OSA- Cadence ocean

Live to Tell the Tale

The story of Nightwish: in their own words!

Enter Imaginaerum: 2011-2012

2012- promo

After the Dark Passion Play tour came to a close in 2009, the band spent most of 2010 on a well-deserved hiatus. During that time, some bandmembers would focus on thier personal lives and welcome new additions to their families; while others worked on musical side-projects or guest appearances. All the while, Tuomas kept busy working on the new music, but nothing more would be said about it other than that there was to be a "big twist" that was sure to surprise many fans. Such vague hints left everyone speculating, and the lack of information drove fans crazy; but it was nothing compared to the frenzy that ensued once the "big twist" was revealed in early 2011. Not only was the band's upcoming album going to be a concept album, but there would also be a full-length feature film to accompany the music. For a band who had continuously been incorporating orchestral and soundtrack-inspired elements into their music, an actual movie to capture the scope of their epic sound seemed to be the obvious next step. As the project that would be known as Imaginaerum took shape, fans came to see that this was not solely just a Nightwish project: the ever-familiar London Symphony was back again to perform on the album, as well as guest musician Troy Donockley, and director Stobe Harju—who directed the band's "The Islander" video—would also be directing the film. There was also movie score composer Petri Alanko to take on the task of creating the pieces of music that would bring the album and movie scenes together; as well as a special effects crew working day and night on animation. Then there was a cast of actors throughout North America, who would bring the script to life when filming began in Montreal, Canada in September of 2011. The movie's theme also appeared to be a natural progression in the evolution of Nightwish; a theme that was more than familiar to anyone who knew Tuomas' overall lyrical content. Once again returning to the theme of lost innocence and childhood, the band's official site described the concept of Imaginaerum: "The protagonist of the film is a songwriter with an otherworldly imagination. He is an old man who still thinks he`s a young boy. While asleep he travels into his distant past where his dreams of old come back to him mixed to the young boy`s world of fantasy and music. In his dreams the old man fights to find the memories most important to him."  And what better place to start the highly anticipated world tour than in the film capital of the world: Hollywood, California?

Tuomas Holopainen:
"Back in 2007, when we got the Dark Passion Play album finished, I started to think, what would be the next thing to do? Because the music of Nightwish in itself had already gotten so big and diverse, that I thought that, you know, we have walked 'till the end of this particular path; now it's time to do something a bit different. That really took the budget out of proportion once again...so that'll be, like, the major catch of this upcoming release; that we're actually doing this 'music fantasy film' at the same time."
(Genelec interview; April 2011)

"I just don’t want to go through the Dark Passion Play era, ever again. That’s something I decided when I started to do the songs for the new album; not all this melancholy…well, not melancholy, that’s good. But enough of the anger, and sorrow, and being really, really depressed all the time. I mean, it’s just a waste of life. So we deliberately decided that OK, let’s do the more optimistic album. Which doesn’t mean that it’s, like, all positive and just major chords. Melancholy and sorrow and darkness needs to be there, but the overall feeling is so much more optimistic. It’s all about imagination and the beauty of the world and all that."
(Oceansouls of America interview; January 21st, 2012)

"What we're doing is kind of like introducing a whole new way of storytelling; which means that you actually hear almost the whole album [...] throughout the movie. And there's a lot of dialogue, but it's basically in-between the songs, and sometimes on top of the songs. So it's kind of like a hybrid of The Wall by Pink Floyd, and a Swedish poet, and Fantasia of Disney. So it's actually the music which is telling the story, but there are still real actors and a lot of dialogue."
(Genelec interview; April 2011)

"I’m sure it will be shown in theaters in Finland; it’s gonna be quite an event over there, no doubt. But maybe Canada, because it was shot in Canada. But I would be highly surprised if it got any kind of theatrical release in the U.S. or UK or Europe, even. Because, I mean, it’s a lot on the “cult” side; it doesn’t really have “blockbuster” written all over it. But you know, when we have asked the directors, “does this movie have any chance of hitting the theaters?”, they always say, “give us a 2-minute trailer and we’ll decide”. So we’ll know more [...] when we get the trailer done.

"Well, this is a good time to reveal this also; because G major to E minor is one of the most beautiful chord changes there is, in my opinion. And the main character's name in the movie is "Gem". When you see the movie you will understand a lot more. She is the daughter of the main character in the movie, she is called Gem. And it all makes sense once you see the movie, especially the last scene."
(Oceansouls of America interview; January 21st, 2012)

"I always thought that [the] music business was complicated, and now I've gotten a glimpse of movie business, and...whew! You haven't seen anything!"
(Genelec interview; April 2011)

Imag- Tom Gem