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Answers Tarja Turunen on questions of members of fan clubs "Winter Storm"

Hi everybody,

I want to thank very much all the “Winter Storm” Fan Clubs around the world for the questions they sent me. I answered in most of the case questions that are not that frequently asked and those that were particularly interesting for me. No preference for any Fan Club in any country. ;) It was fun replying them and they also gave me the chance to tell you some more news!

With love, Tarja.

Name: Martín Vila
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Question: What captivated you from Argentina for travel around the country?

A country like Argentina has a lot to offer for a traveller. It has an immense amount of things to see and explore, with its captivating nature and interesting history. I have only seen a bit of it though. There are still lot to discover even though I’ve done 3 months travelling already. But the thing is that I don’t only love to travel in Argentina, I love travelling in different cultures and exotic places in general.
Finland´s Lapland is also a must, especially in autumn.
There are millions of places I would love to visit one day. One of my biggest dreams is to take one or two years off and just hit the roads of the world with their wonders. I have already a decent list of countries where I’ve been, but at least a same amount of them is still missing. I don’t like to visit too crowded locations, so tourist areas are normally the ones I avoid the most. So you’ll find me in rainforests, deserts, and savannas and near the never-ending sea.

Name: Luíz Páez, Brenda Acevedo
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Question: What do you usually think when you compose your songs?

Every time I sit down in front of my piano, I like to improvise with the instrument. It depends on my mood of that day what kind of

melodies and rhythms I am playing around. Sometimes, even before starting to play I already have a quite clear picture of a song I would like to compose, or at least the sound of it. Sometimes a song can be born in few minutes, if the feeling is right, some other times it can take days. I do always the music before the lyrics. The story or an idea for the lyrics appears during the composing process normally, but some other times I already have a strong idea of the story I would like to sing before any music comes to my mind. So as you can see, it really depends a lot of the circumstances. I just let myself flow free with the melodies and harmonies and then see if I can create something interesting. I am the most critical person in judging what sounds good or bad.

Name: Victoria Orzuza, Martín Torres, Paola Bonillas
Location: Entre Ríos (Victoria), Salta (Martín), Jujuy (Paola)
Question: Is there any chance that you perform a concert somewhere else of Argentina, like Santa fe or Entre Rios, Salta, for those fans that can not go to Bs As?

I definitely would love to do a tour in other cities in Argentina, as much as I would like to play in other countries, like Japan, Portugal, Australia, France, Uk, Costa Rica, Peru just to name some. But it is not enough that I would love to go to perform and it’s not only up to my own interest to get to perform in those places. As an artist, I depend 100 % on the promoters and my record company. I would love to be able to explain to each fan that asks me to visit his/her country or city, the reasons why sometimes the possibility for that to happen is out of my hands.
I can only ask my fans to be patient. There is no place that I wouldn’t like to go to perform my music.

Name: David Pavic
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Question: At the Concert on September 6th you told us that the song that inspired you to sing was Phantom of the Opera. How was the situation when it happened?

It didn’t actually inspire me to sing, but to start studying classical singing.
I was already at that time studying music and singing pop/soul songs.
I think I was around 14 or 15 years old when I heard the song for the first time from the c-cassette my friend played in his car. I was blown away. I said right at that moment that one day I would be performing this song. I could not understand that someone could sing so high notes without sounding ridiculous! I wanted to learn how to use my voice in classical music so I found a teacher who could teach me privately. That was my first step I took forwards classical singing.

Name: Timmy
Location: Berlare, Belgium
Question: Tarja, Do you have any idea how much your music means to certain people? Do you realize what kind off feeling you give to some people when they listen your music?

Sometimes it feels a bit scary how much music moves and touches people. But the same happens to me, otherwise I wouldn’t even think doing my music every day. Music keeps me alive; it makes me sad and happy. It means a world to me. Said this, I think I can understand how much my music can mean to some people. Music makes me humble, there is always something to learn in music. The most important thing for me is that music is the emotion. I am only the channel to deliver its message and feelings for listeners.

Name: Lotte
Nickname: MyObsessiveDevotion
Location: Rotselaar, Belgium
Question: Hello, what part of the touring do you like the most? The gigs, traveling,...? And why do you like it the most?

Travelling in different countries has always been my interest, but when it is tied to touring, there is not such a time to see around. Travelling itself makes you really tired, no matter if you do it by air, road or what ever. When I get tired, obviously this leads into the fact that my voice gets tired and I cannot deliver as well as if I have rested enough. That is the reason why I don’t like singing many gigs on a road, because I want to keep my singing condition as good as possible and that way also my soul rests. It is more important for me to be able to give 100 % performance for my fans instead of making them see and hear that I am bored or tired.
The concerts are of course the reason I go for tours and they are the highlights of it. I love to be a performer; I love to feel my audience and to share my love for music with them. I also enjoy of the company of my band mates. We are like a big, happy family on the road so friendship with them is truly important for me.
“Friends” and “family” are very used and abused words when it comes to describe a group of people and musicians. But still can be truth sometimes.

