Classically trained pianist Melany Thompson recently released her debut solo piano album Memories of Home. Born and bred in Australia, Thompson uses her skills with an instrument to connect with others and express her personal perspective on issues. Memories of Home is dedicated to her family for their ongoing support of her musical dreams. We chatted with Melany Thompson (MT) about her album, future plans and much more.
OSR: Why did you decide to become a musician?
MT: I started learning the piano at a very young age because I asked to. My parents said music was just part of me so there was no real decision to make. As an adult I never really considered myself a musician as I was working in a different field, the piano was always just a hobby in the background. Until I decided to record some of my original music in 2018/2019; that’s when things changed. I guess I made a conscious decision to focus on my music, it was the right time in my life and it’s never
too late to follow your passions!
OSR: Describe your music in a single sentence.
MT: Solo piano music written from the heart to help calm the mind.
OSR: What can you tell us about your new album Memories of Home?
MT: Memories of Home is a collection of very personal songs written over a ten year period. Most of them were written for a person or a special occasion such as a wedding. I initially wanted to record them all simply so I had a record of them for my children as something I could leave behind for them. It was such a creative project to work on and I have learnt so much about the digital music world along the way.
OSR: Did you face any challenges when composing and recording the album?
MT: For me, the piano is everything so finding the perfect piano for me to record on is the hardest challenge. It’s been fun exploring different studios and I’ve played a lot of different pianos over the past two years!
OSR: If you could change one thing about the album, what would it be and why?
MT: I would do it all again, but better! I was so new to the whole process when I recorded this. I rushed it a bit because it was just an experiment to start with and I didn’t think too much about putting it out in the world. Once it was released on iTunes and Spotify and people started listening to it I became much more critical of it. I think the perfectionist side in me can take over sometimes so I need to be aware of that. I’m now finding it harder to compose and record to the standard I’m setting myself.
OSR: How have you been dealing with the Covid-19 lockdown?
MT: It has certainly been an interesting and unsettling time and I feel for people who have struggled through this period whether it’s financially, emotionally or both. I feel so grateful that our little family were able to stay safe and embrace the time together. Homeschooling was interesting and I didn’t get much time to dedicate to my music given I was playing the role of ‘teacher’ as well as Mum. I feel here in Australia we are definitely coming out the other side, hopefully with a new appreciation of the simple things in life.
OSR: How do you think this global pandemic will affect musicians and the musical landscape?
MT: I think many artists were hit hard during this time. It’s a hard industry to be in as it is and the pandemic has added further complexity for many musicians. It’s hard to know how Covid-19 will affect many industries in the long-term, so all we can do is work as hard as we can right now. We need to support each other now more than ever. Listen to lots of music, to all sorts of music and connect with more people.
OSR: Who inspires you on a professional and personal level to keep creating music?
MT: Personally, my family inspires me to keep creating music. My parents put so much time and effort into my music when I was a child and I feel like I’m finally able to acknowledge that now with my music. It’s out there being listened to all over the world and I know they are really proud of me. My husband is the one at the moment who is pushing me to keep going and embrace it completely. I’m lucky he is supportive of this dream because it’s not exactly paying the bills, but he can see it’s my passion.
Professionally, there are many people who have inspired me and continue to do so. I was brought up listening to traditional classic artists like Mozart and Beethoven, but also artists like Billy Joel, Elton John and Richard Clayderman. Today, the modern pianist like Ludovico and Yiruma are doing an amazing job at promoting the neoclassical genre of music. Anyone who writes their own music and has the courage to record it and release it to the world is pretty inspiring.
OSR: What is one thing you always wanted to do as a child but never got to do it?
MT: Visit the Land of Oz. I was quite obsessed with the Wizard from Oz movies.
OSR: What’s the best advice you have received regarding your music career?
MT: Not to worry too much about what the other people are doing or thinking.
OSR: What is next for Melany Thompson?
MT: I have a new single that is being released by Yellow Rose Records in August. This will be my first release with a label, which is very exciting. There are also a few other complication albums that I am hoping to contribute to with various labels, so at this stage, I’m concentrating on one song at a time rather than a whole new album.
OSR: Do you have a message for our readers?
MT: Try and find a way to do what you love in life. Stay safe and stay well!