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Within Attraction - How Yanni's Music Found You Login/Join 
We're delighted to have so many new members in our Message Board community. We'd love to hear how you first were introduced to Yanni's and/or Yanni Voices music, and if there are any special memories or stories you have about any of the songs.

We've asked this before, but it would be fun to hear some new stories. Old stories are always welcome too.
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And here's a story to get you started posted at the request of a fan.

One Man’s Dream Became One Woman’s Hope!

Some people are born to sing, compose, or play an instrument. Others are born to listen.

This is a story of dreams and hopes thorough out the journey of life. One mans dream to sing his heart out to the world and one woman’s passion for hearing music.

I can remember hearing music playing when I was in my crib and always throughout my younger life. My mother always had the radio on. I can always tell what artists/bands would make it and other artists/bands that should remix their sound to become better. From the age of sixteen I wanted to become a recording engineer/sound mixer so I can make those artists/bands sound better. I was in college studying electronics for this occupation then life got in the way. I promised myself I would return to it one day.

In 1998 I woke up one morning with my first ear infection. After 3 ENT surgeons (I am not an easy patient) they suspected a middle ear tumor even though it did not show on the cat scan. An exploratory surgery was recommended. Some how I knew if I agreed to this operation it would affect my hearing and my dream would be lost forever to mix music. I agreed to the exploratory surgery only to be awoken by the surgeon telling me he was sorry and I would need a reconstruction surgery in 4 months. A tumor (cholesteatoma) was found and had done its damage and left me totally deaf from the left ear.

This was a life changing devastation not only to adjust to the disability but also to function in society. A quote from Leslie Mills, “music is a great friend and it becomes a shoulder that you can cry on” and that’s what I did! I could only hear high pitch sounds with my right ear which was trying to compensate to my brain for the hearing loss, voices? Well voices, there were none, all sounds were garbled. It’s a good thing I am disciplined in Chinese Martial Arts that’s one thing that got me though this with a lot of meditations to calm my soul/spirit and one man’s compositions, his name is Yanni. His music was all instrumental and each instrument told its own story. The instruments became my voices and the current music at this time was “Tribute” I have been listening to Yanni before “Live at the Acropolis” I heard his music from a radio station that I listened to and knew his music spoke for itself and he would be a great success! Yanni’s music became a part of my recovery it was all that I had left.

There was one track I listened to over and over again “Prelude” it has an instrument called the duduk. Its pitch was high enough for my brain to comprehend and it reminded me of a Chinese flute. It made me become one with the music and took me to a safe place where I found peace and that I temporary forgot my deafness.

It was 1999; 4 months later I entered the operating suite for a second time for the reconstruction in hopes that I would regain some of my lost hearing. A porcelain prosthesis was implanted and became my incus (hearing bone) which picks up sound vibrations to send the signal to my brain and a piece of my outside ear was cut off to graft a new eardrum.

After 5 months after the second surgery infections were starting again and the inside of my head was filling up with fluid with no place to drain the eardrum had partially closed. I had to make a decision to go back into the operating room or place a tube through my eardrum so the fluid could drain and there would be a hearing loss. I opted for the tube. After 2 months having the tube put in, silly me! Thinking that I am ok, and wanting my life to go back to normal, one evening I am with one of my friends listening to a live disco band and I started to dance and the tube fell out. I was so dizzy I almost fell onto the table not to mention I found out how the prosthesis behaves with live music. I was in bed for 3 days, my head hurt; I couldn’t think straight it was worse than a hangover; it was like when you ring a bell and it continues to vibrate until it stops.

Doctors visits were 3 to 6 months a part for many years. Yanni came out with his book. I met him at a book signing in Costa Mesa, CA. It meant everything to me when Yanni stopped to listen to my story as he took my hand and said thank you for sharing my experience with him.

After scattering my mother’s ashes in Las Vegas (my mom was a huge Yanni fan) I went to see Yanni at Mandalay Bay. I was listening to his music and I said to myself, his music needs voices. As I left the arena my head didn’t hurt like other live music which is amazing! I would really like to meet his engineers/technicians and know how they did it.

In 2008 I was on Yanni’s website an announcement was made that Ric Wake & Yanni were introducing four vocalists (it was about time!). And one of my songs that was dear to my heart “Prelude” had a voice, her name was Chloe I was really impressed with her vocals as she was only 20 years old at that time. Prelude had become “Change” it was sung so beautifully like an angel and she sang with so much emotion it was like we were sharing the same emotion. The second I heard it I knew that it has great potential of becoming a number one hit (as soon as it is released). It would be a great sound track to a big hit movie! I couldn’t stop listening to it!

