Writing from home

26. November 2008

I thought it would be a good thing to let you know about my future plans.

I have been concentrating in the last touches of My Winter Storm Special Extended Edition.

A couple of days ago we finished the mixing of the song “Wisdom of Wind” in Helsinki with Jetro.

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The song sounds really nice and relaxing now. 

It still has a Chinese mood being a song specially composed by Jeff and Lisa for the Beijing Olympics Regatta. Unfortunately their invitation for me to record the song at that time came too late :(   

But I am happy that I can use the song now in my own album and to have this great opportunity to do collaboration with Lisa and Jeff.

Also today I received ambient sounds that Mel created for the song “Enough”.  I was blown away again. The man is so good in creating atmospheres and adding a touch of quality! 

Is very challenging for me to do two songs that are so radically different for this special version of the album. I did enjoy a lot with both. And is a great training to start preparing the new album…

At the moment Maria is visiting us here in Kuusankoski. We were writing a song together, but also we had time to have fun with the snow. Finland received a lot of snow in the last days, so we needed to get out and enjoy a bit of it.

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In few days I will have two Xmas concerts in Helsinki and Tampere and immediately after I will be travelling to Sweden to meet my old composer friends. We are going to work together some days in composing new songs for the forthcoming album of mine.

After Sweden, I’ll be in Germany continuing the same work with Alex and I will visit Doro at her Anniversary concert!

When this is all over, it will be time to have finally a little rest together with my family and enjoy a lovely Christmas time.

I just happen to be very delighted of an offer I received some time ago from a Polish film company to score 3 movies!  It will be a trilogy. We are discussing about the co-operation now and I hope you’ll be able to hear the very first soundtrack of mine soon…

In the beginning of next year, I’ll be travelling around the globe finishing the songs for my new album and the pre-production should start (if everything goes fine) already in February.

So not long from now we will be having a NEW album in our hands!!!!!!!!!!!!

As done before, I’ll be sending you information how the album recordings are progressing and with whom I’ll be working this time ;)

By the way, the album title has been already decided and once again it is the starting point for the stories in the songs.

Anyway, you will need to wait a bit longer to hear the name :)

I wish you relaxing holidays, merry Christmas and great New Year with lots of love and happiness.

Love,  

Tarja

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Back in Finland!

10. November 2008

Tour was awesome!!!!!!!!!!!

 

It is hard to think that next shows with the band will happen only in May 2009 :(

It is a long time to wait, but I guess the time will run fast as it has done so in the last years.

Anyway I have many activities that will keep me very busy starting right now. I will tell you about it in the next posts. 

Let me tell you what happened during the last weeks of the tour.

I got a big surprise from Bulgaria. There were around 5000 people in the audience in my show in Sofia! Absolutely amazing considering it was my first time ever to visit Bulgaria! WOW. People were so kind to us there. I will never forget that spirit and feeling.

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I was also very happy to visit Israel. Jerusalem was exciting and interesting. We had a good guide there with us, the local promoter who knew amazing stories and a lot about the history of Israel. You should always consider using a guide while visiting Jerusalem. There almost every stone has a story to tell. The concert was nice and people were happy to receive us there.

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A couple of hours after the show the whole band and crew travelled to Eilat and spent the whole day in a yacht on the Red Sea. Many of us went to dive, some of us for the first time ever, like Mike and Oliver!

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It was a great great day for everybody and the best way to relax during the tour. Sun gave us a lot of new energy to keep on going with the tour. 

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After Israel we travelled to Kiev and to Minsk. Both places were new for me as well and I felt that I had just enough time to see a glimpse of the beauty of these great, big cities. I received many beautiful presents and greetings from my fans in Ukraine and Belarus.

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It was just great to get to know many of them personally. I hope to be able to return one day. 

The same day we arrived to Moscow, I already had a pleasure to meet my Russian fans in a meet & greet.  There were people that I knew from years back, but also many new people to greet. My youngest fan was only 4 years old and she loved to sit on my lap all the time! It was so funny. I guess the concert in Moscow was again one of the best gigs on the tour. I felt really relaxed, since I saw many familiar faces in the audience.

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And again, I received hundreds of beautiful flowers! It was so big pity not to be able the travel with them…well I hope the hotel staff took really good care of them.

