Nightwish are set to release the score to their eagerly anticipated movie “Imaginaerum” on 12th November 2012. The Album features 13 grandiose, unreleased re-interpretations of “Imaginaerum” tracks by Petri Alanko.
Eagerly anticipated around the world, “Imaginaerum” creates a musical fantasy world in the vein of David Lynch, Neil Gaiman, and Cirque du Soleil. The movie is an innovative mixture of story-telling and music, an extraordinary tale of the power of imagination… and what’s ultimately important in life.
Shot and post-produced in Canada, the movie was directed by Stobe Harju and produced by Solar Films, and features appearances by all Nightwish members. The screenplay is based on a wild vision that Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind of the band, devised after the album Dark Passion Play came out in 2007.
“I though of how we could take our expression that had already became pretty ambitious and grandiose to the next level, and that’s when I knew I wanted to tell a story, and to tell it with love and piety.”
According to Holopainen, finishing the movie has been an eventful and challenging journey that has sometimes demanded superhuman dedication from the production crew.
“I want to already thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. Together we’ve managed to create something innovative, strange, and timeless”, Holopainen states.
“It all started during the spring of 2007 when we were finishing the mixings for `Dark Passion Play´, says Tuomas. “I remember vividly listening through the songs and thinking what would be the next chapter in NIGHTWISH’S chronicles? When I look back at our catalogue, I see the evolution of the band, how the stories and musical landscapes evolve from one album to the next one, to the next one, to this present moment. During that time I strongly felt we need the next chapter to be something no-one`s ever done before in music. Something so big, crossover, detailed, innovative and nuts that it would leave the band, and hopefully the people experiencing it, completely awestruck. Love it or hate it, but awestruck nonetheless”, does he point out uncompromising. “I realized we needed to add another dimension into the music, and release the album as a visual experience also.”
The original idea Tuomas had, was to film 13 short stories related to the songs, “and together they would form a complete story”, explains the finnish composer. “13 music videos with a connecting storyline, in other words. And I wanted Mr. Stobe Harju to shoot them all. We were so impressed with his work with `The Islander´- music video that I never even thought of anyone else for the job. I presented him with my idea and he told me, I was totally insane, and that he would love the challenge. So we started to work on how to bring the idea to life.”
It was Stobe`s idea to turn the 13 stories / visions Tuomas had, into a more of a drama- film. “One that would have a clear plot, script, dialogue and real actors. And now, after three years of working with it, I see the result as a mixture of something never done before in music or cinema.”
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The movie is based on the album and its 13 tracks, “honoring the original ideas but having evolved radically from them. Still, it was important from the very beginning that the album would work as its own individual piece of art, as well. It is a thematic album about life itself, about imagination, love, goodness and beauty, with a touch of darkness and melancholy, which are strongly included in all of those things mentioned. `Imaginaerum´ is an audiovisual testament of what NIGHTWISH has always been about.”
The songs for the album were written during 2008-2010, majority of them after the “Dark Passion Play”-world tour ended in September 2009. “`Ghost River´ is the earliest song while `Song Of Myself´ was the last one finished”, remembers Mister Holopainen clearly. “Marco provided the music for `The Crow, The Owl And The Dove´, all the other songs and all lyrics are written by me. It was an enormously fun challenge to write songs to a story and visual images, I already had in mind. It was like creating a soundtrack to a movie which didn`t exist. Our long-time engineer Tero `TeeCee´ Kinnunen and me then rented a house in Porkkala, Finland for two weeks in April 2010 to record a rehearsal tape for the other band members to listen to.”
The summer of 2010 was reserved for band rehearsals and arrangement process. “For this we rented a summer camp called Röskö in my home town of Kitee”, tells Tuomas. “During those two months we raised the songs to a level everyone was happy about and recorded a demo. This enabled Mr. Pip Williams to start working on his orchestral and choral arrangements. For the next four months, he would be doing nothing but arranging those parts for `Imaginaerum´.
The drum recordings started in October 2010, followed by guitars and basses. In February 2011 we entered Angels Studios in London to record the orchestras, choirs and ethnic instruments. This was followed by the keyboard, piano, celtic instruments and vocal recordings in Petrax Studios, Finland.”
The mixing process started in April under supervision of Mr. Mikko Karmila in Finnvox Studios, Helsinki, and the first version of the album was finished early in June. “We ended up mixing the album twice more, giving us the final and satisfactory mix in July. The final mastering, engineered by Mr. Mika Jussila took place in Finnvox on the 31st of August. A year of rehearsals and recordings, over two months of mixing and `Imaginaerum´was finally ready. The audio part of it, at least.”
“The hybrid of the album and the movie will be something never created before. An adventure into a wondrous place we all know but have long since forgotten. We hope you`ll enjoy the ride!”
Nightwish have sold over seven million albums internationally and received over 60 Gold and Platinum awards, making them the most successful Finnish Rock band of all time.