Chloe also sang a duet with a gentleman named Nathan Pacheco another one of my favorites tunes “In the Mirror” became Nei Tuoi Occhi. This was the first time I heard Nathan sing, WOW! I have never heard a voice like his before! His voice will make you stop what ever your doing and listen to him. Talking about getting your socks knocked off! I thought only Josh Groban gave me goose bumps! Nathan’s voice goes straight to your soul with healing light. Not only could I understand each syllable he sang but the pitch he sang was in perfect pitch. For the very first time in many years this gave me hope I was able to understand the vibration of the prosthesis sending signals to my brain. I have to agree with Yanni, “Nathan is the voice of this century”. And to hear “Adagio” became “Amare Di Nuovo” was spectacular! Nathan’s voice would be great with “The end of August”.

I joined the “Yanni Voices” fan club and had an opportunity to buy a Diamond package for $1,500.00 for a front row seat to the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA concert on June 21, 2009 and to meet one of the voices as the ticket stated. I wanted to bring Yanni and his vocalists something special all I could think of was flowers but as everyone is touring its hard to keep flowers in a vase so I had an idea to bring Hawaiian lei’s this way the lei’s can go around their neck. A lei is a common symbol of love, friendship, celebration, honor, or greeting.

Much to my surprise I got to meet all four of Yanni’s Voices; Chloe, Nathan, Ender, and Leslie.

If I knew I was going to meet all four voices, each one of them would have had a lei so Leslie and Ender next time we meet I promise you your lei.

As I shook everyone’s hand or hugged them I told them “Thank you for being one of Yanni’s voices”. I know at the time none of this made sense to any of you as you read this letter I hope you understand now what a inspiration each one of you have been to me.

As I stood in front of the beautiful and talented Chloe who has an angelic voice that gave my special song a life I couldn’t tell her my story in 60 seconds. Chloe, there is no doubt that you will have long and continued successful career in music. As I put the Hawaiian lei around her neck and told her “Change” will be #1 on the billboard and gave her a big hug and thanked her for being one of Yanni’s voices.

Then, I met Ender Thomas the man with a million dollar smile. Enders voice has an enormous range that is breathtaking. In my opinion he has a great potential of singing rock with great success! Ender, every time I hear you sing it brings new life within me! I just want to dance passionately all night long to “Desire”. When I met you I mentioned the next time we meet I want to dance with you then you took my hand and started dancing with me! You have a warm and generous heart! And if I could roll my r’s in Spanish I would speak Spanish to you. I even tried to speak Spanish, it’s very difficult due to my hearing impairment but I keep trying.

I had the privilege of meeting the beautiful and talented Leslie Mills. What do I say? I was really tongue tied and my mind went blank. I have two favorite songs that I’m sure will be #1 hit on the billboard “Before the night ends” and “Forever with you”. And you’re great to me on Twitter! If I ever get to Nashville I would want to spend a day with you hanging out at Starbucks, singing and playing with your kitty.

And then I met Nathan Pacheco. Wow! How unexpected! I told you that you’re the best voice I ever heard at least 3 times. You were so humble about it. I put the last lei around your neck and thanked you for being one of Yanni’s voices and shook your hand. We met in the hall again taking pictures. I thought it was perfect timing that I held your glasses for you so you can take pictures with the other folks. You even remembered my name! I stand very proud to hear such a voice from a man who had a dream to sing his heart out! All of your hard work and training is appreciated not only from me but world wide. I know one thing for sure, Nathan you have great vibrations! I couldn’t stop listening to you for 3 months!

I noticed that I was the only person in Orange County to pay $1,500.00 for the Diamond package. You ask why? I was running out of time. The doctor visits were now 6 weeks to 3 months apart because of continued infections from the ear drum being perforated as it no longer existed to the prosthesis. The loudest vibration in a room was what I could only hear. It was difficult for me to agree on the third operation and I really didn’t have much of a choice. I wanted to meet all of you and tell you that all four of you are going to be a great success and I did! And each one of you gave me hope!

