NIGHTWISH mainman Tuomas Holopainen has revealed more details about the band's upcoming "Imaginarium" album and movie project exclusively to Petri Silas of Finland's Soundi magazine.
In an interview that was conducted on February 13, just prior to Tuomas flying over to London to oversee the recording of the album's orchestral parts and choir sections, Holopainen said that he was responsible for penning all of the music on "Imaginarium", with the exception of one track, which was written by vocalist/bassist Marco Hietala.
The new NIGHTWISH CD includes an epic 20-minute track which may or may not be split into two sections during the mastering. This is why Holopainen can't say yet whether the album will consist of 12 or 13 songs. Orchestral arrangements by Pip Williams and assorted Celtic instrumentation by Troy Donockley will once again make an appearance on the new album (as they did on 2007's "Dark Passion Play"). However, according to Holopainen, two of the tracks on "Imaginarium" will have no orchestral score whatsoever. There are also some very interesting new sounds in the mix.
"We are using a wide array of ethnic instruments like the Taiko drums and the zurna on 'Imaginarium' The choir parts are yet again delivered by The Metro Voices," Tuomas said.
The movie "Imaginarium", directed by Stobe Harju, will follow the album's theme and story closely and will also include dialogue. All the preliminary screenplay work is finished and the storyboards are now done but no actors or actresses have yet been cast. In Holopainen's estimation, mainly unknown actors would be the best choice for the film as "unfamiliar faces tend to leave more space to the viewers' imagination."
No shooting locations have been chosen so far.
Holopainen has a decidedly low-key attitude towards the entire movie project. He has personally adopted a humble "straight-to-DVD" mentality but adds that "of course, it would be great" to experience the movie in a proper theater setting one day. "Time will tell whether we are able to stage some special viewings in select movie theaters in Finland and maybe Sweden and Germany as well," he said. "But I'm gonna be super-happy with even a DVD release."
The underlying themes of "Imaginarium" are a positive outlook and a certain "carpe diem" attitude to life.
"Because 'Dark Passion Play' turned out to be the band's darkest and heaviest album to date, this time I wanted to be inspired by love and the beauty of the world," stated Holopainen.
With regards to the similarity of the name and the concept of "Imaginarium" to Terry Gilliam's 2009 feature film "The Imaginarium Of Dr. Panassus", Holopainen maintains that he came upon his concept for the album — and the name "Imaginarium" — approximately two years ago while vacationing and traveling in Australia. He has yet to see "The Imaginarium Of Dr. Panassus" but admits to having already purchased a DVD copy of the film.
Petri Silas' entire interview with Tuomas Holopainen will appear in the 3/2011 issue of Soundi magazine, due in Finland on February 23.
NIGHTWISH will hold a press conference related to this project at the end of February.
Regarding the musical direction of the forthcoming album, singer Anette Olzon recently wrote on her official blog, "I think it's a great and varied CD. The feelings in it are great and there are a lot of elements in it, so I am sure it will have many different favorite songs for the listeners since the songs are so different in styles and sound. 'Dark Passion Play' is a great album and this one, too, so I don't know yet which one I like more, but, of course, for me personally, this one feels better to do since the songs are more adjusted to my voice and my style."
(Thanks: Petri Silas / Soundi magazine)