Niko Antero Hill, a Finnish photographer, created a music-themed photo book titled Listen to the Sounds. According to the author, it contains around 50 photos of different performers and bands, such as: Amorphis, Sleep of the Monster, Reckless Love, Flat Earth, Marco Hietala, Dingo, Poison Whisky, Skyedust, Tyrävyö… The main goal of the author’s project was to compile all of his favorite images from the years 2010 through 2023 into a single book. Both, the book’s release and the opening of a photo exhibition in Helsinki’s city core are scheduled for June 2024. The exact location will be revealed later.
“You fill up the frame with feelings, energy, discovery, and risk, and leave room enough for someone else to get in there.” Joel Meyerowitz (photographer)
Musicians communicate through their work, and to their listeners, it represents a fantastic escape from a charmless world. A photographer may be on the correct track to capture the magic, if he is able to capture the ideal moment of an intense bond between fans and their favorite performers. That is what the majority of photographers aim for, given that concert photography is one of the most difficult genres in the photo industry.
These days you have been working on the Listen To The Sounds project. It includes a photo-book. Along with that, you also have a plan for an exhibition. What is it all about?
Niko Hill: Everything has its own space and time, so if something doesn´t feel right at the moment, go forward with something else and if old projects feel incomplete later, maybe it is not too late for them. Exhibition and a photobook are something I have dreamed about for many years and now the time feels right. THE THING in this project is MUSIC and the name “LISTEN TO THE SOUNDS” might sound weird because we are talking about photos but there is so much more in the music than just the sounds, but it´s a good start!
You said in our previous interview, a couple of years ago, that your music taste defines you as a person, because so many things in your life are related to music. You seem to be inspired by heavy metal, since you have worked with many artists from that music field. Yet, are there any boundaries between different music styles, when it comes to your ‘Listen to the Sounds’ photo-book?
Niko: No boundaries, just photos. It is important what the photos look like when I choose the picture. There were a few moments when I chose a local DJ or band instead of a worldwide-known artist just because I liked that picture more than the other. The book includes heavy, pop, rock, indies, DJ-stuff etc. Maybe someone chooses to listen to something they usually don´t, because the photo looks interesting… or maybe not.
You did everything connected to the photo-book, by yourself. What was the hardest part of it? Was it difficult to work on the photo selection, and what was the main idea behind this particular collection?
Niko: The main idea was to collect my favorite photos between the years 2010 – 2023 and put them in one package. And all the photos needed to be related to music. I shoot lots of stuff, including animals, streets and roleplay, if that´s the correct term for staged situations and posing with cool outfits, but I might do another book or exhibition about them a lil’ bit later if it feels right. The hardest part was choosing the pictures, and there still might be a few changes.
You said that music was a very important part of your childhood, yet, you chose the camera instead of a musical instrument.
Niko: I have IT-nerd fingers, so maybe technology is easier for me than the guitar or drums. I know how to play Smoke On The Water with one string and maybe the beginning of Breaking The Law, but that´s it. Photography is my way to rock and roll.
Do you still have some secret wishes when it comes to the bands and performers you love?
Niko: “I´ve done most of the stuff I wanted, but I’m waiting for your call, Mr. Ville Valo, and I’m ready to take the photos.“
Is there any chance to order this photo-book, and where can people find it?
Niko Hill: Yes! The crowdfunding is running at the mesenaatti.me-site and there are still 7 days left to be part of the project. It´s possible that there will not be any sales after the funding, so if you want the book, order it now! There are also other options to support the project:
Hill said that he enjoyed listening to music, since his childhood. Rock publications with images of his favorite musicians piqued his interest. He became a photographer as a result. The artist claims that he hasn’t turned taking photos into much of a job, instead of just trying to get to locations with the camera so that he could photograph, both completely new and unknown things, as well as bands that were previously familiar and significant to him. He chose to gather the best images into a photo book because they have occasionally been featured, primarily on social media and in magazine articles.
You can find Niko at:
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