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important as the music itself. The album was a hell of a lot of fun to do," says Turunen. As she sees it, the disc embodies her broad perception of music as well as her tremendous ambition: "My Winter Storm is made to be listened to from beginning to end. It's not easy music, the kind that's played on the radio on a daily basis." The album has a cinematic soundscape, which is no accident. Turunen is a devoted fan of film music. The album's majestically thunderous sound was sculpted at leading Hollywood soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer's Remote Control studio, where the scores for movies such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Batman Begins and The Da Vinci Code were created. Turunen also plans to record her third solo disc with Zimmer's team. "I have a really strong work ethic," she says. "I always want to do my job well and I can't stand to have people around me who don't think the same way." There was plenty of marketing work to be done for the album, since not everyone associated the name "Tarja" with the former voice of Nightwish. My Winter Storm received mixed critical reviews, but the album has sold well, for instance reaching platinum sales in Russia, something no Nightwish album has accomplished. The album has also gone platinum in Finland, and is soon expected to reach gold status in Germany, the Czech Republic and Hungary. TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO THE STAGE When the album came out, Turunen was eager to get on stage and prove to everyone that she was very much alive. "All the pressure dissolved during the first concert. It was an incredibly liberating experience to see that these people had room in their hearts for me as an artist," says Turunen, recalling last December's warm-up tour. That month she performed ten preliminary shows in Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Hungary, the Netherlands and England, all places where she had had dedicated followings since the Nightwish days. On this mini-tour, Turunen and her seven-member group tested which songs from the CD worked best as a live repertoire.

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