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After Moscow’s show we had the pleasure to experience Moscow’s Metro. Since the traffic in Moscow is a bit chaotic, we needed to literally run underground just not to loose our train, which was going to Samara, our next destination. All band, crew and local people in charge needed to run like crazy to reach the main train station.

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It was not very fun even the smiles for the camera! In the end we made just 3’ before the departure. What is not that bad :)

The train was very cosy indeed. Really nice service and comfortable beds to sleep over night. The trip took 16 hours, but everybody slept well. We woke up in the chilly Samara and had the last show in a nice venue. It was a great ending for the tour, even though everybody agreed that they would have wanted to continue still with the tour a bit longer. Everything worked so well this time, better than ever before.

Thanks Antti IMG 2385,

Taneli IMG 2387,

Tommi IMG 2391 and

Mikko IMG 2401

And of course thanks a lot to Maria, Max, Mike, Alex and Oliver. This was our last photo together after Samara concert.  

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I am sure there will be more fun to come in the future for us all.  Thank you for you all for making this tour again to happen. I love you my winter storm!

 

With love, Tarja

 

Hi from Belgrade!

26. October 2008

 

Tour has been a wonderful success so far. Everything has worked out fine and the band sounds very tight.

I think tighter than ever before. The band and crewmembers is a well-synchronised machine and as a good team, small changes we might have are not affecting the general balance.

Is a great achievement to have a group of people that can truly smile on stage (without acting it) while performing ;)

We are all having fun on stage and off stage!

As you might know, I have a new bass player with me on this tour, Oliver. We are happy to have him on board with us. I guess the lucky stars are still following me, because I’ve had so much luck to have these kind of great and supporting people to work with me.

Find few photos from the rehearsals in Brussels before the beginning of the tour.

 

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This is also a good opportunity to send a big hug to Doug and Kiko. We all miss them :(

Everything started in Belgium where it was an honour to headline the Metal Female Voices Festival. There were many people coming to tell me after the show that they’ve enjoyed my concert very much. It was nice to hear that. Even though it was the beginning of this tour, everything seemed to happen as wished.

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We already left behind Luxemburg, two shows in Czech and two shows in Slovakia.

It’s very nice to feel that as eastern as we travel, people show their feelings towards the artists more openly :)  That’s just amazing. It reminds us a lot from the South American tour we recently did.

From the next seven cities we will perform, I only have the pleasure to know one, Moscow. So I’m heading to new places where it feels incredible good to be able to explore them.

Tomorrow we will perform for the first time in Belgrade, Serbia. And the show has been Sold Out for few days already!

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See you soon!

 

With love, Tarja

Hi from Kuusankoski!

10. October 2008

 

Before returning back to Finland, I was in the studio in Buenos Aires recording the song “Enough” and two other songs.

Singing “Enough” was fun for me, because I had already sang the song many times on tour. Still the recording process is very different than singing live. 

It was very hard to reach the same feeling in the studio that I had during the shows, because I didn’t have the screaming, lovely and supporting audience anymore in front of me :(

Anyway, I really like how the song kicks ass! My voice sounds again pretty different than before and even for me it is interesting to realize how I am more free with my singing every day.

One other song that I recorded is the gorgeous “Wisdom of Wind”.

There is a story about this particular song that I would like to share with you. Some time ago I was invited by composers Jeff Rona and Lisa Gerrard to sing their song for Peking’s 2008 Olympic Regatta, but due to tight schedules, I was not able to record it in time. I liked the song so much that I wanted still to use it for my own album. So I recorded it now. It is a wonderful, moody song with symphonic orchestra. I hope you’ll like it.

It is an honour for me to sing a song from Jeff and Lisa! 

Also I recorded a duet for Doro’s 25th anniversary album. It is a beautiful ballad. I hope she likes what I did! Hehe. Sometimes I get a bit too productive with my vocals…but it’s fun. I am looking forward to present the song with her in her concert in Düsseldorf later this year. I was very happy to receive an invitation to the show, which must be very important to Doro and to her great, long career in music.

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I was having good time with my fans in the “press conference” we did together in Buenos Aires. I had already done few signing sessions in Buenos Aires earlier so this time I wanted to do something different with my fans.

