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07 Feb 2015: Michael Kanakakis

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By Tony Pothitos

Monthly Meeting ACA at Michael Kanakakis

I have known our host for quite a while. I always adored his smile, his love for purity, that in music, but oddly enough in life itself. A passionate individual charismatic not only in his professional career but his sheer personality is nothing less than a perfect picture. The picture is of a very young man with the smile of a lifetime.

This is who Mike is, less often that I would like, I get to hear his system but to tell you the truth, it’s not what I want to hear tonight. I want to hear What he will play for us. What will his choice of music will represent his soul rather than show off his system.

This was his night. This was his music. Let’s hear it together and see if you can travel like we did this amazing evening in February.

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The Music...

Marinella

Who is Marinella one might ask? Well look this clip and hear her for yourself, I can then get you to understand how it sounded on his setup.

Μαρινέλλα - ΕΛΑ ΓΙ' ΑΠΟΨΕ

A piano solo sets the mood, smoke, fresh air and vocals that go through the soul like a blade through butter. The passion, the symphony within her expression is shown with a realistic tonality which reminded me of seeing her live. But why would he start with this song I thought. Then before I could answer, the piano stopped me in my tracks and I was taken by the hand and I flew across the stage. I was hugged and played like a marionette by the notes and words entering my head. I was helpless. Someone could have shot me at point blank range and I would not see it coming.

The vibrant chords touched every nerve ending and left me wanting to stop the evening right there and then. I was content and the evening had just started. Oh my God!

Sokratis Malamas

Not your average song writer or even artist. Why we were listening to Greek music when no one plays Greek at ACA listening sessions? What in the world was he doing, I honestly thought this was going to bring most members to their knees begging for the torture to stop, but even to my amazement, not even one member blinked. It was so silent that I felt no one was there.

The song itself is a gem. Let’s listen to it together.

ΞΗΜΕΡΩΝΕΙ ΣΩΚΡΑΤΗΣ ΜΑΛΑΜΑΣ

The song is called Sunrise, lyrics include “what hands put you to sleep?” “where could you be” Ï have one heart, which cries for you nightly” Although the light comes with the sunrise, it does not reach me as I sway in the streets looking for nothing but you.”

A harsh voice singing such a song is like Lionel Richie singing Whitesnake. Or even better, its like OJ Simpson crying over a speeding ticket!

The simplest of songs, with a voice sincerely not meant for this song, actually made sense. I have no clue as to how, but it did. Was it the Tidal’s? Was it the mood he had put us in? Why would he play such a song from the specific artist which is known for every other song, but this one?

Then it came to me. He wasn’t playing music, he was telling us a story. Mike wanted us to live the words and achieve what he has deep inside him. I sat there stunned as I realised how amazingly well thought out it all was. This kid is SMART. But much more importantly he has the power to manipulate words and music to get you to feel like he does. Shocking!

Whitesnake – Soldiers of Fortune

Just when I mention to myself Whitesnake, I actually hear the exact song I expected to hear. Soldiers of Fortune. He had done it, he had me thinking like he does.

Whitesnake - Soldier Of Fortune (unplugged)

The guitar woke up another part of my brain. I could feel the neurons fire up, like a fire in the wind. The voice blowing its passion in the unplugged version. Just music.

Like Whitesnake was never heard before. The voice put us on a passage, go through time, and close our eyes for the trip. “I feel like I am growing older” put me personally in a dilemma.

I guess I will always be a soldier of fortune. Just like that, so simply put, it made a different sense to what I had remembered the song. Clear, powerful but with meaning I never had contrasted it to.

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev • Vienna Philharmonic • Salzburg Festival 2005

If Whitesnake was a stunner, then Scheherazade was the buzz in the druggie feeling we were being set into from the music.

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade / Gergiev · Vienna Philharmonic · Salzburg Festival 2005

The clapping got me wondering what it was, but of course the first notes show what denominations of bars we were about to hear. The violins were violent as they should be, but the one sweet violin came through like sun does on a rainy day, to give hope and food to every plant on earth. To fill the soul of every man with the awe of nature. The speaker disappeared and the orchestra simply displayed passion like never before.

Mike actually chose this piece to promote the primal feelings it could have one us after listening to what he had played before. This was getting seriously complicated yet so simply done. I wasn’t sure it I wanted to hit Mike or kiss him for the absolute emotional ride he had taken us on.

Marinella & Kostas Hatzis - SYNORA I AGAPI DE GNORIZEI (Love doesn't know of any boundaries)

You have the subtitles so you can understand what the artists are singing.

Μαρινέλλα & Χατζής - ΣΥΝΟΡΑ Η ΑΓΑΠΗ ΔΕ ΓΝΩΡΙΖΕΙ (English Subtitles) 2014

What a great mood lifter, the harsh male voice, yet musical is so far from the sweet flower of the female artist.
Together they made music. The system didn’t distinguish male from female, nor the hard strings set out for everyone to hear through the Tidals, but before we knew it we were singing along with what we were listening to. That must be the first time at an ACA meeting people were actually singing along! What had happened to us!

'Brindisi from La Traviata' - Pavarotti Plus - 1989

Now why would La Traviata be left for last.

It had nothing to do with the last piece and nothing to do with music until now.

'Brindisi from La Traviata' - Pavarotti Plus - 1989

Then it hit me, I was actually moving my body along with the person next to me! The singing turned into dance. We might have been sitting down, but in reality were all on the dance floor with the woman of our dreams flowing like pollen in the air. We were lightheaded and felt supremely divine within our hearts. WHAT AN ENDING!

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After the Music...

We were put through a roller coster and it simply got better!

I cannot thank Mike enough for the journey tonight. He had me thinking for weeks on it, but with emotions telling me what to do and not the other way around.

The System pulled of the stunt of the century. Mike simply orchestrated it with such precision that it mesmerized as much as his smile does.

Now I understand. Now I can feel like he does. For that I cannot but give thanks for his passion to be shared with us.

So what did it sound like? What do you believe the outcome would be from a Mac? I for one didn’t expect much high end sound mostly because nothing was of high quality, not even 192/24.

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The System...

Now let’s take a look at the system.

  • Digital Source : MacBook Pro
  • Software : Sonic Studio Amarra
  • D/A Converter : Stylos SYS HAD
  • Preamplifier : Sovereign Director
  • Amplifiers Solid : Sovereign Power
  • Speakers : Tidal Audio Piano Cera
  • Cables : Argento Audio Organic (interconnects and speakers), Argento Flow (power)
  • Power Conditioner : DIY 3KW Toroidal Trans
  • Power Distributor : Fisch Audiotechnik
  • Rack : Sirius E-607

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  • Kanakakis 07-02-2015 Video 01
  • Kanakakis 07-02-2015 Video 02
  • Kanakakis 07-02-2015 Video 03
  • Kanakakis 07-02-2015 Video 04
  • Kanakakis 07-02-2015 Video 05
  • Kanakakis 07-02-2015 Video 06

Michael Kanakakis ' Member Page

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