The Finnish musician Tuomas Holopainen obviously loves not only the night, but also the dawn: On the one hand his symphonic metal band Nightwish is on tour again and has a career retrospective in his luggage with the double album "Decades". On the other hand, the keyboarder, together with his wife, folk singer Johanna Kurkela, and Nightwish bagpipe player Troy Donockley, founded the new band Auri and released a debut album.
Mythological themes have always been an integral part of Nightwish. The same applies to Tuomas Holopainen's new trio, which was formed during a long creative break of the band: The name Auri, derived from Aurora, the Latin expression for dawn, comes from a creature from Patrick Rothfuss's fantasy trilogy "The Royal Murderer Chronicle". For Holopainen, the Ethnopop project proved to be a means of regenerating his creative resources. In an interview he and his wife Johanna Kurkela tell how they finally put an old musical dream into action.
eclipsed: How did Project Auri come about?
Tuomas Holopainen: The three of us have known each other for a long time and are very good friends, see each other regularly and recognize early on that we share a preference for similar sound worlds. Back then we were busy with Nightwish, and Johanna was also busy with her solo albums, but this idea never let us go. When we decided to take a year off with Nightwish, it was clear that we wouldn't find a better time.
Johanna Kurkela: In principle, Auri came into being because three friends - Tuomas, Troy and I - longed for music that was still missing in the world. We were all fans of each other's music from the very beginning. In the past, we have also often participated in each other's musical projects. It can be said that the spirit of cooperation is written in capital letters with the three of us! Over the years this has developed into this vision, the shared dream of a unique, fearless, infinitely open music.
eclipsed: What was the concrete writing process like?
Kurkela: That's quite a mystery because we never really talked about what the album was supposed to be or what kind of songs we wanted to write. We had no concept, no main songwriter and no producer. All three of us brought in song ideas and then worked together on this basis.
eclipsed: Where do the inspirations for Auri come from?
Kurkela: As far as music and lyrics are concerned, we have drawn inspiration from much of what we love. In the case of the opening melody of "Them Thar Chanterelles", for example, it was mushroom picking on walks in the woods. The books and films we love, the people we love, and our view of the world in general, all this flows into Auri.