Is Dreamspace weird?

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Pancio
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Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Pancio » Thu Oct 10, 2019 12:06 am

Hi guys,

Since we are talking about mixing, mastering and production in general I want to share with you a little thing I noticed years ago while listening to Dreamspace while transcribing it.
The weird thing is that all the songs are not tuned down by half a tone (one semitone) but by a three-quarters tone (one and half semitone).
It's weird because it's a peculiar choice and clearly not an error since all the instrument are tuned the same way.
My question is:"Do you believe they have decided to modify the original songs or do you believe they've simply messed up with the speed while dumping the tracks from the master (like slowing down vinyls or messed up VHS and MC)?"
I admit the last one is possible only in case of tape recording and almost impossible even in that case, but it's an intriguing answer.

Anyone has the right answer or any other curiosity?

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NeverendingAbyss
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by NeverendingAbyss » Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:06 am

I'm gay.

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ZenithMC
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Oct 10, 2019 2:18 am

Very interesting find, Pancio! You know, I always thought something sounded a little off, pitch-wise, with Dreamspace, but I never investigated it. Based on my findings, Dreamspace is tuned to roughly 322 Hz, which is E4 - 41 cents.

I couldn't figure out what equipment was used to record Dreamspace, but in the booklet of Tolkki's Classical Variations and Themes, he mentions using AKAI Adam digital tape recorders. Since CVAT and Dreamspace were recorded within a relatively close time-frame, I'll assume that Dreamspace was digitally recorded (even though it sounds like an analogue recording to me).

Here's an image of the page from the booklet that describes the equipment used on CVAT.

It was definitely digitally processed. Check out the bridge section of Abyss, where the drums, bass, guitars, and keyboards are all doing the same rhythmic 8th note triplet, followed by a quarter note and a quarter note rest. During that rest, if you look at the waveform with a spectrogram, you can clearly see that there exists no noise above -90dB, and the noise floor itself only contains subsonic frequencies. That just isn't possible to produce if the album was processed using analog equipment.

Now as to how the album managed to slightly reduce its playback speed as a digital recording (through reasonable means) is beyond me. Faulty ADC units would usually result in pops or clicks (known as jitter), and not playback rate shifts.

*** Okay, actually, Dreamspace was probably recorded via analogue equipment due to a very small detail found on the vinyl (and CD) release of Dreamspace. If you look at this picture very closely , you will see the letters "ADD". That is a SPARS code, which is a 3 letter code that represents how an album was produced, with "A" meaning "analogue", and "D" meaning "digital". The first letter designates the audio recorder used during recording, the second letter designates the audio recorder used during mixing, and the third letter designates the type of mastering employed.

So in that case, the analogue audio recorder must have had a slightly miscalibrated play speed during the recording phase, which was later corrected before the mixing phase, which would result in the pitch discrepancy. Or some other similar scenario played out where the tape machine was calibrated correctly while recording, but somehow became miscalibrated right before the mixing phase.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by AAAAAAAAAA » Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:49 am

I remember Tolkki got asked this question once and he just said he was too lazy to tune his guitar.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by adrian9 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:25 pm

I guess
A9

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ZenithMC
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:08 pm

AAAAAAAAAA wrote:I remember Tolkki got asked this question once and he just said he was too lazy to tune his guitar.
It's not just his guitar that is out of tune, though.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Empathica1928 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:25 pm

Huh. I've truly never thought about most of the stuff raised in this thread, but that explains a lot. I've always thought Dreamspace had a unique sound but couldn't pinpoint why, even when comparing it with Twilight Time. I've never tried playing anything off Dreamspace though (keyboardist, so, not many interesting things to test out from that record imo), so that might have something to do with my ignorance.

This is a good excuse to play Dreamspace again and pay attention. The songs sound good enough, although it's still not a favorite record of mine.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Pancio » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:17 am

Very interesting find, Pancio! You know, I always thought something sounded a little off, pitch-wise, with Dreamspace, but I never investigated it. Based on my findings, Dreamspace is tuned to roughly 322 Hz, which is E4 - 41 cents.

