STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has issued the following update on his upcoming classical rock opera, "Saana - Warrior of Light Part 1: Journey to Crystal Island":
"After spending 21 or so days in the studio, I got the mixes done. It was the weirdest mixing session I have ever done. Only assembling the huge amount of material to the same place before I could even start to mix took something like five days. And I had 'second unit' behind me for overdubbing 'late minute' ideas, which turned out to be almost 40% of the material. Then my whole sleeping rhythm got completely weird. I went to sleep around midnight and woke up at 3. Every night, exactly at 3 I woke up and could not fall back to sleep. So I went to the studio and started working. This made my working days very weird. From 5 in the morning to around 7 in the evening. One morning I entered the studio and there were some drunken people sleeping on the couches. I went to the control room and very soon I witnessed a rather well-known Finnish rock musician venturing around the studio completely naked and finding his way to me only to say: 'What are you doing here?' to which I answered, 'Well, I am mixing. What are YOU doing here completely naked?' That was pretty funny. Reminded me for those days I was still drinking. It was fun sometimes, I have to admit.
"The Xmas came and went and I was doing my work and building the mix.
"'Saana' is hard to mix, because it is basically just one song. Like operas are. There are segments, of course, but basically it is 45 minutes of continuous music. It's a story and it is not an easy listening story. So then I had the final mix done and I also did surround mixes for the video stuff at the same time. [On January 3] I took the whole thing to Chartmakers for mastering, and very soon it was quite clear that the sound was very very good and airy. Not much needed to be done. After listening to the mastered copy I decided that I want to have some volume changes between some sections and we will do those on next Monday. The feeling of holding in your hand something you have been working on for 9 months is undescribable. It's almost better than sex, but not quite. The work still continues with graphics deparment. Over 5000 photos was taken for this project and there are 25 hours of videomaterial. But, guys and girls, I am almost there.
"I know, I am four months behind the schedule. Just ask the record company how they feel about it."
"Saana - Warrior of Light Part 1: Journey to Crystal Island" is a multimedia adventure containing almost one hour of music and comes with a full all region bonus DVD that contains the whole story in film format as well. It also has lots of other extras and a brand new interview of Timo Tolkki about his past, present and future.
Featuring the talents of Jennifer Sowle, Aino Laos, Heikki Poyhiä and Janette Sainio, this album is a breathtaking experience of emotions. They were all carefully chosen for their respective roles and they enhance the musical journey in a way that hasn't really been heard before. Timo Tolkki calls it "a classical rock opera."