The long-awaited album is available now on CD Digipak, Limited Blue Curacao 2LP Gatefold and Digital
Outlanders combines electronic music with Tarja’s soft as well as classical vocals, electric and acoustic guitars. The three elements are a constant in all the songs and are equally important.
Tarja is a Finnish soprano that has developed her own style into combining successfully classical trained vocals with rock music and crossover. She has released over 15 albums both with the band Nightwish and in her solo career.
Torsten Stenzel is a German musician, songwriter, composer and producer for more than 22 years. Recently co-produced Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Beats and worked as a keyboarder for Rick Nowels, Joss Stone, Nelly Furtado, echo nominated and multiple gold and platinum awards as one of the Trance/EDM pioneers in Germany.
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OUTLANDERS - THE ALBUM
LTD. Curacao Blue 2LP
1. Outlanders (feat. Walter Giardino)
2. Closer To The Sky (feat. Trevor Rabin)
3. The Cruellest Goodbye (feat. Al Di Meola)
4. World In My Eyes (feat. Vernon Reid)
5. Mystique Voyage (feat. Steve Rothery)
6. The Sleeping Indian (feat. Joe Satriani)
7. Land of Sea and Sun (feat. Marty Friedman)
8. 1971 (feat. Walter Giardino)
9. We Own This Sky (feat. Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal)
10. Never Too Far (feat. Mike Oldfield)
11. Echoes (feat. Jennifer Batten)
12. A Peaceful Place (Return To The Oasis) (feat. Walter Giardino)
OUTLANDERS - THE SINGLES
OUTLANDERS - VISUALIZERS
Instead of focusing all the efforts into 1 or 2 videos to promote the first singles, we decided to film images for all the songs recorded for Outlanders.
The main reason was for us to be able to show you the beautiful island of Antigua.
These videos are colorful mood captures of the island without any script or story behind them, deprived from any post production and not meant to be understood as music videos. We call them visualizers.
The filming was done by using only iPhone 13 Pro Max in combination with a drone DJI Maverick 4K.
For me it is nice to listen music while you have an image synchronized with it, so I hope these visualizers will help you to discover our music while at the same time the unspoiled, natural paradise, Antigua.
I was visiting Antigua quite often at the time when we filmed this first visualizer for the project. It was way back in 2012 and I was pregnant. We decided to shoot images in The Outlook in English Harbour and on the beach nearby the place where I was staying and, in the ruins, just next to it. In this visualizer you can see a younger me reading Paulo Coelho’s inspiring quotes and feel the majesty of the ocean that surrounds the island of Antigua.
For the visualizer of Mystique Voyage we used images from Antigua’s classic yacht Regatta that happens every year. It is a major happening on the island.
There is a gunpowder house/museum in English Harbour where you can see me walking and singing around. It’s an interesting place for those seeking knowledge about Antigua’s history.
For thousands of years, the Atlantic’s waves have crashed into the east coast of Antigua creating a natural arch, or bridge. Numerous geysers and blowholes surround the arch as waves continually break against the coastal rocks. I was always stunned by the natural beauty and water’s power at Devil’s bridge.
Land of Sea and sun
The visualizer for Land of Sea and Sun was basically filmed in my favorite spot in Antigua: Jolly Harbour. The two beaches you see on the images are the North and the South beaches of Jolly Harbour Marina.
Countless times I have been sitting, strolling, swimming, but also writing songs on these shores. Many melodies were born while watching the sunsets. The surroundings are so very calm and inspiring there.
As you might notice, there are barely people around and that solitude is one of the reasons why I love the place so much. Antigua was and still is my “hiding” spot.
It is even more beautiful when you get to see it from the water side. The beauty of the island really stands out when you ride the waves with a boat. You can still discover many secluded beaches as well. The colour of the water is a pristine turquoise and blue.
We spent few hours cruising with Torsten´s Salty Belle boat. We had fun!
I hope you enjoy the land of sea and sun as much as we do in Outlanders.