I couldn't figure out what equipment was used to record Dreamspace, but in the booklet of Tolkki's Classical Variations and Themes, he mentions using AKAI Adam digital tape recorders. Since CVAT and Dreamspace were recorded within a relatively close time-frame, I'll assume that Dreamspace was digitally recorded (even though it sounds like an analogue recording to me).

Here's an image of the page from the booklet that describes the equipment used on CVAT.

It was definitely digitally processed. Check out the bridge section of Abyss, where the drums, bass, guitars, and keyboards are all doing the same rhythmic 8th note triplet, followed by a quarter note and a quarter note rest. During that rest, if you look at the waveform with a spectrogram, you can clearly see that there exists no noise above -90dB, and the noise floor itself only contains subsonic frequencies. That just isn't possible to produce if the album was processed using analog equipment.

Now as to how the album managed to slightly reduce its playback speed as a digital recording (through reasonable means) is beyond me. Faulty ADC units would usually result in pops or clicks (known as jitter), and not playback rate shifts.

*** Okay, actually, Dreamspace was probably recorded via analogue equipment due to a very small detail found on the vinyl (and CD) release of Dreamspace. If you look at this picture very closely , you will see the letters "ADD". That is a SPARS code, which is a 3 letter code that represents how an album was produced, with "A" meaning "analogue", and "D" meaning "digital". The first letter designates the audio recorder used during recording, the second letter designates the audio recorder used during mixing, and the third letter designates the type of mastering employed.

So in that case, the analogue audio recorder must have had a slightly miscalibrated play speed during the recording phase, which was later corrected before the mixing phase, which would result in the pitch discrepancy. Or some other similar scenario played out where the tape machine was calibrated correctly while recording, but somehow became miscalibrated right before the mixing phase.
Actually I'm not sure about the gear used for recording, I'm a big nerd of this kind of shit but not this time, it's almost impossible to know since no one of the actual member was there at that time; I know about AKAI on CVAT and even the amp used (Mesa Boogie dual rectifier, used until Vision then broken and changed with a shitty Laney once again changed after some years with a ENGL Powerball during Elements Era) but, tbh, I think they have recorded on tape until Visions of Europe (included), maybe Destiny too and even Infinite.

Anyway, I believe that an hardware fail could be an answer but, once again, it's strange that musician, management and all the stuff screwed it; and even the mistuned guitar is a poor answer since all the instrument, as ZenithMC pointed out, are tuned the same.
Maybe they've simply recorded with all the instruments tuned down by a full tone, so it would have been easier to sing, then changed pitch while producing; but a 3/4 tone down is not enough to justify this amount of work.

Or, the best hypothesis I could came up with is that they were trying to make the record sound "strange" and more "trippy"/"dreamy" using a sort of personal interpretation of musical temperament playing with frequencies; who knows?

Stratovarius, as a band, is always full of surprise!

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by SentineLEX » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:21 am

This comes as a surprise to me tbh. Thought it was just bog standard Eb minor plus a few keys up and down the circle of fifths

I've always ascribed the unique sound to the 80s sounding hollow drum sound.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Hubble86 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:36 am

8) Spooooky...

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ZenithMC
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:10 pm

Here's the real reason. I was overthinking it. :lol:



Tolkki didn't have a tuner, for some reason, so all of the instruments were tuned to the same pitch between Eb and E by ear. This process was repeated for each song, so every song has a slightly different tuning.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by robocop » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:20 pm

I like to hide behind fretboards too. After I eat ass.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Pancio » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:02 pm

ZenithMC wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:10 pm
Here's the real reason. I was overthinking it. :lol:



Tolkki didn't have a tuner, for some reason, so all of the instruments were tuned to the same pitch between Eb and E by ear. This process was repeated for each song, so every song has a slightly different tuning.
Mmm, I doubt this is the real answer since all the instruments are tuned the same way, even keyboards.
On top of that you don't need a tuner, you can use the keyboard to find out the right note and tune the guitar that way and a prefessional won't tune his instrument by ear since this can cause problem with mixing and, tbh, Tolkki was a better producer than a player and this was their third album, not the first.

