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On 11/3/2015 at 10:28 AM, Kumazzz said:

 

Plus

https://www.facebook.com/martinocrespievents/posts/925524247495785?pnref=story

Una serata speciale a Priceless.

Una meravigliosa cena a 4 mani in onore di Mika e Vanity Fair.

Lo chef Jre Emanuele Scarello invita per l'occasione un altro grandissimo chef friulano: Andrea Berton

Che serata !!!! Photo © Gabriele Basilico

22108225533_b8fb2ac5eb_o.jpg

 

22740552991_b79eb5c099_o.jpg

 

22729367835_6ecb583b54_o.jpg

 

and

a lucky girl.

https://twitter.com/LidiaLuongo/status/656752011589898240

 

INSTAGRAM

https://www.instagram.com/martinocrespievents/

uploads an old pic ( in 2015 ) today.

 

 

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On 6/6/2015 at 8:50 PM, Lucrezia said:

Wired Italia made a really particular and interesting article/interview about Mika's album.

 

Here are the scans of the magazine

 

post-18139-0-19732700-1433591236.jpg

 

post-18139-0-44130500-1433591240.jpg

 

post-18139-0-72017500-1433591243.jpg

post-18139-0-91581400-1433591246.jpg

 

post-18139-0-19615600-1433591250.jpg

post-18139-0-47202700-1433591253.jpg

 

 

post-18139-0-19732700-1433591236_thumb.jpg post-18139-0-44130500-1433591240_thumb.jpgpost-18139-0-72017500-1433591243_thumb.jpgpost-18139-0-91581400-1433591246_thumb.jpgpost-18139-0-19615600-1433591250_thumb.jpgpost-18139-0-47202700-1433591253_thumb.jpg

post-18139-0-56222300-1433591233_thumb.jpg

 

On 6/9/2015 at 3:25 AM, stefa said:

Last two pages of the Wired Italy interview. I post them now since I am afraid I will forget tomorrow, as I am quite busy.

You should wait for Charlie's first half though...even if the text can also work on its own.

I like this article, but is it just me who sees basically zero connection between the text and the graphs visualizing the songs?

 

 

 

 