After meeting all four of Yanni’s Voices backstage and being in the front row across from my hero Yanni I was advised by my doctor to wear earplugs for the concert and if I didn’t the vibration of the sound sitting so close would make me dizzy when I stood up. I used no ear plugs I wanted to hear what the rest of the audience was hearing, Yanni said to expect the unexpected and it happened! I don’t know if it was pitch, how it the music was mixed or both. For the first time I had no pain or dizziness from the vibration from the orchestra or the vocalists. I had only 5 hours of sleep that night and awoken the next morning with mental clarity and no dizziness. All of my friends asked me why aren’t you sick in bed? I don’t know why but I feel absolutely great!

In September 2009, almost 11 years from the first surgery I entered the operation suite a third time for another grafted eardrum with a new titanium prosthesis. It’s been almost 5 months from surgery with no infection and hoping this great success continues! I don’t know if I can ever be a recording engineer as the removal of the hearing bone has left me with a permanent conductive hearing loss and unable to hear low tones. It’s still the same hearing impairment for me the loudest vibration in a room will be the winner of what I can hear or understand.

March 24th is a great celebratory day for Yanni’s Voices and I. It marks the first year anniversary of the CD release of Yanni’s Voices which has been most successful and my 50th birthday!

To the five people that I have met and spent less than one minute in my life time has had a great impact of me healing and surviving. For once, I am out of the darkness of society and walking into a beautiful rainbow of vibrations called Yanni Voices and experiencing new sounds. I can hear a clock tick from the next room and turning the volume down on TV or radio it’s been 12 years since I have been able to do that!

I have to agree with Yanni, Nathan, Chloe, Ender and Leslie you bring me new life!

Thank you very much in taking the time to read my experience!

If dreams to come true! I would like for all six of us to meet again!

Please, if anyone of the Voices reads this please forward to the remainder of the Voices and to Yanni. I would greatly appreciate it.

Donna Courtright
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wow what a lovely story and Donna thank you for sharing with us. take care Smiler
Registered:: April 29, 2003Report This Post
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Donna, that is such a touching story, & I certainly have to say goes way beyond what I go through with my hearing impairment. So happy that Yanni & the Voices have met you, as well as touched your life so much. Thanks for sharing that with us, Muse.

Every day is a 'new' day, full of opportunities, adventure and a chance to make your dreams come true ©

Registered:: April 07, 2005Report This Post
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Donna, that was a beautiful story.. Wink God Bless you...

Thanks for posting this Muse...

"Look at the sunset. If it pleases you, you're a happy man." - Yanni

Love Is All
Registered:: June 22, 2006Report This Post
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Thank you for sharing your wonderful story Donna. My best wishes for a successful future.

Take care,


Registered:: February 13, 2001Report This Post
Thanks for posting this Muse...

You are welcome Kauai!

Don't be shy folks, tell us your stories of Yanni's music in your lives. We know there are more great stories out thereWink
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I have been a fan for years and have attended concerts since 1988. When Yanni was billed as revolution in sound. I first became aquainted with new age music by listening to David Lanz Natural States. The music stores had little or no new age music except for Tower Records in NYC, I heard samples from Reflections of Passion and was hooked immediately. I bought every cassette I could get my hands on that Yanni had recorded. My first concert was at Radio City Music Hall tickets were 25 a piece and his name on the billboard was misspelled. Yhanni. It was the night of the Rodney King riots and the city was under lock down. I didn't even know if the busses from NJ would be going to the city. Even though other venues were shut down Yanni performed not stop for over 3 hours. At that time he had only six members in his band. Bradley Joseph and Charlie Bishart were amazing and Charlie Adams was amazing. In true Yanni fashion because the theater was ot sold out he invitited everyone from the mezzaine and balcony to the orchestra seats. I have gone to over 30 concerts. My one dream was to travel to India to see his concert,but I could not take vacation time to see the concert. Yanni's music is a must in my collection. I have replaced all cassetes with CD and all are my favorite. Seeing Yanni in concert is a treat. I have so many memories great times at all his concerts. I do not post on the boards as I becuase I am quiet I do read other posts and am always glad for the information. I did remember a message about another artist Marc Enfroy from someone on this board and I wanted to thank you for that. The other memory is the one where I had driven 4 hours to Bridgeport after a rough day at work when I arrived at the Holiday Inn there was Yanni, I spoke to him for brief moment and was thrilled that he would even speak with me.
Registered:: July 29, 2004Report This Post
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What a beautiful story Smiler Smiler

Registered:: September 16, 2006Report This Post
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Amarcus, what a coincidence...I was at the very same place as you in Bridgeport, and met Yanni briefly as well! Big Grin

"Each day comes bearing gifts. Untie the ribbons."
Registered:: December 03, 2002Report This Post
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