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A Nightwish Story - the Kitee exhibition (and book!)


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  • 4 weeks later...

Apparently the virtual Nightwish exhibition is now open to (virtual) visitors.

https://nightwishstory.com/en/virtual-exhibition

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We bid you welcome to an adventure unlike any other. From so simple a beginning – a humble mood music project put together by a dreamer and his friends here in the tiny hamlet of Kitee, Finland – was born a metal phenomenon with a fanbase that blankets all corners of the world, all ages and of all walks of life. Now you are able to be amazed of this incredible story from the comfort of your own home. In this virtual experince you will be able to see the exhibition space and all the items it holds. The exhibition is open just when it is most convenient for you.

The exhibition has two different floors. Each floor has rooms with different themes. You are able to see all kinds possible Nightwish memorabilia there is – from Nightwish themed products to their demo tapes or music video props. On the other floor you are able to see band’s instruments through the years. 

The exhibition is only available in English at the moment. To make the most of your virtual Nightwish Story experience, you should use your tablet or computer, even though you can also visit the exhibition by phone.

Tickets are available for 2 or 5 days.

I'll update once I have a chance to try it myself.

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  • 7 months later...

This is interesting, a new book telling the Nightwish story through the artifacts of the Kitee exhibition, available from the Nightwish Story page.

https://nightwishstory.com/en/product/a-nightwish-story-exhibition-book

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NOW ON PRE-SALE: A Nightwish Story Exhibition Book 🔥🤘
This 160-page exhibition book includes a unique collection of items and a story told by objects about Nightwish's incredible journey from Kitee to the world's largest concert arena. The book also includes pictures from the exhibition center. Visually impressive piece belongs to all Nightwish fans. 💯
The price of the book is 30 € (+ postage). Pre-orders will be mailed around week 34.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 6 months later...
5 hours ago, Mape said:

Hi Fugazi,

Did you find anything of interest in the book?😉

wbr,

Mape Ollila

Actually I did! 😄 I realize I never came through and post my thoughts about the book, but I have plenty of notes and I'll get them organized and posted later today! 😁

And while I have the chance, I want to thank you for what truly amounts to the Nightwish "bible" of the early years... Still a fascinating read and a defining work for a generation of NW fans! 🤘

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Ok here's my belated quick review of "A Nightwish Story" by Mape Ollila, companion book to the Nightwish permanent exhibition of the same name in Kitee, Finland.

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Before I start, it must be noted that the book has an unusual structure. It's not a biography or straightforward history of the band, like the official biography. Given that it's based on the Nightwish exhibition, it follows the structure of the exhibition which is divided into thematic rooms. Therefore the book itself follows a meandering path which makes it a perfect guide book to the exhibition but a slightly jarring read for the uninitiated.

Nevertheless, as a companion book it accomplishes everything expected of it. It's a great way to visit or revisit the exhibition without actually being there, or using the book as a textual support for a virtual visit (a worthy experience if you haven't tried it). There are quality pictures of many if not most of the exhibits, and the text completes the information available in the exhibition rooms.

A commentary on the form factor: the book is a nice square format with a hard cover, allowing for big enough photos without going into the unwieldy coffee-table format. The paper and printing are of good quality, and the layout is simple and professional.

Of great interest is a foreword by Tuomas himself, and I'll come back to this later. There's also a short preface by Esko Valtaoja, astronomer and narrator of "Please Learn The Setlist in 48 Hours".

"Meadows Of Heaven", the first chapter, is about the early years (the Tarja era). This part is pretty much a very condensed version of the official biography from the same author. The main draw are the pictures, a collection of photos and items from a bygone era. Of note, Tuomas' saxophone, a tape of the first Nightwish demo, a ticket for faux cover band 'End Of An Era', a photo of Tuomas touring with Nattvindens Grat and many more.

"A Lifetime of Adventure", the second chapter and exhibition room, is firstly about Tuomas' Scrooge solo work. Then there's a section about the former band members with short biographies, another about literary references in Tuomas' work, and finally short biographies of the current band members. If this seems a bit disjointed, it's again because the book follows the physical layout of the exhibition and therefore is not strictly chronological. Jukka Koskinen doesn't yet have a dedicated section in the exhibition, and the Nightwish family tree will need to grow a new limb!