WORLD IN MY EYES
As our version of the song "World in my eyes" is dark in its mood, so is this visualizer. We filmed it next to the main road and surroundings of Jabberwock Beach. It was not particularly a sunny day, but this was exactly what we were looking for the shootings. The beach offered us beautiful, weird colours of nature and the graffiti on the ruins of the old hotel appealed to me as something dark and mysterious. The red light on the street at the end of the video is no effect! Those lights are used to keep the nesting turtles of the beach away from the road during night time.
THE CRUELLEST GOODBYE
During the first year of pandemic and just after getting out of the mandatory quarantine, I was not able to travel to Antigua since there were no flights going. While the images from Torsten were taken in Antigua, as for the rest of the visualizers we filmed, we decided to work with Tim Tronckoe in Marbella, Spain for a video of one of the chosen first singles. We did a photo shooting for my book during the day and when the sun went down we headed for the beach. During the night time, we filmed images for The Cruellest Goodbye video near by my home. The ocean breeze was beautiful and the weather just perfect for filming. I sang the song several times while Tim was directing and filming me. The set up was the most simple one; just a light and the camera. As the song is very touching and emotional, the images we captured are very intimate and fitting to the mood of the song. It was very nice to work with my friend Tim again.
CLOSER TO THE SKY
The location for this visualizer is the Hodges Bay Resort & Spa where you can see the magnificent Boonji Spaceman from @brendanmurphyart
NEVER TOO FAR
This visualizer was filmed in Half Moon Bay that is in the South-East coast of Antigua. It is very famous beach for sunbathing and snorkeling. Every time I go to Antigua with my family, we visit the beach as it’s such a peaceful location and at times we can have the beach just for ourselves. The colour of the sea is wonderful and the power of the waves crashing towards the rocks take your breath away. Enjoy the sea!
In 1971 visualizer we visit famous English Harbour in Antigua. Especially you see me strolling next to the houses in cultural heritage site of Nelson’s Dockyard. Every year the Sailing Week and Charter Yacht meetings are happening here. It’s a place worth to visit to learn some history of the island and enjoy a beautiful hike to Shirley Heights, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A PEaceful Place
(Return To The Oasis)
There are few tiny islands close by Antigua and one of them is Great Bird Island that lies on the north coast and is part of the Antigua’s marine park.
I have had the pleasure to visit this picturesque island, only accessible by boat several times. The island is known from its extensive bird population and wonderful views. We filmed the visualizer for “A Peaceful Place (Return to the Oasis)” there together with Torsten.
The day was sunny and beautiful, and I remember that it was sometimes barely impossible to film, because of the heavy wind, but we managed. Our song needed a tranquil place away from people and The Great Bird island was a perfect spot for it.
On the visualizer for Echoes we wanted to show a different side of Antigua. Its natural beauty surrounds you wherever we go, but if you get to explore Antigua’s rainforest, you get to fall in love with it.
Wallings Dam is about a 30 minutes drive from Falmouth along Fig tree Drive. The old British built dam in itself is not hugely impressive, but the forest scenery around there makes a visit worthwhile.
Echoes is a song about Africa, without forgetting the origins of the people of Antigua and the dark history of slavery.
The day of the filming was super warm and humid, so it felt really nice to be embraced with so much greenery and nature.
We hope you will enjoy Echoes!
WE OWN THIS SKY
I am grateful for the fact that we got the permission from Antigua´s Tourism Ministry to use the old video for “We own this sky” visualizer. It was very interesting to see images for the first time from the past knowing how Antigua looks and feels nowadays.
It is important to learn where we come from to appreciate the present. Many of the things you see on the video, you can still find on the island. The traditions are vivid. The uniqueness of Antigua is real, and I personally really love that the island has truly remained more "laid back” than many of the other Caribbean islands are. It has been my hideaway for years and a place where I’ve always felt a strong positive energy.
Those artisans and hard workers forged what Antigua has become. They definitely own that sky.
The Sleeping Indian
In this visualizer, you can see images of the capital of Antigua St John; the beautiful man made marina of 'Jolly Harbour' and of course, the mountain of The Sleeping Indian.