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The mood was cool during the conference and in the end the people didn’t ask me too many questions, even though I was prepared to answer for much more! And I did some signing and photos after the conference.

There are not so many days left before my next European tour starts. Time is flying! I am really anxious to perform again in Metal Female Voices Festival and in many countries that I have never been before. Not even as a tourist! For example countries like Israel, Luxemburg, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine and Belarus. 

Funny today an Israeli journalist mentioned during his interview that rumours were that I have been afraid to go to Israel to perform in the past…

I could only laugh to that rumour :)  

After receiving several invitations to perform in Israel, luckily, this time was possible to arrange it! And I am going to spend even some days off there with my band and crew. That’s how scared we are :)  

So people, if I should have one drop per each wrong and malicious information spread about me, I wouldn’t need to go that far to dive…

Facts speak stronger than words.

I am really looking forward to get to know my fans in those countries. Thank you for making this tour to happen.

So, my Winter Storm, be prepared! I’ll come to sing for you soon in Europe (and Israel)!

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With love, Tarja

 

 

Time to say goodbye for Latin American people

14. September 2008

 

My friends, my beautiful Tormenta en America tour is already over.

Still I would like to share some beautiful moments from the tour with you.

It was great to return to Santiago de Chile. I met many people who had heard me in Noche Escandinava concert in 2002 last time. 

The feeling was breathtaking when the curtain dropped in the first song “Boy and the Ghost” and I got to see all the audience screaming and singing right in front of me!

Thank you Chile!

We also filmed a video for the new song called “Enough” in Santiago, day before my concert. The filming took us a complete day and at the moment I am just waiting to see the results. We used only green screen in the shooting, so even though I have experienced that kind of working in my past, now the video is completely based on animated material. So it can end up looking in too many different ways… 

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Some fans were invited to the video shootings!

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 Carlos Toro, the director of the video. 

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I just happened to get very sick in Santiago. The weather was so much cooler than in Brazil and with a lack of sleep, I couldn’t handle it anymore. Since the concert in Chile, I was fighting to get better for the last show in Buenos Aires.

I guess there were some angels helping me, because the day before the concert I was sure we would need to cancel the show.

BUT the concert in Buenos Aires was the best ending for the tour I could have dreamed of. To get a chance to make a concert in my hometown was one thing that I had been waiting for so long.

It felt very special to me to be able to sing, especially in that condition. I got very emotional. What a great thing to remember!

This tour was just an amazing experience for me once again. On my journey through different countries I got to meet lovely Latin American people who gave me so much love, support and hope. I deeply want to thank you all that were there for me. I wish to see you soon again.

My band’s and crew’s support and unconditional care also made me very happy. I love you people!!!!!!! Thank you for making my dream come true. 

The last photo of the band backstage right after the show in Buenos Aires. All of us happy, but sad at the same time…

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Day after the last concert, we went with the whole band to the studio to record the song “Enough”. I will sing my parts when I feel better. Anyway, the song sounds already excellent and all the musicians gave their best for the song! You’ll hear it soon :)

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I guess the record company will announce soon officially everything concerned the song and video. I don’t want to interfere with their work ;)

Now it is time for me to rest from touring, but I am writing new songs all the time… 

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Europe can wait another “storm” to appear very soon.

 

With all my love, Tarja

 

Happy people travelling

31. August 2008

Touring has been very good so far.

 

The band and crew have had on our off-days enough time to see places and to do other activities, such as visiting local artist’s concerts.

 

I have been busy promoting my album and the tour.

 

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It has been nice to meet many of my fans and get to know their opinion about my work.

 

Latin American people are giving me a lot of strength to go on with this “merry go round”.

 

Show in Bogotá was just great. Everything worked out fine and people were happy :)

Next day we all went up the hill called Montserrat with a cable car.

 

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We found a beautiful church and couple of old and charming restaurants. It was nice to be literally upon the clouds.

 

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We had lunch there and got to see the city of Bogotá a bit more before rushing to the airport.

 

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Now we are in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and we just returned from our show tonight.  It feels good to be back in here and the audience was awesome!