Nickname: Madguy
Location: Pireus, Greece
Question: What's gooing on with Enough's video clip?

There was an unfortunate misfortune during the process of the video Enough. The 3D animation designer had a bad car accident and he couldn’t be easily replaced. He is still today recovering and not working full time.
Nobody is to blame, just fate.
That caused a big delay for the original schedule. Just recently, we gave up. The record company has no chances to use the video for promotion any longer, as it should have been accompanied by a song release.
I do believe in signs, so why not to read this one?
I am very sorry to let you know that there won’t be a new video release of my song Enough.

Name: Michael
Nickname: Corpsegroom_x
Location: Elverdinge, Belgium
Question:Hello Tarja, how are you going to handle the new album, what is going to be the most outstanding difference with MyWinterStorm?
Many greetings, Michael

At this moment I can say that the process of composing the new album has been radically different than before. I have been growing as a songwriter, learning to express myself better. I got rid of the fear and shame to present my own ideas for people that have been in business a lot longer than me. Through the fact that I am involved in all the songs as a writer, the whole album becomes more personal to me.
We will need to wait until everything is recorded and mixed to hear and see the biggest differences between my first and second album. I was happy with the songs in My Winter Storm, but the outcome of the sound, mainly of guitars, didn’t end up the way I had in mind.
This time, I will be more radical: if a song feels to have distortion, then I will make it that way. On the other hand, if a song feels that should not include any, then it won’t have it at all. Is not my intention to find compromises in the sound I have in my mind. I know what I want and how I like it. The key is to find the right people to help me achieve it. And as I had said not long ago, it will take the time that is need until I am happy with the songs and with the sound.

Name: Michiel
Location: Beveren, Belgium
Question: Hello Tarja,
What are your thoughts about the whole fanclub thing. Do you like the fact that so many fans are willing to help you with it?

It is amazing to see how every day the “Winter Storm” fan club is growing and how many people are already supporting me this way. Last week I was surfing through the different web pages and I was looking at the fan club member´s photos. Damn! It took me so long… I was truly surprised to see how many people are already there. Now we made official the Russian fan club and many others are on the way, as far as I´ve heard. I want to thank you all for doing this.

Name: Maarten
Location: Beveren, Belgium
Question: Hello, If you had to pick one of your songs to wake up in the morning, which one would it be and why?

Is not really happening that I am listening my own songs in the mornings! While I am enjoining my morning coffee, I am usually listening relaxing music, like some classical pieces or film music.

Name: Fernando Alcayaga
Location: Antofagasta, Chile
Question Dear Tarja, we know you have a wonderful voice, but there's confusion between your fans about how to describe or to categorize your voice; I'd want to know…¿ are you soprano or mezzo-soprano, and what is the vocal range than you have? I will be very happy if you clarify me this doubt. Thank you so much. I love you with all my heart.

This is a very frequently asked question! So here I go again J
When I started my classical singing lessons at the age of 15, my teacher was teaching me as a soprano. Few years later, in Sibelius Academy my voice found a different register, colours and nuances through different techniques.
I sang a repertoire of a mezzo-soprano for many years and because of that, still today, I have rarely quite low register for a lyrical soprano. Nowadays, I see myself as a light lyrical soprano. Everybody should know that I am not a professional opera singer. I am far away from being that and I have never said I would be alike. I have never specialised myself in Opera. I studied specifically chamber music singing. I have a lot of respect for real Opera singers. Still, my voice is classically trained, but it doesn’t mean that I would be ready to sing a complete opera today. I am still learning every day new things about my instrument and it is very exciting to see the development of it.

Name: Diego Ramirez
Location: Santiago, Chile
Question: Could you tell me if you're planning on making new classical music projects? We will see you again in Chile with your solo career or with another tour as "Scandinavian Night"?

At the moment I have already some classical concerts of different kind being planned for this year. I’ll let you know more about them through my webpage as soon as they get confirmed. With “Noche” I would like to work in the future, but we don’t have anything concrete planned yet. Discussions for a new tour have already begun though, so let’s hope that we can continue with our plans.

Name: Kesshia
Location: Bogotà, Colombia
Question: If you have kids, you will continue with your career for a long time, or you will dedicate to your kids all your time?... and if is the first... someday would you like make a song about your kids and your life?