So I believe it's more a production trick or a post-production error since the band itself was no more a little amateur local band.

Anyway, it's a mystery!

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:22 pm

Pancio wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:02 pm
Mmm, I doubt this is the real answer since all the instruments are tuned the same way, even keyboards.
Yes, I know and agree. Tolkki's explanation was funny to me, so I was poking fun at it in a weird tongue-in-cheek way, hence the "for some reason". :lol: Honestly, I am perplexed by his response, as it just doesn't seem believable or realistic. How would he not have access to a tuner in a recording studio, you know?

Actually, it's double funny to me, because I wrote that giant theory of why I think it's the way it is, and so I was expecting him to to say something that maybe supported that theory, but all Tolkki said was that he didn't have a tuner. I was dumbfounded! :lol:

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by robocop » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:57 am

His brain needs a tuner. He’s tuned to drop A right now and all I hear is muddy farts.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Motha-faka » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:48 am

I had to timo tolkki in facebook, he is a fucking sick person, all the time writing stupid stuff, speaking about suicide, sending to the fucking shit to people, craying for his wife and losing his guitars in all parts.

iNCLUDING WINNING MONEY WITH OLD SONGS OF STRATOVARIUS, HE SHOUT FOR HELP TO THE COMMON PEOPLE LIKE FANS FOR ASYLUM TO THE FANS HOUSE, FOOD AND WANT FREE GUITARS, HE HAD ALL FREEE IN MEXICO THANKS TO FANS.

I posted this MEME and he delete me hahahahah!!! :D

this says HELLO, I'M TIMO TOLKKI

Image

:lol:

PANCIO HAD REASON AFTER ALL :D
I'm a huge Fuck :x

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ZenithMC
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:21 pm

Motha-faka wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:48 am
<snip>
Got a link to those Facebook posts?

Yeah, I heard him talking about his divorce and other stuff on the Rat Salad podcast, but I don't really care about his personal life, to be honest. The whole time, I can hardly understand what Tolkki is saying because of the crappy microphone he's speaking into (or maybe it's just a crappy encoding bit rate, or both). The audio levels are atrocious, too. The intro is ridiculously loud in comparison to the dialogue, so I have to crank up the volume a ton. Then, when the podcast is over, the crazy loud outro plays and nearly gives me a heart attack! :lol: :roll:

Anyway, another possibility is that he just doesn't remember all of the details from back when he recorded Dreamspace. Maybe he's just remembering incorrectly? The "tune my guitar by ear for every song" thing just doesn't add up.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by robocop » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:52 pm

Motha-faka wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:48 am
I had to timo tolkki in facebook, he is a fucking sick person, all the time writing stupid stuff, speaking about suicide, sending to the fucking shit to people, craying for his wife and losing his guitars in all parts.

iNCLUDING WINNING MONEY WITH OLD SONGS OF STRATOVARIUS, HE SHOUT FOR HELP TO THE COMMON PEOPLE LIKE FANS FOR ASYLUM TO THE FANS HOUSE, FOOD AND WANT FREE GUITARS, HE HAD ALL FREEE IN MEXICO THANKS TO FANS.

I posted this MEME and he delete me hahahahah!!! :D

this says HELLO, I'M TIMO TOLKKI

Image

:lol:

PANCIO HAD REASON AFTER ALL :D

I joke around a lot but it’s sad to me he is e begging, and you said losing his guitars?? I really wish somebody in Finland would help him, mentally....

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Motha-faka
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Motha-faka » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:33 pm

I joke around a lot but it’s sad to me he is e begging, and you said losing his guitars?? I really wish somebody in Finland would help him, mentally....
He is not idiot, the guitars that he lose are shits, Chinesse or japanesse guitars TOKAI, that is a imitation of fender Stratocaster, The symfonia 7 are in Russia, I dunno if he sell it or what.