The section about literary references is new material, and provides an eye-opening scan of many of the literary sources used in Nightwish lyrics of songs old and new, from fantasy to science. It's a great read even for knowledgeable fans, I definitely learned new things!

"Higher Than Hope" is a short chapter covering the trophy room, a collection of awards and statistics.

"Noise" is a chapter about the band's post-Tarja years. After a section describing and depicting the artifacts in the 'Noise' room, the text picks up the Nightwish story a couple of years after the End Of Era show where the official biography left us back in 2005. The text sticks to the facts and lacks the deeply personal insight of the biography, and obviously skims over any internal band feuds as would be expected of this kind of book. Nevertheless it's a nice recap of the Anette and Floor years and certainly covers the essentials. It ends with the release of Human Nature and the pandemic so it's pretty much up to date given that the book was released in 2021.

This part of the exhibition includes costumes from the Noise video, a grand piano that used to belong to Tuomas, a lifesize snowman from the Imaginaerum movie, and the tree-piano from the Élan video among many more items.

"Elvenpath" is a short section with photographs of studios and arrangers Nightwish have worked with over the years, early band photo shoots and more, all adorning a passageway in the exhibit.

"The Blue" describes a room of musical instruments belonging to the band and various branded clothes. "Nightwish and Science" is a short compilation of biological discoveries named for Nightwish band members or songs, such as Sciophila Holopaineni the mosquito. Finally the book is rounded out with some factual data about the band, including band line-up changes, a full discography, and an exclusive crossword puzzle (in Finnish).

Now going back to the introduction, Tuomas is asked to comment on his creative process and what the essence of Nightwish is. He spends some time explaining that one must listen to the music first and not focus on the newspapers and the gossip. As I mentioned elsewhere in the forums, Tuomas admits that if there was anything he could have done differently in Nightwish, would be to hold their privacy closer to the vest. He wishes Nightwish had managed to keep a more mysterious public image, but in his view those wild behind-the-scenes documentaries ruined it for the band.

And indeed, since the EMFB tour and except for Floor's efforts there's been very little fan interaction and insight into their private or even professional lives, so I wonder if they'll ever allow access to enough material for a writer to pen a follow-up to the official biography. 🤔

Anyway, as a companion to the Nightwish exhibition this is a brilliant and well-illustrated book, well worth the read. A detailed biography it is not, but it does bring the Nightwish story up to date in a condensed form, covering a lot of ground along the way. Get it while you can! 🤘

https://nightwishstory.com/en/product/a-nightwish-story-exhibition-book

-- but do expect international shipping to be prohibitive. 😐 Is it me or shipping fees have increased significantly since last year?

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Uh, wow. Thank you so much!

There definitely could've been a lot more insight and personality in the book, but as it is basically an expo souvenir, I had to keep things reasonably curt. But should you wish to ask something about Nightwish that can't be found in this book or the other two, and still can be told, I can try to answer.

If you ever have the chance, please do visit the expo.  It might actually be worth mentioning that it's been lovingly completed by people who sort of know what they're doing. 😆

  • All the expo material has been donated/loaned by the band themselves, their management, record labels, production companies and Tuomas's parents.
  • The ambient audio in the expo was done by Samppa Hirvonen, the bass player of the first seven Nightwish gigs ever.
  • The Finnish audio guide narrator in the expo is Tapio Wilska, the original growler of The Devil and the Deep Dark Ocean.
  • The English audio guide narrator in the expo is one certain Troy Donockley.
  • The interior design and all ambient graphics in the expo were done by ToxicAngel.
  • The expo script, website content and rather poor inside jokes were written by Yours Truly.
  • Some stuff in the expo book was photographed by Ewo Pohjola's sister, Anniina.

Talk about "keeping it in the family."

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Yes, a visit to Kitee and the expo is certainly on my bucket list, as well as attending a live concert on Finnish soil! I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed the virtual visit of the exhibition, it's well designed and such a great idea considering the travel restrictions and travel costs. It's the next best thing to being there, but eventually I will make it to see it with my own eyes! 😀

It's awesome to hear how many people from the band and team collaborated to the expo, and I was amazed by the quantity and quality of the items on show. It bears witness to the rich history of the band. I don't think I ever found all of the hidden owls though! 😉

I do have many questions, so thank you for the offer, I'll try not to flood you! 😁

In the biography, you wrote that Ewo talked you into the book project, but how did you get involved with Nightwish in the first place? Were you already collaborating with the label or the management on other projects?