 

This time I am not sick, as it has been the case before in the last two times I had concerts here. It seems that when I am happy, my body functions better too ;)

 

Finally I could offer the local people a great show!

 

I cannot forget to mention that it was also wonderful to visit Fortaleza for the first time. The hotel was located just in front of the ocean, so the beach and the sound of the sea were enchanting. I love to be close to the sea. It is making me relax immediately.

 

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Well, the local people as well as the weather were HOT.

 

The concert was very emotional and people seemed to enjoy it a lot. I heard that it has been very difficult for Fortaleza to get international artists/bands performing there.

 

I hope this will change in the future.

 

All the other concerts in Brazil went all just fine too. We have had best time together as a band and group of lovely people.

 

I am still thanking God every day for giving me these nice people to work with and to spend nice time with.

 

Things couldn’t be better.

 

 

With love, Tarja

 

 

Flying problems!

20. August 2008

The three shows in Mexico went really well. It was a great success and I was happy to be able to perform for Mexican people. Also it was nice to return to Guadalajara and to have great show there on my birthday. People were so kind to me everywhere. Thank you Mexico! I hope to come back soon again.

I got to tell you what happened to us on our way to Colombia though. It was really strange and scary experience for all of us. We were supposed to take a plane from Mexico City to Bogotá, which we did, BUT… first we took off one hour late. After being on air for half on hour, the captain announced that we needed to return back to Mexico City because we lost one of our engines and we were flying only with one… Well, the people were still quite calm, but it was very awkward situation indeed for everybody. We landed fine and then got to know that there were many other problems detected on the plane. They tried to fix these problems while we still needed to stay inside the plane! It took some while when finally the pilot informed us that we were not flying on the same day to Bogotá at all. We needed to stay in a hotel in Mexico City that night. The wake up call was already at 03:00 am, because the new scheduled flight to Bogotá was going to leave already at 06:00 in the morning. We woke up early and again got to the plane. We waited and waited until something strange happened AGAIN. The plane was the same than the day before, but they assured us they have fixed the problems and it was safe to fly. Anyway suddenly before taking off, all the lights went off so did the engine!!!!! Half of the people in the plane stood up and instantly started to run towards the front door. They were willing to get out of the plane! The thing is that nobody can force people to stay inside the plane if one is not willing to. SO, we who were willing still to stay, needed to wait inside while the other people left and their luggage were removed from the plane. This took again other 2,5 hours. Finally we took off and the flight was calm and safe. We arrived to Bogotá 15 hours late, but safe.

Sometimes I really hate flying. But thanks to God, we are safe.

Yesterday I got to meet many of my fans in a signing session I had here in Bogotá. I was very pleased to see many happy faces in front of me. Also something really nice happened after we had a beautiful dinner in a traditional Colombian restaurant later in the evening. There were around 7 guys waiting for me outside the restaurant and when I got out, they started to sing to me. They also had a cake with 1 candle prepared to me!!!!! I am sure that tonight’s show will be just amazing because Colombian people really are wonderful.

I’ll leave you some photos of the events I told you before. Now is funny to see the progression of our faces through the hours. It was not so funny then…

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before boarding

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the plane

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arriving to Mexico City after we have left from … Mexico City

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waiting…

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our flight after most of the people decided to get off the plane instead of flying.

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but we made it and we are in beautiful Bogotá.

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even in time for a signing session.

 

Today we got the information about very sad news from Spain where a plane crash and many people died. All the band and crew would like to send our condolences to their families.

It could have been us…  

Just remind us how fragile we are and that things can happen to anyone of us at any time. So better to live your dreams every minute, every day and enjoy of the loved ones.

 

I’ll write to you soon again.

 

With love, Tarja

The beginning of my Tormenta en América tour.

14. August 2008

We have been rehearsing with the band in Monterrey, Mexico for couple of days.

Everything went perfect with the help of the local promoter and some friends. And we are ready to Rock tonight!

It was really nice to meet the people of the band again and to see how well Kiko has understood my music and the spirit of it.

I am truly happy to have him on board and it seems that the rest of the people are happy too.

This is the beginning of one of my dreams getting real. I have been waiting my Latin American tour for several years and it feels really fantastic to be able to perform like this on my own. I am a very lucky girl…

The sun is shining in Monterrey and I am sure that tonight will be a very “hot” show.

