Bonnie Milne is a classically trained pianist and composer, and recently released her classical-meets-contemporary single 'New Beginnings.' Louder Than The Music chatted with Bonnie to hear about her life composing music, the sounds that have influenced her, and plans for the future.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
I was born and raised in a small central northern town in Ontario, studied classical piano from a young age. Around age 11, I realized that I could create music and played my compositions for family and friends. I continued on with studying Music in University and completed my Teaching Degree adding vocal music as a focus too. I taught both piano and vocal lessons to numerous students over the years. In addition to managing my own business, I began teaching music in elementary schools. I am now working as the Arts Facilitator for my Board, and implementing a “music education program” in all elementary schools. My goal, along with the Music Teachers in my Board, is to “Inspire Music for Life” for our students.
Also, I feel as though my ability to compose music is a gift from God or the Universe, (however you like to look at it) and that we are to share our gifts and serve others. My Mom used to say, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel Dear” so, I finally decided to do something about it and began recording and sharing it in this manner.
Tell us about your new single 'New Beginnings' and what the inspiration behind it was?
I went through a challenging time and experienced betrayal and loss. I decided that I would try to be thankful for what I had learned through this process and look forward to what may come next. While I was composing, I was feeling excitement and gratitude which hopefully you can hear as you listen to New Beginnings. I love the sound of the soulful cello with the piano as well as the brilliance of the flute so I layered counter melodies and harmony with this trio.
Do you have any plans to release more music in the near future?
I feel very blessed that when I sit at my piano, melodies come easily to me. I have many pieces on the go for my next album and look forward to recording and sharing more in the near future.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
Composing music for me is about passion, well-being and JOY! I wish this for others as they listen to my music and I hope that it helps them in some way. I would like my music to be the “go to” piece or pieces that fans listen to when they are feeling a certain way and it helps them feel better, be uplifted and at ease. Fans often tell me that my music takes them on an emotional journey which makes me happy since they are joining me in my journey.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I was inspired by the greats of Classical Music; Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, etc. but also drawn to more contemporary instrumental music, such as Ludovico Einaudi, David Tolk, Piano Guys, and of course the popular sounds of Sarah McLachlan, Alanis Morissette, Taylor Swift etc. I would describe my music as flowing, melodic, deeply emotional and even intense at times. I have my own sense of dissonance to harmony that is unique to me, moving from major to minor and back, creating an emotional journey for the listener.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Ludovico Einaudi, Italian Composer. When my Dad passed away, years ago now, one of Ludovico’s pieces was in a commercial, it spoke to my soul. I googled him and found that his music was so emotional and became a release for me and helped me to feel some peace. His music also helped me to feel as though my instrumental music was worth sharing too, that maybe others would like it and want to hear it, so I started writing more and more. I have many questions for him about what inspires him when he is writing music and about his life experiences and how they affect his music. It is my wish to play with him someday 😊
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
I feel successful when listeners share with me that my music has helped them feel a certain way and brought them peace and enjoyment. I feel as though music is necessary for well-being and I hope to share my music throughout the world to support others. Also, there aren’t many female classical composers and it would be wonderful to have my music heard in movies and film and maybe that would inspire more girls to believe that it is possible for them too.
What is your favorite album of all time?
I do love Vivaldi’s Four Seasons! I never tire of it and swear that each time I listen to it, I hear something more. I watched the Toronto Symphony Orchestra perform this and throughout the entire concert, my hair was standing on end! It takes you through an emotional journey during each season, just as life does.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
I would have to say, it would be my “Green River Sway, Movement no.2” because it is uplifting and has one of my favourite piano parts to play of all of my pieces.
What does the next year hold for you?
I am recording more of my compositions shortly along with the videos as well as I anticipate performing LIVE!