Cheers!

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20 hours ago, Fugazi said:

It's awesome to hear how many people from the band and team collaborated to the expo, and I was amazed by the quantity and quality of the items on show. It bears witness to the rich history of the band. I don't think I ever found all of the hidden owls though! 😉

I do have many questions, so thank you for the offer, I'll try not to flood you! 😁

In the biography, you wrote that Ewo talked you into the book project, but how did you get involved with Nightwish in the first place? Were you already collaborating with the label or the management on other projects?

Cheers!

Heh, some of the owls' hideouts are a bit tricky, I'll give you that! But if you promise you won't spread the info, I can reveal them.

Some scattered memories from my tender days of youth:

I believe my first contact with Nightwish was a song that I heard in a Spinefarm record store in Tapiola, Espoo, Finland where I lived back in 1997. The store teller played it from the limited edition of the Angels Fall First album. My friend, with whom I was browsing albums at the store like we used to do every weekend, bought the hand-numbered copy #91/500 of the album. That exact copy is now located at the Kitee's A Nightwish Story Expo.

Also, around the same time I used to write to a magazine called Suomi Finland Perkele Metal Magazine. Their office was located in the basement of Spinefarm Records, where I got acquainted and befriended the awesome people (and a lot of the artists) of Spinefarm Records, most of whom I still love dearly. Suomi Finland Perkele Metal Magazine is also where I got to review the regular version of Angels Fall First in late 1997 and conducted a short phone interview with Tarja as well.

Cue a couple of months. Starting from the New Year of 1998 Nightwish played their 7 first live gigs (with Samppa Hirvonen handling the bass duties) in Finland. Shows #2 and #3 were in Helsinki (January 9th & February 13th, 1998). I attended both of these gigs. By the 2nd show I already knew Tuomas too, as I had done face-to-face interviews with him (and Tarja) as well. I basically hung out and hovered around Spinefarm (and their label manager at the time Ewo) all my free time so I had also met Emppu and Jukka briefly by then. So, I've known the band from a fairly early stage.

However, Marko Hietala is someone I've known since the '80s. We're both born in 1966. As a teenager I used to live in a little hamlet called Vesanto in central Finland. It neighbors the hamlet Marko hails from, called Tervo. We lived some 30 kilometers apart so I've seen his band Tarot play local joints numerous times during their 2 first albums. Marko even subbed as a music teacher at the Vesanto high school. Tarot was always (IMO) a band that should've made an international breakthrough in a time when no Finnish band had really made one. So, when Marko joined Nightwish, I was ecstatic and infinitesimally happy for him. He was a guy who had absolutely everything it takes, but hadn't really ever gotten to taste any real success. Now he at least had a chance.

So, I was Spinefarm's guest at the Gold record party of Nightwish's Ever Dream single, which is the 1st ever Gold Record Award Marko has ever received with any band. There, in a somewhat moved state (ok, ok, I was basically moved to tears, a blubbering basket case) I blurted out to Ewo that "Marko is a guy I could write a damn book about." Ewo, ever sharp, did not even flinch but suggested I should write a book about the entire Nightwish. Instantly I was like, "F#*k  no - vade retro, Satanas! Never in a million years!" ...But as it was Ewo, who can be REALLY persuasive (and secretly I realized what an incredible honor it would be), I eventually gave in. It might have taken a day or two of mulling over whether or not I would be able to complete such a task, as I had never written a book before. Somewhere along the book process Ewo left Spinefarm, and I, in turn started working there as the resident nerd, and as the A&R manager (who would later sign Emppu's other band Brother Firetribe).

Eventually the book would take me 3,5 years to complete. And another 4 years in the court. But that's another story altogether. 😆

Btw, the A Nightwish Story Expo book will be out in Finnish this summer. The layout's being done as we speak.

Edited by Mape
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14 hours ago, Mape said:

Heh, some of the owls' hideouts are a bit tricky, I'll give you that! But if you promise you won't spread the info, I can reveal them.

Ha that would be merciful, when I go back I can look for them again without going mad! 😁 You can send me a private message if you feel like it.

