lighting and audio. Given that it was an instrumental heavy performance, the audio needed to be very polished, thus, we opted to go with Delta Sound for this gig as they presented the best fit in terms of financials, equipment and experience,” he says.


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