I would love to have a family with kids and to become a mother. It would not be nice to loose that chance. Anyway, my life is far away from being a normal life. Having two homes in different countries, travelling because of that and because of our work. If we would have children, our children will need to adapt to that as a normal thing. But being away from home for long periods of times and being prepared for sudden changes.
I won’t leave my love for singing if I have children one day. My kids will travel with mom and dad and I will need to have somebody to take care of them while I am performing!
I am writing songs about my life already, so why not making a song about my children too. Actually I did already compose an instrumental song and I provisionally named it as a “Kid’s song”. ;)

Name: Malonek
Location: Brno, Czech Republic
Question: What did you think when your heard your voice recorded the first time?

My first real recording session happened when I was around 11 years old. I sang in the studio a song in Finnish language … and yes, it was really strange to hear my singing voice from the tape for the first time! I couldn’t really listen to it so much. I was so embarrassed. It took me several years to get used to listening to my voice. It is purely natural that your voice changes when you grow up, but for me it was unbearable to listen my singing in the early days. I felt I was the worst singer in the world. Well, that criticism I still have today inside of me and I still criticise everything I do as a singer.

Name: Jana
Nickname: Tillhelmina
Location: Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic
Question: Dear Tarja, I'd like to ask you what is the hardest song from classical music, you can play the piano? (For example: Chopin - Etude in C minor Op. 10, No.12  or Rachmaninov Preludium cis moll, ... etc.)

I have played “Rachmaninov Preludium cis- minor” piano masterpiece when I was studying classical piano in Sibelius Academy.
My piano teacher said many times that if I had practised more, I would have become a good pianist. I didn’t really do so, because I was more interested in singing. When I take now my old piano notes from the library and try to play some of the Chopin Etudes I did play many years ago, I just get mad and pissed. Of course all that talent is gone. Now I just play for fun; I compose with piano and I try to enjoy the instrument in different ways.

Name: Enekli/Terka
Location: Krnov, Czech Republic
Question: I´m sure you are sometimes in bad mood and you don´t want to see anyone. Do you often have to dissimulate when you´re talking to your fans?

As I was explaining before, touring can get you really tired if you can’t rest properly. Especially when you are touring through continents and fighting against time differences.
The situation gets out of hands when you get sick and there is no time to recover, but you need to keep on making concerts under pressure to avoid cancellations.
It has happened to me that I needed to perform without really having condition to do so. In those moments the feeling has been awful. At those moments, I preferred to see no one.
Beside that particular situation, I understand that meeting people is part of my profession and that never bothers me.
I am a human being with good days and bad ones as everybody else. But what is very clear: if you see me smiling I am not pretending. And if I don’t feel to see anybody, then I will find the way to be alone.
A lot has been said about known people and their fans. If you are in this profession of mine, you need to be flexible and be ready to meet people that knows you at any time. I have understood that long ago. When I am performing, making promotion for my albums or even when I am just walking in the street and somebody approaches me, is part of the profession I chose. And I am happy that is this way.
The line that I decided to draw to keep my privacy, is my home. When I am inside the doors of my house, that is my private life with my family or friends.

Name: Lili
Location: Pont a mousson, France
Question: A while ago, you said in an interview that the lyrics of the song "The reign" had been partially inspired by Paulo Coelho's book, "The Alchemist". Are there some other books that have been inspiring you during the writing process of "What lies beneath"?

Not really. I am still reading Coelho’s books. I guess I’ve already read most of them. For “What Lies Beneath” the inspiration has been people’s behaviour and feelings, my life, film music and things that have been touching me personally for different reasons.

Nickname: The Temptation Within Me
Location: Athens, Greece
Question: Have you ever thought about joining another band?

I feel absolutely free and happy now, as I am on my own.
If there is a band that can make me feel as good, then I don’t see any problem in being a part of it.

Name: Giuliana Lista
Nickname: Evol
Location: Milan, Italy
Question: Hi Tarja, I'd like to know if you've written the lyrics of Enough yourself. Many people have seen in this song a connection with the "Nightwish drama" , could  you say if there are perhaps any references to that? I understand if you don't want to answer.

I was writing the lyrics for Enough together with Michelle Leonard. Enough is a song that was inspired by my own life experiences. Things that have been bothering me in my personal life and things that I see happening still today and that are not nice. It’s about my own feelings in certain circumstances. The song is not a direct reference to anything or anyone in particular, but as I said, is about what I feel.
Like with every song that I write, my ultimate goal is that the listener could find a meaning for the song. That it can feel him or her represented in the song. So it’s very fine for me if you can find any sort of connection with anything you want, but that is the way you see the song.

Name: Arina
Location: Sibiu, Romania
Question: Can you name one thing that you are sure not many people (or fans) know about you?

