REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE/ex-STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki has just completed a three-week "masterclass seminar" tour of Brazil. He writes on his MySpace page, "Now, having been at home for a week, I start getting some perspective to the seminar tour in South America.
"Due to several, shall I say plane arrangements, I finally arrived to the Helsinki airport via Frankfurt at 17:30 on the Xmas day (December 24) wearing a t-shirt. I forgot my jacket to the luggage and raised a lot of eyebrows in -20 celsius temperature. When I left Sao Paulo, the temperature was +34 celsius so it was bit of a shock.
"Overall, I traveled almost 100,000 km, albeit mostly by plane but also by a bus and an ass. It was heavy, but it was rewarding. The thing I feared the most was the heat and I did encounter temperatures like +42 celsius. But I did get used to that in less than three weeks.
"I went to cities that I have never been in Brazil, 17 in total and it is fair to say that I saw more Brazil than most of Brazilians ever will. Since I don't drink anymore I also had time to actually see something else than the airport, hotel and the venue. I saw places that were so amazing that I really have no words to describe them. The waterfalls in Foz Do Iguacu were one of them. It is one of the new seven wonders of the world.
"Of course, I saw also Paraguay, Colombia, Argentina and Ecuador. All countries rich in tradition and culture. I enjoyed them all very much.
"One thing that touched me the most was the connectedness of the people. How they greet their friends and how they say goodbye. Coming from a Finnish Lutheran atmosphere that is not always handled the same way here. Nokia-disconnecting people :)
"While in Rome, do as the Romans applies to South America more than anything and if you didn't go there before, you might be in for a surprise.
"The seminars were nice and people seemed to enjoy them. Sometimes they were advertised as normal rock concerts, which was not so nice, but these things happen.
"I met amazing people in the seminars, before and after. Heard lot of amazing really touching stories. Those who were there know by now that one of the main things of the seminar was communication and emotions. I think I delivered my message and what I wanted to share.
"I am sorry about the cancellations of the three seminars in Chile. The promoter cancelled them on the very day I landed to South America based on a claim that 'there was no music in my seminars,' which is, of course, an excuse. I also heard some of the people did not get their money back from the tickets they bought. Please send an email to email@example.com about this with your information."
Video footage of Tolkki's December 10, 2009 workshop in Londrina, Brazil can be viewed below. He was joined during parts of the session by vocalist Gus Monsanto, bassist Ederson Prado and drummer Marcelo Moreira.