We are staring off the new year (go 2021!) with another great composer. This time I’m presenting you with Melany Thompson from Australia!
Where are you from? And where do you live?
I am from Australia and I live in beautiful Sydney!
How long have you been playing the piano, and do you play other instruments as well?
I started learning the piano when I was 4 years old. I have also attempted the flute and the guitar over the years but think I’ll stick to the piano!
Tell us about how you started playing music.
When I was 4 I asked my parents for a piano and they bought me a little toy piano which I was quite disappointed with apparently. I somehow managed to teach myself a couple of nursery rhymes on it and so they bought me a full size upright piano! It was so big I remember they had to shave off some of the doorway in our house to fit it in!
How long have you been making piano music?
I started to write my own melodies when I was a young teenager. I used to write songs about different boys that I had a crush on (every song was a love song obviously!)
Tell us something about that moment you realized you could make songs yourself!
I don’t really remember it being a massive thing, it just came naturally to me to make my own music. Once I started recording my music though, I remember it being such an amazing experience to see other people listening to it and enjoying it.
What are your favorite artists in this “piano genre”?
I grew up listening to a whole range of artists from Richard Clayderman to Mozart but now there are a whole range of piano composers that sit in a more modern genre. I love Ludovico, John Williams and all the big film score composers.
Is there one song which you play over and over again as soon as you sit down by a piano? Your own or someone else’s?
I always play Pachelbel’s Cannon as it’s easy to play in any key and to improvise around. Most people know the tune so it’s a good one to warm the fingers up with!
What rules (in making music) needs to be broken?
I’m not sure – does anyone follow a set of rules anymore? I think music is so subjective and people are recording in so many different ways these days and using different methods which keeps things interesting and fresh.
How do you record your music? Yourself? In a big studio? etc.
I have done a bit of both – I recoded my first album in a studio in the Blue Mountains on a beautiful concert grand piano. I have recorded digitally using my digital piano, and now I can use my beautiful Yamaha Grand piano (which is fitted with a silent system) to record on so I have a few different options. I love the studio experience but it’s also great to do it yourself at home and get it right without the time and cost constraints of a studio.
What’s your take on sampled instruments?
I’m yet to find the perfect sampled piano sound! It can be expensive ‘collecting’ samples but there are so many amazing sounds that can be created. It’s a bit of a mine-field for me, I’m only just starting to get into digital recording and sample sounds and it’s quite overwhelming to be honest.
Anything else you want to share?
I feel so lucky to be doing what I love. Music has always been a part of my life but the decision to start recording and releasing my own music was a huge turning point in my life and I’m so excited to see what the future holds! I’m relatively new to this world so still finding my feet and working out the business side of things but it’s a great adventure.
The last question is asked by my 6 year old son:
Where do all your songs come from?
My songs come from feelings and emotions. I often write about something I’m going through, feeling or longing for. I also get inspiration from people and relationships. Just sitting down at the piano and improvising is a really important part of the creative process for me which means setting aside a lot of time and space to just sit and play for fun and relaxation.
Thank you for sharing this with us Melany!