I’ve not yet figured out how to organize my magazines and newspaper clips in a creative enough way but I wanted to blog about another, similar type topic and show how I organize my music related collectibles. I prefer collecting experiences rather than objects but have still built a small collection during years and have a glass vitrine where I keep my favorite items so they can be a part of my everyday life.

In addition to albums and vinyls I’ve collected some of the colorful items Mika and his sister Yasmin have designed for their design collaborations. I used to store all my collectibles in an upstairs cabinet. I loved the idea of having these objects at home but didn’t know how to mix them with my own color scheme. Going to a concert meant stepping into another, extremely colorful world and was a huge, very strong and powerful experience for me. At home my life had less colors. Also, as an adult it felt weird to put for example tour posters on my walls, I hadn’t done something like that before.

Then things changed. I noticed the botanical illustration in the Montreal symphony poster and the mix of different dark blue colors in the China Tour promotion poster were exactly my taste. I looked at them at home and neither of them looked out of place at all. I had the posters professionally framed and the result looked so gorgeous I immediately wanted to find a place for them. Also, I understood that if people want to disapprove me they have plenty of bigger reasons than posters on my wall and to be honest, I didn’t care at all. My relationship with everything material had become different than it used to be as well. I wanted everything at home to be something I can either use or at least think and that way enjoy all the time and having things hidden in upstairs cabinets didn’t serve this philosophy.

First we built a small library in the middle of our house and organized all our books there and even it looked really colorful I absolutely loved it. I put the framed China tour poster on the opposite wall of the library and the colors fit perfectly. The place in the middle of the house was suitable for the poster also because my husband and I traveled to China together so it’s a special memory we share together and I must say I enjoy seeing the poster there every single day and it makes me remember both the concerts we saw and people we met (the second pic below is from Shanghai).

After noticing how much I enjoy having my books visible I wanted to do the same for my collectibles and bought a glass vitrine and located it in our bedroom. So pleased how pretty and fresh it looks there! The cream color vitrine is metal and glass and it’s inexpensive (from Ikea) but very suitable for the purpose and a practical solution to collect together many extremely colorful items in a way that is not too much or not too distractive. It’s like a small colorful gem in otherwise light room and I think the flowery Montreal poster will look beautiful next to it.

I couldn’t fit everything on only three shelves but chose the most important ones. There’s a signed pic I got in mail after sending some illustrated Moomin books for Mika’s birthday 2008. There’s a copy of Songs For Sorrow EP/book from 2009 and a tour book from 2010 and a signed cover art print for TBWKTM (that one is very special for me). There’s a Mika coke bottle designed 2010, three tofu dolls and naturally all three Swatches (two of each so I can wear one if I want to and have one safely stored at home), Pilot pen boxes, some vinyls and Korean magazine edition albums.

It’s interesting to see all these items from the past ten years at one look. I can see almost similar masks in the Happiness Coke box from 2010, in Kukulakuki and Kukulakuku from 2013 and in Mumu from 2016 (all three Swatch designs) and wish I knew the whole story behind the mask.

I bought an Imaginarium tour poster with a mask in Berlin 2010 after a fantastic, very energetic gig and had a short relaxed and smiling moment watching Mika sign it and that made me think Berlin has good vibes so I was back there 2017 to see Mika receiving his Golden Rose award. And I surely couldn’t see that coming the time I bought the poster but now my mind puts these things together and I can’t help but thinking how unexpectedly yet still quite amazingly things sometimes turn out.

Also, makes me smile to see the signature dedicated to “Mina” written on the Imaginarium tour book after the second show at Bercy in Paris. The result didn’t look correct that time but now it looks it was meant that way because it makes me remember the moment so well (I think Mika either misheard my name or the combination of Nina and Mika was somehow confusing for him). Above the tour book is a Mumu box from Lisbon 2016 and a small heart in the box has my letters as well, written correctly and only a few days before another big concert at Bercy, six years after the previous two. (I noticed the heart only when back home and thought what a super sweet thing to do, I didn’t ask for it and Mika was still overwhelmed after the biggest audience he had ever had.)

So rather than collectibles these items are something that help me to put dots on the timeline and that way see things in time perspective. Of course they also represent someone’s career and give me a possibility to see a piece of the world I usually experience only at gigs also at home. They are colorful and pretty but watching them gives me a warm feeling also because of the memories attached to them.

I couldn’t fit in my CDs or DVDs so I still need a colorful hat box to put on the top of the vitrine. It will look pretty and there will be space for new CDs as well. I’m looking forward to new music as much as everyone else and just wish there wasn’t so much pressure for it. It would be nice to think Mika has space to breath while writing and choosing new songs so the album will tell what he wants it to tell. I’m curious to hear the atmosphere in it.

Every album has special themes and tones. From LICM my mind picks the kind of strong, extreme emotions people often have at younger age, not just joy and energy but darker emotions as well. In TBWKTM I can hear insecurities and vulnerability. Songs like Rain or Toyboy or I See You where the person is too afraid to even talk to someone. TOOL is all about freedom. In the notebook I had with me at the album listening party I wrote “Origin makes me feel I can fly” and I still feel that way when I listen to the song. NPIH is the saddest album I’ve ever heard. I cried a lot when I heard it for the first time. It was the first time I realized how much sadness there is and how well Mika’s voice can transfer it. It’s still my favorite one of these four. The NPIH vinyl, see pics below, looks amazing and is one of my favorite things just to hold in my hands, love it  xxx

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.