Here some pictures of the rehearsals and also of the in store in DF few days ago.

 

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See you soon in the concerts!

 

With love, Tarja

 

Regards from chilly Buenos Aires!

3. August 2008

Here is winter while in Finland is summer. This is no news, but it is still very weird when you travel frequently and change the continents that the climate changes dramatically and you need some time to adjust to it.

 

I am preparing myself for the South American tour, which is going to start pretty soon. This tour is something that I’ve been waiting for so long. It is no lie to tell that it is one of my biggest dreams to be able to perform in this continent.

 

Local people here are very emotional and passionate and they want to show their love for music and the artists.

 

Soon the rehearsals for the tour will take place in Mexico. I am looking forward to see how Kiko and the rest of us will get the ball rolling and rocking. I am very excited! So take your camera with you to the concerts, to capture the unique atmosphere and performance of this group of people. You never know when this is going to happen again.

 

One of the personal highlights of the tour will be definitely the return to Guadalajara, Mexico. As some of you might know, some nasty, bad things happened there to me many years ago while performing on stage.

 

Because of this, specially, I wished to get an opportunity to go there again. I want to get a nicer memory of the city and its people and to heal my scars. In the end, I can’t blame all the audience for one stupid man’s behaviour. I miss my fans in Mexico and I will be very delighted to sing for you again.

 

Before the tour still, next week I am going to spend it in Los Angeles. There I will meet some familiar people from film music scene that were already working with me earlier. And also I am looking forward to meet very interesting and great composers for the first time. Let’s see what kind of songs we are going to create together! I am sure it will be a great experience for me to write with them.

 

I am continuing doing promotion for the first album, even though my thoughts are already in the next one. It is good to know that there is still a lot of work to do for My Winter Storm, since the touring keeps on going.

 

At the moment, I am writing new songs, alone, here at home. A sort of déjà vu that reminds me of the beginning of the process of My Winter Storm.

 

The biggest difference is that now, songs are flowing constantly and I am very anxious to start the production and recordings once again.

 

I have already told you the name of one new song: “The Crying Moon”. Not a ballad as most of you wrongly guessed ;)

 

Here goes another name of a song we composed in Antigua with Michelle and Kiko: “Enough”.

 

You won’t need to wait too long to listen to it. I decided to perform it live in South America :)

 

 

So, I’ll let you know more from the tour next time. Jippyy…

 

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With love, Tarja

 

 

Greetings from Antigua!

1. July 2008

 

I have been spending a couple of weeks writing new songs with my friends here in Antigua, in the beautiful island surroundings.

The result is telling of the great and inspiring atmosphere we have had.

I mean, the songs are REALLY amazing. I feel that the process of writing songs this time is much easier than it was for My Winter Storm.

Might be that the songwriters already know me and there is not such a pressure on us than we had with a debut album.

Luckily the time is also on our side since we have still quite some time to come up with more killer songs.

I also found the courage to come up with my own songs and ideas, which is making me very, very happy. 

Last time, during MWS process, I was telling you the name of the songs and some parts of their lyrics. It was very nice and motivating to read your comments and wild guesses about the meaning of the songs.

So, this time I will do it again. Here goes the first title:

 

“The Crying Moon”

 

This new song we did with Michelle and Kiko and we borrowed a wonderful riff from Mr. Doug Wimbish that I heard during the last tour and that I loved deeply. 

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I am still searching for a title for the album, but little by little, all the pieces are falling into the right place and the idea is already turning in my head. 

The island of Antigua is again making me happy. I guess even more than on my last visit here, even though, this time the reason to come was only work. Still we have been able to enjoy the nature and the beauty of it. 

Few nights ago we went with Angela, Adrian and Torsten to Bird Island where we ate a great barbecue and slept overnight.

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Find few more photos with Michelle and Kiko and with Angela and Adrian.

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And once again with Torsten adding some arrangements to the music.

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I discovered one of the boats used in Pirates of the Caribbean movies, just walking distance to the place where we are staying. Don’t get confused with the new colours!

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So that’s all for now. I’ll write to you soon! Bye.

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With Love,

Tarja