Tuesday 4 November 2014
News from UIC Members

Finland: Eva Lönnblad is the new “Voice of the Stations”

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Eva Lönnblad will start as the new voice of the railway announcer at Finland’s railway stations. The new voice will be heard at railway stations as of the beginning of 2015. According to both the jury and the citizens who voted, Eva Lönnblad has the most suitable voice of the final five contenders.

In its selection, the jury emphasised how well a contender’s voice is suited to railway station announcements, its clarity, and the contender’s professional skills. The jury also considered the language skills.

“By nature, women have a higher-pitched voice than men, and due to this, a female voice can be more easily heard over the background noise at the railway stations.” Out of the final five contenders, Lönnblad‘s voice is the clearest and most accessible. Her voice engenders trust, and her speech has a good rhythm. Positivity and service mentality radiate from her voice,” remarks project leader Kimmo Turunen of the Finnish Transport Agency.

As the voice of the railway station, Lönnblad will read the railway station
announcements in the future. She will record around 3,000 words from which the approx. 15,000 phrases used in the announcements are compiled in Finnish, Swedish and English. The new voice will be able to be heard at all 180 railway stations throughout Finland from the beginning of 2015.

Members of the general public voted for their favourites on the Web

They were also given a chance to influence the decision by voting their own favourites. A total of almost 4,000 votes were submitted via the Web. Eva Lönnblad was the overwhelming favourite of the people. Eva Lönnblad’s voting number in the competition was #1.

Some comments made on the Web:

  • “Number One is a calm, clear and neutral voice.”
  • “The best of these for all language versions. ”
  • “This female voice is clear, while also suitably low. Simply put, very pleasant.”
  • “Sounded clearest, will likely be most audible from loudspeakers.”
  • “Stressing and rhythm were good. Mature and distinctive.”
  • “Definitely number one.”
  • “The clarity of the voice, pronunciation and tempo were outstanding! Professional.”

In addition to web voting, the Finnish Transport Agency arranged two public listening events at the Helsinki and Tampere railway stations. Lönnblad’s voice was the most popular at these events, too. The Finnish Transport Agency has also consulted representatives of special needs groups from the Finnish Federation of the Visually Impaired and the Finnish Federation of Hard of Hearing (FFHOH) in the selection of the new voice.

Experienced voice talent

Eva Lönnblad has several years of experience as a voice talent in various media. Previously, her voice has been heard on the YLE and MTV3 television channels as an announcer and a host. Furthermore, she has worked on various advertising and voice projects for almost twenty years. During her career, she has received public speaking and communications training.

“I am extremely delighted with this expression of confidence. And I am also starting to get a bit nervous now. This is a service task, and the goal is to achieve a clear and pleasant end result that services the station users as well as possible,” remarked Eva Lönnblad, the new Voice of the Stations.

“The end result will be greatly affected by the sound recording professionals at JPC-Studiot; they are experts in producing sound for challenging environments. I can look forward to spending a lot of quality time with a microphone in a small studio booth during the autumn. We must create a seamless whole out of individually recorded clips. I might have to treat the sound engineer to coffee and cake more than once before we are finished,” Lönnblad says.

(Source : Finnish Transport Agency)

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