Wintersun’s Jari Mäenpää starts collaboration with Finnish nuclear power plant Olkiluoto 3: “I have realized I need quantum computer to mix Time II”

Author Konsta Hietaniemi - 1.4.2023

Finnish epic metallers Wintersun have released a new statement on the current situation of their long-awaited “Time II” album. The band’s frontman Jari Mäenpää published a long two-part update this morning, in which he stated that mixing the album is only possible with a quantum computer. A quantum computer is a computer that utilizes quantum technology, so far only at the prototype level, with a computing power several thousand times higher than the world’s fastest supercomputers. However, in the second part of the update, Mäenpää offered a light at the end of the tunnel to all fans feverishly waiting for new music by announcing an ambitious collaboration to finish the album: Wintersun has teamed up with the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power plant and the Technology Research Center VTT. The plan is to build the world’s most powerful quantum computer in connection with the power plant, the processing power of which, according to Mäenpää’s calculations, should be enough to mix thousands of tracks on an album.

“In 2014, I realized that mixing ‘Time II’ wouldn’t be possible with this generation’s technology, so I set my sights on future solutions. After following the news, I noticed that the recent completion of Olkiluoto 3 resonated very strongly with my own creative process, and I can’t say exactly why. At the same time, I also started getting to know quantum computers, but since there was no such thing in Apple’s selection so far, I contacted VTT. They were so excited about the possible release of ‘Time II’ that they joined the project without a moment’s hesitation. The soon-to-be-completed computer is so powerful that it requires its own nuclear power plant as its power source, but luckily there were also loyal Wintersun fans in Olkiluoto, for whom the completion of ‘Time II’ was more important than national electricity production.” – Jari Mäenpää

The money for the project was raised through crowdfunding and product sales. Especially the uranium sticks signed by the members and the ‘Time II’ stress balls that were still left in the band went like hot stones. The long construction project is finally coming to an end, and the trial runs carried out throughout the winter have been promising. The quantum computer, dubbed the Extreme Majestic Technical Epic Quantum Computer, has managed to run almost the entire number of tracks without crashing, but work still needs to be done in order to completely stop the power plant’s outages caused by crashes. Mäenpää estimates that the computer/power unit is about 90 percent complete.

“Inspired by the collaboration, I added several new tracks to the album. The computer needs to be developed a little more so that they run smoothly, but the improvement over the previous one is clearly visible. I believe that it is possible to finally finish this great project. I still need to find the perfect wind chime sound for the album, because here it is no longer possible to spoil it perfectly with mediocre mixes. But don’t worry, I’ve already booked a flight to Japan to learn more about the topic. I promise the wait will be worth it!”

The release of “Time II” is finally getting close, but according to Mäenpää and it is only the beginning.

“The album sets that come after the Time albums are much more massive and multi-layered. Regarding them, my eyes are turned towards the possibilities brought by fusion energy. I have also started self-studying how to build a quantum computer, so that I could use a machine that suits my work as well as possible. It is hard for me to see that I could fully realize my visions of the future with third-party quantum computers.”

Olkiluoto 3’s electricity production is currently interrupted, but the power plant is scheduled to start up next month, once the maintenance work has been completed. The release date of the “Time II” album is (not yet) known.