I have arachnophobia.

Name: Julieta Córdoba
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Question: If you have a child. Where would it be born? …. Argentina or Finland?

Well it is very hard to say now because we don’t have plans for a bigger family yet. But if it happens and where ever it happens it will be a blessing for us. I don’t stress too much about these kinds of things. My home is in Argentina and also in Finland, so our child will hopefully feel the same.

Name: Maryline
Location: Naucy, France
Question: Will you do an album in finnish or in spannish language?

I have been recording few songs in both languages already, but it would be nice one day to make a complete album whether in Spanish or Finnish...or both.

Name: Maaike Essenstam
Location: Ede, the Netherlands
Question: When you are preforming on stage what do you prefer the most: a small venue where you can have close contact with the audience or a bigger venue where you can't see the people who are standing at the end of the hall. And why do you prefer that.

I have been lucky to perform in both circumstances in my career. I can also add that I have been lucky enough to be able to perform for very different kind of audiences as well. What is absolutely a wonderful feeling.
Of course it is very nice to watch the people right in front of me, see their reactions and feel their love. It is great to be able to speak with people and communicate with them when the distance is not that big between us. On the other hand, I also love to perform in big venues where the people can be louder than the band! More people give me the chance to feel freer with my performance, because the situation is not that intimate. So as you can see, I love to perform. No matter the place, the situation or the amount of people in the audience.  

Name: Anne Johnson
Nickname: Understand_Me
Location: Hopkins, Minnesota USA
Question: Do you like singing in Major keys or Minor keys better?

This is a very funny question. Did you know that there are many songs in Major keys that sound still very sad and melancholic? It depends how the song is composed. Not all the Major key songs are sounding happy. And not all the minor key songs are sounding sad either. As you might know already, I prefer to sing songs that are dramatically emotional instead of just being happy tunes.

Name: Leen
Nickname: Silver_Wings
Location: Betekom, Belgium
Question: Hi Tarja, how does it make you feel if you see the same faces over and over again during your gigs. Do you think those people are crazy or maybe something else :)

It is wonderful to be able to see people following my career and supporting me. I know already in person many people that have been there for years. I am deeply grateful for them. I sincerely don’t think they are crazy. I guess they enjoy the feeling of belonging to a certain community, travel and have meetings together all over the world. I love to see familiar faces in the audience. It makes me feel comfortable and more secure.  

Name: Emanuel Fernández Location: Salta, Argentina
Name: Daniela, Hinojosa Location: Santiago, Chile
Name: Manuel Rojas Location: Santiago, Chile
Nickname: Child of Bodom Location: Krakow, Poland
Name: Roman Location: Kremenchug, Ukraine
Name: Ruslan Nickname: Streamer Location: Donetsk, Ukraine
Name: Jennifer Muller Location: Bogotà, Colombia
Name: Strejcr Location: Strachy, Czech Republic
Name: Arsa Languainen Location: St. Petersburg, Russia

I have received several questions asking me about making duets or collaborations with different artists. I decided to answer them all together.
The musicians mentioned were Floor Jansen, Steve Vai, Simone Simons, Sharon Den Adel, Bruce Dickinson, Liv Kristine, Kipelov, Pavarotti, Sarah Brightman, Anette Olzon, Yngwie Malmsteen, Ozzy Osbourne and Apocalyptica. I respect them all. With some, we’ve already been in touch for different reasons. The future might bring some collaboration out of this list.
It would have been an amazing honour to be able to sing a duet with Pavarotti, but unfortunately that opportunity is not going to happen anymore.
I can imagine some of the proposed collaborations a lot of fun and a pleasure. I am very open for collaborations today. I have done already some nice ones that bring only good memories.
The most common problem with collaborations is the timing. To combine schedules is usually not easy.

Name: Guillermo Oldani
Location: Santa Fe, Argentina
Question: Is going to be edited a DVD of your tours ? If that yes, would be there the concert in Obras? When It could be Available?

My record company doesn’t have any concrete plans for a DVD yet. Myself, I would love to record and film every performance I make, as each concert is special and unique.
In order to do a nice DVD, it really demands a lot of planning. Hopefully we can start those plans soon.

Name: Bernard
Nickname: Labyrinth
Location: Maldegem, Belgium
Question: What do you understand under the Finnish term ‘Sisu’, and do you think the term is applicable to yourself ?
Kind regards, Bernard  

Sisu is something that we Finns feel lives inside of us when the hard moments of life hit us. When there seems to be a wall against us, the sisu is the one that makes us to go through that wall. Is the last, powerful strength of life. I have needed to use sisu many times in my life so far. My life has not always been like dancing in a bed of roses.

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