Included in mexico had demands for harass women and had perimeter impositions for fan complaints for his behavior.

I dunno whats happen with tolkki, he eat like a whale, all fat food, not take his medication, drink wine, beer and more stuff like a marine and ends to talk about his suicide and Father.... I think that tolkki is an autodestructive man. :?

I hope write good this, i'm learning english yet :D
Last edited by Motha-faka on Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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robocop
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by robocop » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:14 pm

Ohhhh, I had the idea he had a collection of old strato guitars he was selling. It’s about the reward center in the brain. Bad food activates it and it’s a lot easier to eat bad food then to fix everything. You get the pleasure chemical release in your brain. Plus, a lot of it is very addicting and your body craves it all the time after. I know from experience, I am a super fat fuck. With the drinking it’s the same thing. It’s a temporary fix that doesn’t fix the problems in the long run. Only now now now now!! It doesn’t surprise me because mental illness is something I’m also familiar with, and when you’re losing your mind all these things heighten all your emotions and make it way worse. Like I said it just makes you numb and doesn’t fix your problems but is sure is fun and fucks up your life and bank account. :lol: There has to be SOMEONE in his life that cares that can help. He may also just think nothing is wrong, that happens. Stuck in your own head with illness. With Finland I know I recently seen they have all women in their government cabinet, they probably cast mentally ill men aside because , “women can do no wrong!!” :lol: Anyway, I have no idea how he’s not in the mental health system and they don’t monitor his online behavior with the suicide posts and everything else. That type of shit gets you put locked away here!!! (US)

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:26 pm

Motha-faka wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:33 pm
He is not idiot
In this context, "help him, mentally" means to help Tolkki reach sanity. robocop's not at all implying that Tolkki is stupid. Also, do you have a source for your claims, or are they all fan fiction?

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Motha-faka
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Motha-faka » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:45 pm

robocop wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:14 pm
Ohhhh, I had the idea he had a collection of old strato guitars he was selling. It’s about the reward center in the brain. Bad food activates it and it’s a lot easier to eat bad food then to fix everything. You get the pleasure chemical release in your brain. Plus, a lot of it is very addicting and your body craves it all the time after. I know from experience, I am a super fat fuck. With the drinking it’s the same thing. It’s a temporary fix that doesn’t fix the problems in the long run. Only now now now now!! It doesn’t surprise me because mental illness is something I’m also familiar with, and when you’re losing your mind all these things heighten all your emotions and make it way worse. Like I said it just makes you numb and doesn’t fix your problems but is sure is fun and fucks up your life and bank account. :lol: There has to be SOMEONE in his life that cares that can help. He may also just think nothing is wrong, that happens. Stuck in your own head with illness. With Finland I know I recently seen they have all women in their government cabinet, they probably cast mentally ill men aside because , “women can do no wrong!!” :lol: Anyway, I have no idea how he’s not in the mental health system and they don’t monitor his online behavior with the suicide posts and everything else. That type of shit gets you put locked away here!!! (US)
Happen that beer or wine more mental medicine is the same that HUGE DRUGS COMBO!, he cant drink alchool
I'm a huge Fuck :x

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Motha-faka » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:50 pm

ZenithMC wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:26 pm
Motha-faka wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:33 pm
He is not idiot
In this context, "help him, mentally" means to help Tolkki reach sanity. robocop's not at all implying that Tolkki is stupid. Also, do you have a source for your claims, or are they all fan fiction?
I dunno, he back to mexico with lawman condition... I think that anyone wonts work with tolkki why he is not a healthy man. Claudia perl run away scared of timo tolkki and he wanted contact other singer to his proyect and she kick to tolkki too :shock:

You can send a friendship to his facebook is /User/tolkki777/

you can see his historial post for yourself, is not necesary believe in me, he fire me for a meme :D
I'm a huge Fuck :x

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by robocop » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:01 am