 

14 hours ago, Mape said:

I believe my first contact with Nightwish was a song that I heard in a Spinefarm record store in Tapiola, Espoo, Finland where I lived back in 1997. The store teller played it from the limited edition of the Angels Fall First album. My friend, with whom I was browsing albums at the store like we used to do every weekend, bought the hand-numbered copy #91/500 of the album. That exact copy is now located at the Kitee's A Nightwish Story Expo.

Also, around the same time I used to write to a magazine called Suomi Finland Perkele Metal Magazine. Their office was located in the basement of Spinefarm Records, where I got acquainted and befriended the awesome people (and a lot of the artists) of Spinefarm Records, most of whom I still love dearly. Suomi Finland Perkele Metal Magazine is also where I got to review the regular version of Angels Fall First in late 1997 and conducted a short phone interview with Tarja as well.

You were writing for Perkele? 😮 (what a name, BTW!) I had read an early interview from that magazine on the Taikatalvi site, from 1998 or 1999, but I don't know who the author was: http://nightwishtaikatalvi.epizy.com/article22.html.

 

14 hours ago, Mape said:

Cue a couple of months. Starting from the New Year of 1998 Nightwish played their 7 first live gigs (with Samppa Hirvonen handling the bass duties) in Finland. Shows #2 and #3 were in Helsinki (January 9th & February 13th, 1998). I attended both of these gigs. By the 2nd show I already knew Tuomas too, as I had done face-to-face interviews with him (and Tarja) as well. I basically hung out and hovered around Spinefarm (and their label manager at the time Ewo) all my free time so I had also met Emppu and Jukka briefly by then. So, I've known the band from a fairly early stage.

Indeed! I'm sad that so little archival material appears to have survived from that early tour, unless the band is sitting on a treasure trove of old tapes.

 

14 hours ago, Mape said:

However, Marko Hietala is someone I've known since the '80s. We're both born in 1966. As a teenager I used to live in a little hamlet called Vesanto in central Finland. It neighbors the hamlet Marko hails from, called Tervo. We lived some 30 kilometers apart so I've seen his band Tarot play local joints numerous times during their 2 first albums. Marko even subbed as a music teacher at the Vesanto high school. Tarot was always (IMO) a band that should've made an international breakthrough in a time when no Finnish band had really made one. So, when Marko joined Nightwish, I was ecstatic and infinitesimally happy for him. He was a guy who had absolutely everything it takes, but hadn't really ever gotten to taste any real success. Now he at least had a chance.

So, I was Spinefarm's guest at the Gold record party of Nightwish's Ever Dream single, which is the 1st ever Gold Record Award Marko has ever received with any band. There, in a somewhat moved state (ok, ok, I was basically moved to tears, a blubbering basket case) I blurted out to Ewo that "Marko is a guy I could write a damn book about." Ewo, ever sharp, did not even flinch but suggested I should write a book about the entire Nightwish. Instantly I was like, "F#*k  no - vade retro, Satanas! Never in a million years!" ...But as it was Ewo, who can be REALLY persuasive (and secretly I realized what an incredible honor it would be), I eventually gave in. It might have taken a day or two of mulling over whether or not I would be able to complete such a task, as I had never written a book before. Somewhere along the book process Ewo left Spinefarm, and I, in turn started working there as the resident nerd, and as the A&R manager (who would later sign Emppu's other band Brother Firetribe).

Yeah, I read Marko's biography and the man totally deserved his big break and every bit of success and happiness that he managed to get in Nightwish. I was bit heartbroken thinking that despite his book ending (in 2017) on a positive note, he would be faced with his mental health issues again a few years down the road. I truly hope he's doing better now.

 

14 hours ago, Mape said:

Eventually the book would take me 3,5 years to complete. And another 4 years in the court. But that's another story altogether. 😆

😬 That indeed! In retrospect do you think the book was worth it, considering all the hassle you must have endured in the wake of its release? Not only the lawsuit, but also probably lots of shit from some angry fans?

Anyway, many thanks for the story! I don't remember seeing an author's biographical note in the book, so I was wondering how you ended up with this lucky (?) assignment! 🤘

 

14 hours ago, Mape said:

Btw, the A Nightwish Story Expo book will be out in Finnish this summer. The layout's being done as we speak.

Will the content be any different from the English version?

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