Looking at the stars

I’ve always loved reading about artists and their lives. Writers, painters, rock musicians. Not just about their work itself but the people behind it. There’s something fascinating in their life style and in stories about people constantly creating and focusing on their work whether they are already famous for it or for time being only known in their own circles.

Artists can have as much influence as scientists and politicians. Art has made the world as it is today as much as inventions and political decisions. Artists look at the world and describe it for other people to see, pointing out what’s important, opening people’s eyes. They can make a difference and be an active part of change. I’ve always seen Mika as one those people. I’ve always known he is intelligent and creative enough to have a real influence on people and to be a part of a bigger change through both his music and his words and example.

Something I read the other day made me think of his albums and how he described the world in them. He changed his perspective in TOOL. LICM described the world using examples and characters. In TBWKTM he was watching himself watching the world. I’ve always wondered why I feel it’s the most distant of his four albums even I’ve been lucky to hear many of the songs live and really enjoyed them. Maybe something was lost in translation, like it’s possible when I read Murakami and the Finnish translation is based on the English translation instead of the original book. Or like watching things through two filters instead of one.

Origin and No Place In Heaven (especially the title songs) felt different from beginning. Like watching a photo without any filters. Like seeing the world described by someone who is brave enough to face it directly and I think this is the reason NPIH is my favorite of these four albums. I love it how listening to music can make everything different. There’s so much to see, so much to love. Can’t wait for new songs, for all these reasons.

I read Mika will be talking to young filmmakers at Giffoni Film Festival in Italy this week and remember clips of him answering questions at the same festival last year. The audience was young, creative and enthusiastic and he seemed so inspired and interested, such a big difference compared to many of his usual interviews and Q&As. I can only wish to have an opportunity to listen to him speaking like that some day and hope these young people know how lucky they are.

I love hearing him talking – through his music or in public – about life, love, tolerance, equality and being an artist. Whether he wants it or not he is an example to many young people. And I wonder how it is for artists (in general) when they grow up. Is it still all about being creative or does it become more like business management with busy schedules and decisions, finding the right people and managing projects.

The photo above was taken at Bercy during Underwater, an unforgettable moment. The lights look like stars. X