“In reality it is very complex. Often it is a process that you need to refine working hard, and then do it without thinking about it. You train to develop melodies, to decorate them, elaborate them, reinvent them, to find some techniques to get them, but when it happens it is automatic, because like an athlete you enter in an instinctive area: the melody comes out as it should, but  you do not remember how it happened. You remember only all the steps to reach that point”.
But there is a paradox in the creative process.
“How can an author provide emotions and surprise himself? It is a process that requires presence and detachment at the same time. In a certain way the creation of an original musical object is equivalent to be able to be tickled by yourself. It is impossible”. says Francois Pachet, director of Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris, expert in artificial intelligence and researcher in musical creativity. How can an author give emotions and surprises to himself? “Creation is similar to what monks do” says Mika.
“Some years ago I took a meditation class. I was starting to work to my second album, when something horrible happened to me. I lost 60% of hearing. I have an sensorial hypocausia (?), it happened also to others in my family. So now I have a 60% decrease at 3000 Hz. It has never been solved. At the time I went to a meditation class to try to get better. I was getting crazy, I was constantly hearing noises. Even now I am very sensitive to sounds, I always need to protect my ears” says the songwriter with libanese origins.  “During the meditation class the monk invited me to start a pattern, something familiar to me, and I replied abruptly: What the hell of a pattern?” because I really did not want to be there. He saw a coke can, and he started to repeat “Coke coke coke”.  He told me to do like that. “Say it and get it into your head”. The he used the pattern as a structure, to guide me forward and backward in the conscience. It is exactly what I do when I write: I find a pattern that puts me in that zone, and I can write”.
From the “classical” Mika writings (“words and melodies, I do not think in terms of sound”) we move to the construction of the musical object.
“This is the first album I recorded almost completely at home. In a single day, with 3500 dollars, I built a recording studio in the living room. The main part of what you hear in the album was recorded like this in Los Angeles. Almost all the voices were captured with a cheap microphone. The main part of the studio work was done on the music, but the voice and the piano were often rough. There is little voice manipulation, very little tuning”. In our model, the voice is treated as a part of the track, but the texts add several level of complexity to a piece. Mika uses often words to introduce ambiguities in a song, a dark element that is in contrast with the happy rhythms: other means to manipulate expectations.
The voice was also used is contrast with the music, to add a very physical and “breathing” element. “I have a collection of my breaths. If one is cut in the track during production, I put it back”. he says, during an electronic track.
Mika tells that thinking about our experiment with his songs he made an experiment himself during a performance: “I was singing the new songs at Webster Hall, in New York, and I was studying the reaction of the listeners for the first time. I was trying to understand how long it took to become emotional, and lower defences and feel the same joy as when they hear the songs they know. It is incredible how increasing the dynamic between verse and main melody I managed to create a more intense reaction with the material they did not know.
if I was reducing the dynamics I was becoming less intriguing, less satisfactory and so there was no space for them in the song. The second night, when I exaggerated the dynamics in my performance and the one of the band, the song suddenly opened up”.
It is music seen as a social signal, the performer seen as an emphatic communicator.
But how do we measure the audience’s reaction? “ I look at what happens. I look at the tension in the faces, I check if they tap their feet or not, or if they talk among each others or if they stare at me”, answers Mika: “there is a wonderful world in italian, which does not really have a translation in english “consapevolezza” (something like awareness). As a performer you develop an extreme form of awareness, you must do it. I always say that a musician should consider himself part of the team. The first thing you need to learn when you perform on stage is to get away from the priviledged position where you are as an author. You must become an interpreter, a provoker, and thinking of yourself as one of the team you become more receptive of what happens in front of you, you adapt and become a better performer. In this way it is easier to read the audience’s signals.”
The emotional communication with the audience is metaphorically rendered as a line of tension “It is an invisible line that goes directly to the stomach, direct to the mind, stretched between you and the audience. Your role as performer is to keep aware of this tension. It is like the heartbeat of the performance, I see it like this.
You must always keep a minimum heartbeat level, otherwise the perfomance dies. There is no need to be hyperactive on stage, you can also have a slow song. The idea is the tension, but tension is created by intention”.
As Mika said, the performance takes the identity of an intense communication act, started and directed by the performer.
It is the performer that creates a lowering of the defences, visible in the physical symptoms of the relaxation of the face and the muscles. “And when you managed to open those areas on someone, once you manage to communicate that way, you must be very responsible, you are forced to be, since you are holding them by the hand, and if they feel you are not respectful, you do not know what is happening or that you will let them fall, they will become harsh again and you will have lost them.”
According to Mika concerts are “controlled improvisations, not different from what happens in classical music”, but his idea of intention goes beyond a set of interpretations.
“As much as we try to analyse the writing process and interpretation, there is always an undeniable alchemy, and this is why we will always be fascinated by the art of interpretation and performance”, he keeps saying “it is the alchemy of someone who can do something and we do not know why. There is a person stepping on stage, a person in meat and bones that you recognise as such, but he has a power on you that you cannot justify, and your interpretation is that he has a special power.
There comes the idea of Stardust. It has nothing to do with celebrity per se. “ In practice it is like having superpowers right? Mika laughs “Ah but I don’t have them. I am more like a baker. It is hard to make good bread, it is pure alchemy.” Like music.
 

 

On 6/9/2015 at 5:55 AM, charlie20 said:

 

 

 

Here the first part of the translation of the first four pages of "Wired Italia"'s article/interview.

Sorry if I haven't finished the translation, but something (unexpected) came up at work and I'll post the second and final part as soon as it's ready.

