Archive for February, 2011

“UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL” in my studio.

Pictured is the oldest keyboard I have in my collection.  Built by the Korg company, I owned this long before I started performing with Yanni.  I had to sell all my other keyboards I owned at the time to buy it.

On the “Yanni: Live at the Acropolis” video I have three keyboards that are positioned in front of me.  The Korg M1 is the one in the middle.  On the video you can see me playing a solo on Yanni’s song Swept Away with this keyboard.  In the old days, before we had an orchestra, I played the flugal horn part for Dance With A Stranger from the Korg.

It has a knob that sits off to the left side of the keyboards.  I use my thumb on my left hand to “bend” notes with this knob as I play with my right.  The knob sat up so high it kept getting broken off in the case when we traveled, so my keyboard technician devised a knob that could be taken on and off.

I don’t use it very much any more and when I toggle through the sounds on the front screen, it still lists the songs of the last tours I did with Yanni and Sheena Easton.  I definitely got my moneys worth out of this one.


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Here is my first installment of “up close and personal” in my studio.

Pictured is my 7.5 foot C7 Yamaha grand piano that sits in the corner of my studio.  I bought this a few years ago and had it shipped to me from Japan.  Its not really easy to ship (you can’t just put it in one of those priority flat rate boxes you get at the post office) but the legs and pedals do come off to make it a bit easier to move.  It made it here ok but was a bit of a struggle to get it down the stairs into my studio.


One thing thats interesting is I added a special piano humidifier that sits underneath it (pictured below).  I have to fill the tanks with water every 6 weeks or so and it keeps the wood of the piano at its proper moisture level.  In Japan this wasn’t needed because its a wetter climate, but its so dry here I needed it.  So now I water my plants and my piano at the same time. 🙂


I was greatly influenced by the 80’s pop/rock sound while I was growing up.  Bands like Styx, Foreigner, Night Ranger, and Journey shaped the way I play today.  One of the first Yamaha C7 pianos I ever saw on stage was used by Journey’s keyboard player Jonathan Cain.  Of course his was red and you couldn’t miss it.  When I lived in LA I had the honor to have lunch with him one day.  It was a great thrill as he was one of my favorites growing up.  Later in the year I was on tour with Yanni and we were in San Francisco performing (where Jonathan lives).  I came out to the tour bus and the bus driver said Jonathan Cain had been there and was waiting for me to say hi.  He was in a hurry and couldn’t wait any longer and I missed him by a few minutes.  I was bummed.


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Hi Everyone

I get questions all the time on how I record my music, what instruments I use, and general stuff about my recording process.  So I decided over the next few months, I will begin to post pictures of different instruments, where they come from (interesting stories here), and what makes them unique to my sound.


Right now I am in the studio recording a new “all original” CD.  In the next few days look for me to highlight a certain instrument I will be using on this CD, in hopes to shed some light on my recording process.


Talk to you soon.





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