My name is Milana. I know my name may sound unusual to most of you so I will start with the short auto-biography to explain where it came from. I was born in Ukraine and that explains the Slavic origin of my name and my accent - English is my 3rd language. There in Ukraine, I started playing piano since I was four and graduated musical school with honors. After living 13 years in Ukraine, my family moved to Israel, where I lived half of my life until I moved again in 2008. This time it was moving to Canada and since then I've been living here, in the beautiful Canadian Ottawa.
Although, I got the musical school education, it's never been my primary job, which is early childhood educator. While living in Israel, I graduated as a teacher in a college and initiated musical project about improvisation with children. I must say a special word about improvisation. While studying at the musical school, I always felt that playing by notes and singing in a choir is not enough to become a musician. I needed to be able to play anything I want by ear so, by starting improvising, I've found my own style of playing.
When I teach children to play piano or sing, I offer them improvisation right from the beginning. I wish I was taught that way, since until recently I had hard times to relax and believe in my ability to create my own music. SoundCloud became the great source of inspiration in this matter. When I joined SoundCloud half a year ago, I could never imagine that it would become an integral part of my life, kind of my second home and the endless source of new musical ideas and new friendships. Almost every day my morning coffee was accompanied by my husband reading the new comments on an iPod. Almost every evening was busy with recordings of something new: songs, piano improvisations, covers and, of course, collaborations. This last thing is truly the essence of this site for me. I've participated in over 20 collaborations in the last half a year. I enjoyed all my collaborations a lot, but would love to mention the most memorable and special ones to me. Of course, my very first collaboration is among them. I was approached by a great musician from United States (http://soundcloud.com/lasaril) and.. hm.. well I don't remember whether I offered him to add some piano to his track or he asked for that - it was long time ago. But it ended up in a magnificent musical piece, where I added my vocal and my piano (http://soundcloud.com/milanazilnik/eve-sean-colley-milana-zilnik). The second collaboration to mention is when the fantastic Australian bass player and a legend of SoundCloud community Vlad Josephson (http://soundcloud.com/vladaroo) asked if he can add his bass guitar to my own song called "Let me belong" (http://soundcloud.com/milanazilnik/let-me-belong-sax).
Speaking of my personal musical tastes, I've always had a soft spot for rock & jazz because of their musical complexity but I also love experimenting with other genres like pop, folk, blues and so on. And SoundCloud showed me new horizons in every direction. One of the things to mention is that SoundCloud provoked the idea to create an album in Ambient / new Age genre - something I loved to listen but never thought to make my own creation in that direction.
It's a tough question about choosing the favorite sound and it really depends on my mood, so I'll just name a few: streaming water, splashing waves, birds singing, children laughing and the sounds of guitar.
I'm all excited to be nominated as SoundCloud Hero. It was a big surprise for me because I treated myself as a pretty new community member - being just 6 months on SoundCloud while my new musical friends been here for years. I hope I will live it up to your expectations and use this opportunity to communicate with more musical talents, collaborate and make more music.
See you on SoundCloud!
Background track: one of my piano improvisations http://soundcloud.com/milanazilnik/milana-bare-feet-instrumental
Official site: http://www.milana.ws