Torsten drove around the picturesque city with his car and filmed all the images you see. Don’t you just love all the Caribbean colours? It's common to see the little wooden 'casitas' when passing by the main roads on the island - the majority of them elevated for the occasional water rise.
I took a walk around a neighbourhood called 'Vila in Saint John' with local rapper Nkoye Zifah. We captured the final images of the area because only one day later: the entire district was demolished by the government to make way for a higher standard of living area along with some stores.
I was lucky to see and feel the place before it was gone. Some of the local people were extremely happy to participate in our video.
OUTLANDERS - HISTORY
"Outlanders" is Tarja Turunen and Torsten Stenzel
Back in 2005, I was invited to co-write and sing the song “Tired of being alone” with the German electronic artist Schiller for his album, “Tag und Nacht”. I enjoyed the challenge and its outcome very much, since electronic music was a new field for me. I loved this different world of sounds I was getting myself into for the first time.
Few years later, I had friendly discussions with my label boss Max Vaccaro about the lack of guitar solos on my rock records. I had never felt the need of adding guitar solos on each one of my rock songs unless I feel it is justified and it would add a nice flavor to the track. Nevertheless, I love guitars, so I decided to prove my point to him.
Inspired by Alan Parson’s electronic album “A Valid Path”, specially by the songs “Return to Tunguska” and “L’Arc en Ciel” where David Gilmour plays the guitar, I realized that I should do something in that same vibe. When I started to check what truly exists around, I found several electronic music projects done with guitars and others with vocals, but the combination of these three elements; the voice, guitars and electronic background, I didn’t come across. So, I decided that I wanted to try it myself.
In 2010 I had written a song that I felt it could fit perfectly for this idea of mine and to find the person that could execute it was eventually easy. I had met Torsten Stenzel back on the days when we wrote the first songs together for my rock solo career and we had been friends ever since. I wanted to approach him, and this took me to the island of Antigua in Caribbean, where he lived. I knew Torsten would be just perfect for my song, because he had been working with electronic music all his life and his knowledge in that field is incredible.
For the song I didn’t want to use my voice in a conventional soloist way, but instead, I wanted to use my voice to create atmospheres and colours and to read something interesting for it.
I had been a loyal follower of Paulo Coelho’s works and his books had inspired me significantly throughout my life. So, I could easily picture that was exactly what I wanted to listen to in my song.
That was the reason I dared to contact author Paulo Coelho to ask him permission to use some of his texts. He was very kind by giving his blessing for the idea, which was amazing, personally for me.
The next step was to find a guitar player that could understand what I wanted to achieve. I had a special, vintage kind of sound in mind for the song. I was looking for some rock edge, but soulful at the same time and I couldn´t think of anybody else better than my Argentinean friend Walter Giardino from the band Rata Blanca for the track.
Even though I didn’t have anything to show him as an example at the time, he understood my vision, did an amazing job and actually ended up recording three songs for the album.
Paulo, Walter, Torsten and me; we all had one thing in common: we were not living in the land we were born. Life, music and art had taken us to different places and all of us had become outlanders.
This was the perfect name for the song I wrote.
Torsten and I loved the result we were able to achieve and the blue print for Outlanders was created. Since then we agreed to continue writing songs and contacting amazing guitar players to fulfil our ideas. We have been working mainly in the island of Antigua where the first seed was planted. The artwork photos, visualizers for the music, recordings and mixing, mostly took place there.
We started the album at Torsten´s old Studio in English Harbour, in the south of Antigua. In the meantime, he moved to the North, so it got finished at his new “Embassy Studio”.
This album went thru 2 computer crashes, with 2 fried motherboards and about 3 dead hard drives. Many of the songs got lost and needed to be re-programmed and re-recorded, even more than once in some cases. It was a long process, but the songs got even strong in the second or third attempt.
Torsten and I didn’t give up. Finally, it all worked out due to a great team spirit and lots of work!!
We are finally ready to show you what we have been doing the last 10 years! It is a friendship project, done with lots of love and care.
We really hope that you can enjoy our baby!!
Tarja and Torsten