Un mundo and una persona. Or eine welt and eine leute.
The English version is "one world and one people."
That's the motto of a hair-flipping and finger-snapping wizard named Yanni, who's bringing his enchanting music to the Colonial Center at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Is Yanni's tour about world unity? Sort of, but it's deeper than that.
The tour is about how the blend of ethnicities makes the world a beautiful place. Look at Yanni's orchestra and you'll understand the motto of the "Ethnicity" tour.
Yanni, who plays the piano and directs his 26-member orchestra (which includes two vocalists and one orchestrator), boasts musicians from 16 countries.
"When you look at my orchestra, you're looking at a mini-U.N.," he said in a recent phone call. "It tends to give people an open mind. There's magic with musicians from different cultures. They all think of music differently."
And this excites him. "When I get th! em loose on stage, there are a lot of fireworks," he said.
Yanni, who grew up in Kalamata, Greece, and earned a degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, says his ethereal music has one purpose: to inspire.
"Music shows you the soul of different people," he said.
"As long as it's telling the truth ... and it's not manufactured, then you can feel a song. If there's some truth to it, it will get through.
"My role as a musician is to predispose people in a good way. It's a chance to talk, not shoot each other."
The inspiration comes through the assortment of musical instruments played.
It starts with the twinkle of piano keys and everyone follows.
The low-end digeridoo groans under the beat of the hammer dulcimer and blasts of the french horn. The harp strings are plucked, violin and viola strings are stroked.
And when Yanni loosens his reins, there really are fireworks during the electrifying jam sessions.
"I let them play against each other, depending on the moment," h e said. "It's more difficult to do on stage with so many musicians."
It's not something that comes together instantly. Before touring, Yanni works one month with the orchestra and two months with the electronic staging equipment.
With all the practice, he usually still isn't satisfied with his work.
"You're always looking for perfection," Yanni said. "It's a lifelong battle. Some nights you feel it."
As long as he keeps moving people to tears because with his notes and rhythms, the battle is worth fighting.
"I try to add something to what's already out there, to tell the truth of what life is like to me," he said. "I convey emotions or thoughts without words."
Reach Taylor at (803) 771-8362 or firstname.lastname@example.org.