So I met somebody the other day who said she liked Yanni, and I realized that I'd never actually heard anything by him, despite his being a staple of pledge-drive season public television in the bay area. I asked Tom and he said, "Yanni's great! I actually really like him." But tom used these same words of praise on Britney Spears, so I thought I should investigate this for myself.
The offical Yanni website only offers 33 and 36 second previews of his work, so I can only talk about his introductions, of which I just downloaded a few. And listened to them while Xena stared at me with a confused and disapproving expression, the dog version of "wtf?" It sounds like an instrumental version of Celine Dion, but performed on Casio Tones.
Don't get me wrong. I love Casio tones. And I don't know what year's music I was listening to. Perhaps it was recorded in the heyday of Casio tones. anyway, someplace, I have one, I think. I'm fond of it. It's a midi controller and the accordian sound is really nifty when passed through an overdriven low pass filter. Actually, it's Christi's casio tone, so perhaps I will never see it again, since i'm not sure where it has gotten itself off to.
I feel like there may be a strong asthetic connection between Yanni, Thomas Kinkade and Chicken Soup for the Soul. It feels like it is strongly rooted in the middle class, perhaps distinctly American (except that Yanni is Greek and Celine Dion is Canadian). It's something born in the last decade? Perhaps earlier? The middle class is the backbone of our society. the silent majority who tromps off to work every day, pays taxes (most taxes? the rich aren't paying anymore) and sees little benefit except in public education. Without the middle class, the US would decend into chaos and open class warfare, or at least chaos, since open class warfare is already being waged in many places. The middle class, locked into debt, is locked into non-radicalism. they have the most to lose and the most fear of losing it. the cultural values that they embrace define us a society, as they are consumers, so the rich pander to them while ignoring the poor.
Therefore, the middle class asthetic is safe. the middle class is up to it's eyeballs in student debt, credit card debt and morgage debt, they can't afford to rock the boat. the asthetic is comforting. while existing a few paychecks or one serious illness away from bankruptcy, the need for comfort is strong. And it allows them dreams of togtherness, unity and a social safety net. While isolated in the suburbs, with no real community around them, who wouldn't desire to look at pictures of cohesive village social structures?
Or maybe I'm readin too much into this
I have a CD with an interview with a Dadaist on it and he's talking about how the thing to do seemed to be to attack the bourgeois, as apparently they were unaware that it had been done to death. then they did some investigation and found out that they were all bourgeois.
"Science says we are the servants of nature: everything is in order, make love and bash your brains in. Carry on, my children, humanity, kind bourgeois and journalist virgins . . . " (http://www.english.upenn.edu/~jenglish/English104/tzara.html)
I want to write a manifesto for an art movement. analyzing capitalist systems and Yanni is optional