I’m not a collector type. I don’t hunt every rare magazine or mind if my collectibles are always signed or not. Concerts, experiences and live situations are more important to me. I love documenting though so of course I buy interesting looking magazines and newspapers if easily available and also save bits and pieces from my trips and clips people sometimes send me from abroad.
Unfortunately my home archives are a mess. I’ve made travel journals and tour books but not in a systematic way which I seriously regret now and in the future want to do things differently. I believe that documenting my trips and even my everyday life in an organized way could make my mind more organized as well and I’ve read a lot about the topic and different journaling techniques lately. I’ve started to organize my archives in time order and if I can ever find a creative enough way to put them together I will show it here.
I took a few pics while going through different magazine articles, partly just for fun but partly also because some of these clips are newspaper quality and after several years quite fragile already so it’s good to have them also in digital form.
The newspaper photo above was taken on the first Cirque d’Hiver night during 2009 Songs for Sorrow Tour and it’s one of my favorite pics. It was such a wonderful night. I enjoyed the gig so much and made me smile to see the newspaper pic day after the show. There was a full audience around the circus style stage and I was just a random person standing there, yet in the pic it almost looks like I had a meaning, like I was some kind of a character representing the audience (no one else can be seen clearly, even my husband sitting next to me is in shadow) and I found that funny and the newspaper clip a heart-warming memory.
A copy of the Songs for Sorrow book happened to be in the middle of my favorite magazines so I looked it through the other day – I hadn’t done that for a while – and thought once again what a fantastic, artistic project it was. Just looking at it made me so emotional I almost cried. What a hugely creative project to do at that young age – Mika was only 26 that time – a beautiful collection of illustrations from many different artists.
I can remember that tour so well. I absolutely loved it. Everyone I know who was there loved it. Acoustic setting at super special small venues like Cirque d’Hiver in Paris and Passionskirche in Berlin. Several new songs. Energetic Mika in his white shirt and his friends Ida and Alex on stage with him every night! And yet I feel the idea (EP, book, tour) didn’t get the attention and publicity it deserved. Maybe it was too small-scale. Maybe it wasn’t what media was expecting from him that time. Maybe none of us understood the full value of it that time – we were all so eagerly waiting for the album and a bigger tour coming in a few months – but looking from the perspective I have today it was an incredibly creative, special thing to do.
The detailed picture on Spin magazine from October 2009 with Mika on his bed introducing his favorite objects like a miniature theater and original Mad magazine cover art is somehow super fascinating and makes me realize Christian Louboutin was designing him shoes already back then. Almost ten years ago! We have seen many of these objects (Union Jack tapestry, Chinese wish pig) later on his Instagram or in different magazine interviews. I can still remember how thrilled I was to read new interviews about Mika, to learn new things about him thinking that way his music would make even more sense than it already did which was true of course.
The opened magazine below is Italian Max from 2010 and it looks like an ordinary magazine but the size is actually way larger than A4 which makes the photos in it look even more fabulous seen in real life. The style of the magazine is slightly pornographic, in an “artistic” way, and makes me laugh to see Mika jump out in the middle of it.
The colorful photo shooting for Observer Music Monthly from 2009 in the beginning of this blog post (and also in the featured pic) is one of my very favorites of all the photo shootings Mika has done. I really love the pictures and the idea of making a mess with paints. Below the cover and a page from the interview Mika did for Instinct Magazine 2012 when the third album The Origin of Love was out and it has special value as it started a new, more open era both in his music and public image.
Below some setlists I discovered in my piles. Most of the times I just take a photo of the setlist after the gig or write it down so I can remember the songs for my blog but every now and then I have one of the originals to keep and these were such a happy discovery as I actually have a setlist from every gig I saw during the Intimate US tour 2013. I remember it as my favorite ever tour, such a beautiful and special experience. Just look at the songs we heard.
The photo with pleased looking, widely smiling Mika in the middle of all his creative siblings taken for Paris Match interview 2014 is somehow really cute. The group in their colorful outfits is obviously posing for the picture but this kind of family photos including his all three sisters and one younger brother are still rare so the impression is very intimate. A couple of pics in the gallery below are from Korean magazines, always gorgeous (but also very photoshopped style). The photo shooting for Korean Elle 2015 is especially interesting for me as I could visit the cafe where the shooting was done during my visit to Korea. Thanks to the Korean fans who took us there, such a cool visit and made me see those photos in a different way than I earlier did.
The cover of L’Uomo Vogue from 2015 and the photo for the article in it are taken by photographer Peter Lindbergh and I love the strong and magnetic stare in Mika’s eyes in the both of the photos and all the photos Peter Lindbergh has taken of him. Spectacular! In the latter one Mika looks like a man who has a vision. And is staring at it. I wonder what he was staring in the actual photo shooting situation.
These Italian Vanity Fair cover photos are very familiar but I wanted to collect them together because that looks so pleasing to the eye. The dancer theme is my favorite and I especially love the photo in the otherwise empty theater just a small group of dancers on the background – very thought-provoking isn’t it – but the red, black and white color scheme in the other two issues is extremely classy and elegant and I like them both as well.
I have kept brochures from different festivals and events but these two from symphony concerts are naturally more important and valuable than any other ones. The Montreal booklet includes a long and interesting interview also in English (not something to take for granted) and the Florence booklet contains the lyrics and more intense photos taken by Peter Lindbergh. This quote about the dynamics of an orchestra is from the Montreal booklet:
The most amazing thing I have had to get used to are the dynamics of an orchestra. It is not quiet, it is not loud. In pop and rock concerts we are used to the sheer volume of amplified sound and bass. With an orchestra the dynamics are totally different. It sounds with texture and incredible detail, without any interference from a speaker or electronics. It is a sort of reset for the ear.