Thanks a lot to stefa for her help!!  :flowers2:

 

Inside the music of Mika

 

We gets to listen to "no place in heaven", the latest album of the pop star.

we made/had a computer listen to "no place in heaven", the latest album of the pop star. The tracks have become numbers analyzed by a group of neuroscientists, who discovered that…

 

Passed in a/ put through a  data processor the last songs of the singer Anglo-Lebanese and the result is a three-dimensional map of the sound quality (the timbre) of every moment of the album

 

"I start from a (musical) motif/melody. Dum dum dum dum. I imagine a horse. There is always something visual. I see a man on horseback, I feel the pace/gait, and that is the basis of "Good Guys". It is rhythm and melody at the same time. It’s as if it were a color. I never begin by an emotion. I start to write, cold, and, if I get to be moved/touched, I know that am writing well and the emotion keeps me going." Word of Mika, met in Milan in an frantic day in April. The singer-songwriter, of Anglo-Lebanese origins, had to deliver to us in secret his fourth album, “No Place In Heaven”, long before the official release. Mika has, in fact, agreed to undergo an experiment for “Wired”: he shared with us his new songs because we could disassemble them and scientifically study their functioning. From that moment began our journey into pop music, led by the nose (or flair/intuition/knack) of neuroscientists and computer scientists, who thanks to special algorithms, allow a computer to "feel" and "understand" an audio file.The feature extraction of music audio files is essential to manage music databases, including the operations of identification of the pieces (Shazam, Spotify and YouTube Music Key use algorithms of Music Information Retrieval, Mir), but it is also a promising area of research in the cognitive sciences of music, making explicit the relations between our perception and the characteristics of a recorded piece.

The question that has driven our experiment is at the heart of the scientific challenge that tries to understand the human obsession for music.What makes it work? How can a sequence of vibrations that propagate in the air captivate us? Why a song is transformed into an object of desire/ object that is desired?

The idea is to look at the music that "works" by definition. a successful pop author, like Mika, with over 10 million records sold, is a specialist in the composition of melodies, accessible and unforgettable at the same time. And putting under the magnifying glass to his songs, we were able to reveal some secrets. But is enough a computer to identify (/detect/find) the "Mika style", what makes his music recognizable? To this subject, for example, is working the "Sony Computer Science Laboratory" of Paris. The aim of the project FlowMachines is to teach to a machine to recognize the style and turn it into a virtual object manipulated while composing new pieces. But already now we can say a lot about the new album of the singer-songwriter.

With the help of Olivier Lartillot, computer scientist of the University of Aalborg in Denmark, we have indeed discovered a very varied collection of songs.The pieces have elaborate structures, almost never reducible to a simple alternation of verse and chorus. Mika is sophisticated and, thanks to a complex instrumentation, he livens up also the pieces more naked. His secret? An high contrast ambiguity, with clashes of musical and lyrical elements. There are joyful musical chords, rhythm measured by anxious pulsations, comfortable sonorities with drastic final, pop simplicity and dark words/lyrics.

But let's start from the beginning, how the music is perceived by the brain.The model in vogue in neuroscience argues that the music works/ functions by creating tension and expectations. It leads us, using our inclination to extract regularities from the sound flow and to predict what will come later, only to tease us by violating expectations, or postponing the realization.

 

On 6/10/2015 at 6:58 AM, charlie20 said:

 

Here the final part:

 

The  game of prevision - surprise involves neural mechanisms of motivation and reward, which activate themselves with other stimuli essential to the survival: food and sex.

“In our species the oldest circuits, related to survival, work in synergy with the newer systems dedicated to the analysis and pattern recognition”, explains Stefan Koelsch, a neuroscientist at the Freie Universität of Berlin. A musician can play with many different items, from rhythmic variations, to the use of musical chords which sound "suspended", waiting for completion (/fulfillment, accomplishment).

Our analysis has employed/used algorithms in large part original to display and understand the structure of the songs, at different levels. The analysis has produced a map of the album that allows to quickly identify some characteristics "macro" of the pieces, from songs more danceable, from the retro disco of "L'amour fait ce qu’il veut" to the techno pop of "Staring at the Sun".