Motha-faka wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:45 pm


Happen that beer or wine more mental medicine is the same that HUGE DRUGS COMBO!, he cant drink alchool
What? :lol: Alcohol does not mix well with all types of medicine, I guess that’s what you mean.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Motha-faka » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:49 am

robocop wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:01 am
Motha-faka wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:45 pm


Happen that beer or wine more mental medicine is the same that HUGE DRUGS COMBO!, he cant drink alchool
What? :lol: Alcohol does not mix well with all types of medicine, I guess that’s what you mean.
Yeah, just this :lol:
I'm a huge Fuck :x

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ZenithMC
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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:10 pm

Motha-faka wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:49 am
robocop wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:01 am
Motha-faka wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:45 pm


Happen that beer or wine more mental medicine is the same that HUGE DRUGS COMBO!, he cant drink alchool
What? :lol: Alcohol does not mix well with all types of medicine, I guess that’s what you mean.
Yeah, just this :lol:
If he's taking medications in conjunction with drinking alcohol, that could have very dire consequences. :err:

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Motha-faka » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:18 pm

ZenithMC wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:10 pm
Motha-faka wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:49 am
robocop wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:01 am


What? :lol: Alcohol does not mix well with all types of medicine, I guess that’s what you mean.
Yeah, just this :lol:
If he's taking medications in conjunction with drinking alcohol, that could have very dire consequences. :err:
for that he falls in depression and bipolarity again, for that he scare to others musicians, and for that stratovarius not want nothing with tolkki i think :cry:
I'm a huge Fuck :x

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by Pancio » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:56 pm

Flavio report is correct, plenty of shit during these months.

Actually is not under medication at all, he declared it himself during an interview in three parts with a YouTube channel (there's also a briefly recap of the situation).

You can find the interview here:


Aside from the speculations, he is sick as fuck, on Facebook you can see his delirious posts about new band, new tour and new music that will never make it since he is unable to work at all.
There are people who lended him their instruments since he doesn't have a guitar, he doesn't have a home since he have to pay 6000 dollars of debts in Finland, he doesn't have a band since no one want to work with him after all the bullshits he spreaded throughout the years.
He solely rely on fans who can "lend" him money and stuff, and this is sad.
There's a post of a guy who works for Imperiumi (a finnish webzine) who had written that Alex Howarth (the drummer "assigned" to Tolkki's new record) doesn't know of his partecipation at all and that's the tip of the iceberg.
Tolkki himself changed the release date from March to May to August/September in a couple of weeks telling people he is able to write a song in three minutes.

He is very narcissistic and he is faking a lot of thing but, tbh, this is not the first time and we all know it.

I bet that all this shit is 50% a big marketing campaign and 50% his illness, a lot of things seems premeditated but a lot of things seems also improvised.
In any case we won't see Tolkki again in music industry for a long time, he destroyed every bridge with and for every labels and no one trust him.

I'm worried about him but not this much: he refused medications and his brother, his mother and his daughter tried to help him but he didn't care at all.
In Italy we have a sort of motto: "Whoever is the cause of his own illness weeps for himself" and this is the case.
He will find a way, I know it, but he needs to works his ass off instead of rely on fans and cry every 5 minutes.
He is 54 years old and he doesn't have any autonomy after being a successful musician for 15 years (I count only 1993 to 2008) so he need to wake up.

If you need any clarifications feel free to ask: I know a lot of details and stuff.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by robocop » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:31 pm

Wow.... :lol:
Who has the time to go through all this drama seeing if it’s true or not? :shock: Just one thing: If you don’t have a support system backing you when mental illness comes into play, it is VERY difficult to survive. Side note, watching that is way too much info and time to waste for me. He could say one thing and do something different next. Good luck everybody who tries to look into it more.

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Re: Is Dreamspace weird?

Post by ZenithMC » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:47 pm

Pancio wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:56 pm
<snip>
Sheesh... That's a pitiful position to be in. Sadly, it's all too typical a tune from Tolkki, nowadays. I don't keep tabs on Tolkki very closely, myself, so I tend not to be in the know about his most recent activities. Thanks for all of the information.

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