“New Beginnings”, the first of Bonnie Milne’s two new singles, will put a smile on a listener’s face. It’s a near virtuosic demonstration of Milne’s piano playing skills without ever risking self-indulgence and, secondly, highlights her apparently limitless capacity for melody. “New Beginnings” likewise shows off her ability for creating a mood through her music as it communicates the optimistic implications of its title at nearly every point in the piece.
This dovetails into her stated belief that music is a healing experience for listeners. “New Beginnings” upholds that aim with its sparkling uptempo passages, sweeping melodic runs, and other assorted subtle manipulations of both the tempo and melody. The interplay between the piano and violin is crucial as the latter often doubles the melody at crucial points before spinning off again and creating counterpoints of its own.
“New Beginnings” falls just short of the three minute mark and feels like it offers so much more. Part of the reason for this is how the performance stays busy throughout. There’s really nothing resembling a lull. Make no mistake, however – “New Beginnings” is far from cluttered or rushed. It develops in a coherent and layered way that never wavers despite the clear urgency of the playing. Many listeners will appreciate its playful edge as well.
There’s little playfulness during the second single “Uncertain”. She changes her sound up for this song and forges a different path than the one she traveled during “New Beginnings”. This song’s emotional appeal takes hold of listeners more slowly thanks to the near-painterly way Milne chooses to orchestrate the song’s musical themes. It has a similar length to the earlier single, running fewer than thirty seconds longer, and has comparable value despite its difference in effect.
It’s contemplative without ever losing its impetus. The personality driving these compositions is never static and, even in a comparatively subdued musical setting, her charisma is almost palpable. Its factors such as this separating everyday music from compositions and performances possess a truly transformational quality. Both singles gain a lot from superb production that puts the spotlight on Milne’s playing without ever rendering other aspects second-class.
The Ontario born music educator brings a sense of calling to everything she does within the music realm. She began playing and writing her music at an early age, has countless pupils to her credit, and has passed on her passion for and knowledge about playing to scores and more to come. “New Beginnings” and “Uncertain” are both expressions of that lifelong love, each in their respective way, and never descends into imitation or repetition.
It’s unsurprising from someone who cites everyone from classical composers to pop artists as a source of inspiration. These single share that same timelessness. Music isn’t confined to a particular year, place, or era for Bonnie Milne and this part of her presentation is unlikely to ever change. “New Beginnings” and “Uncertain” have something to offer beyond the flavor of the moment and some listeners will return to them again and again.