Both songs have rhythmic events in the low frequencies and regular pulsations, two characteristics that powerfully modulate the activity of the motor system, as demonstrated by neuroimaging studies and intuitions of DJs. The three indicators of danceability identify the "African" rhythmic of “Good Wife”, with much activity in the bass, and soft and dense pulsations. The contrast index grasps (/catches/captures) the dramatic movements, emotionally engaging of "Porcelain" and "Last Party", while "Oh Girl You're the Devil", which is also very danceable, has rapid, dynamic fluctuations. Every song can be transformed into a image that shows their structure, rhythm and the quality of sound.

"Promiseland," a song that Mika defines "cool and a little trashy", unites aggressive techno sections, to syncopated vocal pieces, in which the voice enters slightly out of phase in respect to the pulsation, and manipulates the uniform time of the drum machine by inducing a feeling of acceleration. The international single, "Talk About You," has a vividly (clearly) "happy" tonality (music: tonal quality, key), it’s danceable, great sound intensity, and relatively low contrast, with a stably brilliant sound.

Even if it is pushed in much more detail than one can tell here, no Mir model of tension and expectations, however, explains the entirety of the musical experience. In a pop context, in particular, the music is experienced as an emanation, and even intimate expression, of a person.

It's time to ask the author of "No Place in Heaven" how he creates his melodies.

“Everyone speaks of catchy melodies, but it's too easy to think in those terms”, Mika tells.

 

SONGS

 

01

All She Wants

Against his mother

3’39”

 

Latent sadness and a touch of humor.

His mother, his grandmother, a fake wife. (They) Who wanted a different Mika.

 

02

Talk About You

To play (it) safe

3’22”

 

Rhythmic and brilliant.Classic pop song, with a false ending:

the song resumes, but has  slightly deviated (depart - diverge)

 

03

Good Guys

A nostalgic travel/journey

3’23”

 

The Italian single.

Calm, warm, but dynamic.

A tribute to the heroes of Mika, from Warhol to Oscar Wilde

 

04

No Place in Heaven

An anxious prayer

3’20”

 

Syncopated rhythm and a beating heart, with references to religious music

 

05

Staring At the Sun

A party at sunset

3’36”

 

Energetic techno rhythm.

Midsummer/the height of summer, thanks to the final concert of crickets

 

06

Last Party

ready to cry?

3’39”

 

Melancholy by (the) end of the world.

Calm but dynamic, with a strong crescendo

 

07

Hurts

Attack of nostalgia

3’36”

 

A quiet ballad, little rhythmic and dynamic.

The effect on the voice of Mika makes it different

 

08

Oh Girl You’re the Devil

Let's Dance!

2’51”

 

A vocal counterpoint, playful and dynamic.

Go with the bass.

 

09

Good Wife

To be moved/touched

3’18”

 

A rhythm in African style.

A (music) drama by the sound warm and comfortable, with a violent final

 

10

Rio

To cheer (themselves) up

4’08”

 

The song of the escape, thanks to joyful chords.

Energetic, enthralling and aggressive

 

11

Ordinary Man

The end of a love story

3’46”

 

Emotional and nostalgic ballad, quiet and warm.

No percussions, there is no dancing here.

 

12

Promiseland

Next single?

2’59”

 

A collision between funky syncopated voices, instrumental and techno parts.

Sexy meow on the final

 

13

Porcelain

A mystical journey

3’19”

 

Calm and dramatic in the dynamic.

Falsetto voice. The sound more "deviant" of the album

 

14

L’amour fait ce qu’il veut

Retro disco

3’25”

 

Funky in French, with a crescendo that stays in your (/the) head/mind

 

15

Boum boum boum

Go with the Latin (Hispanic) rhythms

3’28”

 

Sad chords, typical of Spanish music.

