[Music Review] Perception – Bonnie Milne
As I have had time to really absorb the latest single from Bonnie Milne; Perception since its November 11 release my initial response seems quite lacking in its appreciation. As a staple to my classical playlists, yes I have multiple, the elegant melodies seem to leave me haunted after each listen. As a piano solo piece that features a violin and cello in the crescendo, Bonnie Milne takes a repeated melody and explores many unique concepts on top of it.
As the left hand continues to revolve the same bright, methodical yet menacing euphony the right hand becomes free to add in the colorfulness of the piece with contrast and disparity. Whether it is a complimentary run of notes or an accentuation of the downbeat the upper register provides a chilling yet comforting tone that carries this song through to its conclusion. As the theme reaches into the encapsulation phase, however, the real power and majesty begins to shine.
The treble notes become faster and blended as the notes almost take on a lyrical aspect, capturing the listener deep into the embrace of that revolving bass pattern. As the tension builds, and the listener becomes almost hypnotically engulfed by the rhythm, Bonnie Milne frees us from her grasp and enter Kevin Fox playing the cello and Shane Guse playing the violin.
This culmination of stringed instruments fills the sonic space with fervor and totality making Perception a track that instantly becomes the most played song on my classical playlist for the last three weeks. I briefed this review by alluding to the haunted feeling Perception left me with, this can not go unanswered. Although Bonnie Milne seems to be quite the master at capturing melody and articulating a theme with many articulations and expression, it really comes down to the original infusion of notes and the set up for the whole piece that becomes the basis of every note thereafter. It is the left-hand bass notes that, although meant to elicit a cheerful and jubilant response, sit deep into the foundation of the track, and hold that tension throughout.
Maybe after many listens have I uncovered the clever meaning of the track’s competent title. It is my Perception that plays havoc with my appreciation, making it all that more rewarding.
As a music educator from Canada, Bonnie Milne has arguably taught many students all about tension and release. About melody versus harmony, and about articulations and expressions. With this stand-alone single, not on an album release, Perception becomes an etude to all the elements I have mentioned. Students will be well advised to study this piece as an example of how to deliver all the performance requirements, the technical aspects, and the use of key changes, but to also make music fun, entertaining, and thought-provoking. To make music leave a mark on the listener as it did to me. As I continue to be absorbed in the works of Bonnie Milne and continue to check my own Perception, I will eagerly await the response work to this majestic piece.
Reviewed by: Lee Callaghan
Evolution Music Press