Rhythm more complex, warmer sound

 

On 6/10/2015 at 7:11 AM, charlie20 said:

 

So this is the entire translation:

 

 

Inside the music of Mika

 

We gets to listen to "no place in heaven", the latest album of the pop star.

we made/had a computer listen to "no place in heaven", the latest album of the pop star. The tracks have become numbers analyzed by a group of neuroscientists, who discovered that…

 

Passed in a/ put through a  data processor the last songs of the singer Anglo-Lebanese and the result is a three-dimensional map of the sound quality (the timbre) of every moment of the album

 

"I start from a (musical) motif/melody. Dum dum dum dum. I imagine a horse. There is always something visual. I see a man on horseback, I feel the pace/gait, and that is the basis of "Good Guys". It is rhythm and melody at the same time. It’s as if it were a color. I never begin by an emotion. I start to write, cold, and, if I get to be moved/touched, I know that am writing well and the emotion keeps me going." Word of Mika, met in Milan in an frantic day in April. The singer-songwriter, of Anglo-Lebanese origins, had to deliver to us in secret his fourth album, “No Place In Heaven”, long before the official release. Mika has, in fact, agreed to undergo an experiment for “Wired”: he shared with us his new songs because we could disassemble them and scientifically study their functioning. From that moment began our journey into pop music, led by the nose (or flair/intuition/knack) of neuroscientists and computer scientists, who thanks to special algorithms, allow a computer to "feel" and "understand" an audio file.The feature extraction of music audio files is essential to manage music databases, including the operations of identification of the pieces (Shazam, Spotify and YouTube Music Key use algorithms of Music Information Retrieval, Mir), but it is also a promising area of research in the cognitive sciences of music, making explicit the relations between our perception and the characteristics of a recorded piece.

The question that has driven our experiment is at the heart of the scientific challenge that tries to understand the human obsession for music.What makes it work? How can a sequence of vibrations that propagate in the air captivate us? Why a song is transformed into an object of desire/ object that is desired?

The idea is to look at the music that "works" by definition. a successful pop author, like Mika, with over 10 million records sold, is a specialist in the composition of melodies, accessible and unforgettable at the same time. And putting under the magnifying glass to his songs, we were able to reveal some secrets. But is enough a computer to identify (/detect/find) the "Mika style", what makes his music recognizable? To this subject, for example, is working the "Sony Computer Science Laboratory" of Paris. The aim of the project FlowMachines is to teach to a machine to recognize the style and turn it into a virtual object manipulated while composing new pieces. But already now we can say a lot about the new album of the singer-songwriter.

With the help of Olivier Lartillot, computer scientist of the University of Aalborg in Denmark, we have indeed discovered a very varied collection of songs.The pieces have elaborate structures, almost never reducible to a simple alternation of verse and chorus. Mika is sophisticated and, thanks to a complex instrumentation, he livens up also the pieces more naked. His secret? An high contrast ambiguity, with clashes of musical and lyrical elements. There are joyful musical chords, rhythm measured by anxious pulsations, comfortable sonorities with drastic final, pop simplicity and dark words/lyrics.

But let's start from the beginning, how the music is perceived by the brain.The model in vogue in neuroscience argues that the music works/ functions by creating tension and expectations. It leads us, using our inclination to extract regularities from the sound flow and to predict what will come later, only to tease us by violating expectations, or postponing the realization.

 

 

The  game of prevision - surprise involves neural mechanisms of motivation and reward, which activate themselves with other stimuli essential to the survival: food and sex.

“In our species the oldest circuits, related to survival, work in synergy with the newer systems dedicated to the analysis and pattern recognition”, explains Stefan Koelsch, a neuroscientist at the Freie Universität of Berlin. A musician can play with many different items, from rhythmic variations, to the use of musical chords which sound "suspended", waiting for completion (/fulfillment, accomplishment).

Our analysis has employed/used algorithms in large part original to display and understand the structure of the songs, at different levels. The analysis has produced a map of the album that allows to quickly identify some characteristics "macro" of the pieces, from songs more danceable, from the retro disco of "L'amour fait ce qu’il veut" to the techno pop of "Staring at the Sun".

Both songs have rhythmic events in the low frequencies and regular pulsations, two characteristics that powerfully modulate the activity of the motor system, as demonstrated by neuroimaging studies and intuitions of DJs. The three indicators of danceability identify the "African" rhythmic of “Good Wife”, with much activity in the bass, and soft and dense pulsations. The contrast index grasps (/catches/captures) the dramatic movements, emotionally engaging of "Porcelain" and "Last Party", while "Oh Girl You're the Devil", which is also very danceable, has rapid, dynamic fluctuations. Every song can be transformed into a image that shows their structure, rhythm and the quality of sound.

"Promiseland," a song that Mika defines "cool and a little trashy", unites aggressive techno sections, to syncopated vocal pieces, in which the voice enters slightly out of phase in respect to the pulsation, and manipulates the uniform time of the drum machine by inducing a feeling of acceleration. The international single, "Talk About You," has a vividly (clearly) "happy" tonality (music: tonal quality, key), it’s danceable, great sound intensity, and relatively low contrast, with a stably brilliant sound.

Even if it is pushed in much more detail than one can tell here, no Mir model of tension and expectations, however, explains the entirety of the musical experience. In a pop context, in particular, the music is experienced as an emanation, and even intimate expression, of a person.

It's time to ask the author of "No Place in Heaven" how he creates his melodies.

“Everyone speaks of catchy melodies, but it's too easy to think in those terms”, Mika tells.

 

SONGS

 

01

All She Wants

Against his mother

3’39”

 

Latent sadness and a touch of humor.

His mother, his grandmother, a fake wife. (They) Who wanted a different Mika.

 

02

Talk About You

To play (it) safe

3’22”

 

Rhythmic and brilliant.Classic pop song, with a false ending:

the song resumes, but has  slightly deviated (depart - diverge)

 

03

Good Guys

A nostalgic travel/journey

3’23”

 

The Italian single.

Calm, warm, but dynamic.

A tribute to the heroes of Mika, from Warhol to Oscar Wilde

 

04

No Place in Heaven

An anxious prayer

3’20”

 

Syncopated rhythm and a beating heart, with references to religious music

 

05

Staring At the Sun

A party at sunset

3’36”

 

Energetic techno rhythm.

Midsummer/the height of summer, thanks to the final concert of crickets

 

06

Last Party

ready to cry?

3’39”

 

Melancholy by (the) end of the world.

Calm but dynamic, with a strong crescendo

 

07

Hurts

Attack of nostalgia

3’36”

 

A quiet ballad, little rhythmic and dynamic.

The effect on the voice of Mika makes it different

 

08

Oh Girl You’re the Devil

Let's Dance!

2’51”

 

A vocal counterpoint, playful and dynamic.

Go with the bass.

 

09

Good Wife

To be moved/touched

3’18”

 

A rhythm in African style.

A (music) drama by the sound warm and comfortable, with a violent final

 

10

Rio

To cheer (themselves) up

4’08”

 

The song of the escape, thanks to joyful chords.

Energetic, enthralling and aggressive

 

11

Ordinary Man

The end of a love story

3’46”

 

Emotional and nostalgic ballad, quiet and warm.

No percussions, there is no dancing here.

 

12

Promiseland

Next single?

2’59”

 

A collision between funky syncopated voices, instrumental and techno parts.

Sexy meow on the final

 

13

Porcelain

A mystical journey

3’19”

 

Calm and dramatic in the dynamic.

Falsetto voice. The sound more "deviant" of the album

 

14

L’amour fait ce qu’il veut

Retro disco

3’25”

 

Funky in French, with a crescendo that stays in your (/the) head/mind

 

15

Boum boum boum

Go with the Latin (Hispanic) rhythms

3’28”

 

Sad chords, typical of Spanish music.

Rhythm more complex, warmer sound

 

(And the stefa's part of the translation - Many, many thanks again to her !!  :flowers2: )

 

 

“In reality it is very complex. Often it is a process that you need to refine working hard, and then do it without thinking about it. You train to develop melodies, to decorate them, elaborate them, reinvent them, to find some techniques to get them, but when it happens it is automatic, because like an athlete you enter in an instinctive area: the melody comes out as it should, but  you do not remember how it happened. You remember only all the steps to reach that point”.

But there is a paradox in the creative process.

“How can an author provide emotions and surprise himself? It is a process that requires presence and detachment at the same time. In a certain way the creation of an original musical object is equivalent to be able to be tickled by yourself. It is impossible”. says Francois Pachet, director of Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris, expert in artificial intelligence and researcher in musical creativity. How can an author give emotions and surprises to himself? “Creation is similar to what monks do” says Mika.

“Some years ago I took a meditation class. I was starting to work to my second album, when something horrible happened to me. I lost 60% of hearing. I have an sensorial hypocausia (?), it happened also to others in my family. So now I have a 60% decrease at 3000 Hz. It has never been solved. At the time I went to a meditation class to try to get better. I was getting crazy, I was constantly hearing noises. Even now I am very sensitive to sounds, I always need to protect my ears” says the songwriter with libanese origins.  “During the meditation class the monk invited me to start a pattern, something familiar to me, and I replied abruptly: What the hell of a pattern?” because I really did not want to be there. He saw a coke can, and he started to repeat “Coke coke coke”.  He told me to do like that. “Say it and get it into your head”. The he used the pattern as a structure, to guide me forward and backward in the conscience. It is exactly what I do when I write: I find a pattern that puts me in that zone, and I can write”.

From the “classical” Mika writings (“words and melodies, I do not think in terms of sound”) we move to the construction of the musical object.

“This is the first album I recorded almost completely at home. In a single day, with 3500 dollars, I built a recording studio in the living room. The main part of what you hear in the album was recorded like this in Los Angeles. Almost all the voices were captured with a cheap microphone. The main part of the studio work was done on the music, but the voice and the piano were often rough. There is little voice manipulation, very little tuning”. In our model, the voice is treated as a part of the track, but the texts add several level of complexity to a piece. Mika uses often words to introduce ambiguities in a song, a dark element that is in contrast with the happy rhythms: other means to manipulate expectations.

The voice was also used is contrast with the music, to add a very physical and “breathing” element. “I have a collection of my breaths. If one is cut in the track during production, I put it back”. he says, during an electronic track.

Mika tells that thinking about our experiment with his songs he made an experiment himself during a performance: “I was singing the new songs at Webster Hall, in New York, and I was studying the reaction of the listeners for the first time. I was trying to understand how long it took to become emotional, and lower defences and feel the same joy as when they hear the songs they know. It is incredible how increasing the dynamic between verse and main melody I managed to create a more intense reaction with the material they did not know.

if I was reducing the dynamics I was becoming less intriguing, less satisfactory and so there was no space for them in the song. The second night, when I exaggerated the dynamics in my performance and the one of the band, the song suddenly opened up”.

It is music seen as a social signal, the performer seen as an emphatic communicator.

But how do we measure the audience’s reaction? “ I look at what happens. I look at the tension in the faces, I check if they tap their feet or not, or if they talk among each others or if they stare at me”, answers Mika: “there is a wonderful world in italian, which does not really have a translation in english “consapevolezza” (something like awareness). As a performer you develop an extreme form of awareness, you must do it. I always say that a musician should consider himself part of the team. The first thing you need to learn when you perform on stage is to get away from the priviledged position where you are as an author. You must become an interpreter, a provoker, and thinking of yourself as one of the team you become more receptive of what happens in front of you, you adapt and become a better performer. In this way it is easier to read the audience’s signals.”

The emotional communication with the audience is metaphorically rendered as a line of tension “It is an invisible line that goes directly to the stomach, direct to the mind, stretched between you and the audience. Your role as performer is to keep aware of this tension. It is like the heartbeat of the performance, I see it like this.

You must always keep a minimum heartbeat level, otherwise the perfomance dies. There is no need to be hyperactive on stage, you can also have a slow song. The idea is the tension, but tension is created by intention”.

As Mika said, the performance takes the identity of an intense communication act, started and directed by the performer.

It is the performer that creates a lowering of the defences, visible in the physical symptoms of the relaxation of the face and the muscles. “And when you managed to open those areas on someone, once you manage to communicate that way, you must be very responsible, you are forced to be, since you are holding them by the hand, and if they feel you are not respectful, you do not know what is happening or that you will let them fall, they will become harsh again and you will have lost them.”

According to Mika concerts are “controlled improvisations, not different from what happens in classical music”, but his idea of intention goes beyond a set of interpretations.

“As much as we try to analyse the writing process and interpretation, there is always an undeniable alchemy, and this is why we will always be fascinated by the art of interpretation and performance”, he keeps saying “it is the alchemy of someone who can do something and we do not know why. There is a person stepping on stage, a person in meat and bones that you recognise as such, but he has a power on you that you cannot justify, and your interpretation is that he has a special power.

There comes the idea of Stardust. It has nothing to do with celebrity per se. “ In practice it is like having superpowers right? Mika laughs “Ah but I don’t have them. I am more like a baker. It is hard to make good bread, it is pure alchemy.” Like music.

 

Today I was google-searching "WIRED MIKA"

and then got these pdf files of Wired Italia.

 

http://www.flow-machines.com/dentro-la-musica-di-mika/

CONVERTED jpg files

Spoiler

dentro_la_musica_di_mika-p_1.thumb.jpg.6b1c0d649a827f865f055e3ad34abcab.jpg

dentro_la_musica_di_mika-p_2.thumb.jpg.a253592208aba713e9937402f399f9b0.jpg

dentro_la_musica_di_mika-p_3.thumb.jpg.e12b1ca892d8a6b3e9eaa2b56b761f1e.jpg

 

 

CONVERTED jpg files

Spoiler

la_scienza_di_mika-p_1.thumb.jpg.2c2376ed66ce5a17e547bac14909f49f.jpg

la_scienza_di_mika-p_2.thumb.jpg.002684a5fa4ac94a5a6f451e44285d67.jpg

la_scienza_di_mika-p_3.thumb.jpg.ab4d0bcdbf3844cc970bdc5880963ee7.jpg

la_scienza_di_mika-p_4.thumb.jpg.c7fe7bf914b3a74e005c94738349c3a2.jpg

 

 

Wired - Inside the music of Mika [visualization]

https://www.behance.net/gallery/27726193/Wired-Inside-the-music-of-Mika-visualization

 

Layout, Art Direction, visualization and information design
for Wired Italia
 
Photo by: Marc Hom

b92f0027726193.56369be5e5608.thumb.jpg.e8a6a01f4ff2dd55fa2aa0b220aaa3a0.jpg

 
I visualized the music of the pop star Mika to understand how to make an hit song!
Thanks to Oliver Lartillot and Cristina Saccuman 
279cff27726193.56369c0c3c4f8.gif.c25b5b33c45f6fb4ff1d8b96f43f7209.gif

 

A huge dataset with thousand of different information in a 3D space.
For every instant on a song there are many points in the timbric map. Also Illustrator is collapsing

1f262227726193.56369be60556e.thumb.jpg.28f211634b73435489356dbe2f486474.jpg

 

75efd727726193.56369c0c46542.gif.52ca6736693bdf4f89f53eec646ea94b.gif

The monster. More than 128.000 points

 

This is a timbre 3D map where every song is rappresented by a color

ad1f5427726193.56369be5d466a.thumb.jpg.3876035d54c0c126f8dc8d236f3332a3.jpg

 

81593c27726193.56369be5cfb30.thumb.jpg.242ccff7184a69badfd265762e511659.jpg

43042827726193.56369be5effbb.thumb.jpg.879d0007024df84507bb286d3b68d32f.jpg

 

The analysis of every song in a radar according to the variable of the first map, the timbre map

9c6df827726193.56369be5da8bf.thumb.jpg.f10f1a701196420dbe79ecd4ad413e13.jpg

 

bdfce427726193.56369be5f0ec6.thumb.jpg.043abb2af3983a61f6eca94999944c88.jpg

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