Melody McKiver

4 August 2020 / by Xolisa Jerome
Melody McKiver


An Anishinaabe violist and composer, Melody McKiver is “changing the way we think about the viola” (CBC). Praised for their “unique and captivating world of sound” (Exclaim), Melody is a compelling solo performer based in Sioux Lookout within their homelands of Obishikokaang Lac Seul First Nation. Their work integrates electronics with Western classical music to shape a new genre of Anishinaabe compositions. Their debut EP “Reckoning” was nominated for an Indigenous Music Award, and they were a participant in the Banff Centre for the Arts’ inaugural Indigenous Classical Music Gathering.

A frequent performer across Turtle Island, Melody has performed at the National Arts Centre, Luminato Festival, Vancouver’s Western Front, and the Toronto International Film Festival. They have shared stages with Polaris Prize winners Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq, and Jeremy Dutcher, and performed with acclaimed filmmaker & musician Alanis Obomsawin in her comeback concert at POP Montreal.

As a composer, Melody was recently commissioned by Soundstreams and Jumblies Theatre to write a string quartet responding to Steve Reich’s Different Trains, drawing on interviews conducted with local elders. They also re-imagined Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring through an Anishinaabeg lens alongside choreographer Brian Solomon.

Melody is involved in their community as a mentor with the Indigenous Music Mentorship Program, and they are employed as a youth worker in Sioux Lookout, providing mental health and cultural supports to First Nations students. Upcoming projects include a song and music video premiering on Amplify, a new APTN show that explores musicians’ creative processes.




Toronto Live Off The Floor! is a live performance series presented by CJRU 1280AM.

Between now and September 2020, we’ll be featuring a live streamed performance every other Wednesday afternoon, along with an in-depth live streamed interview every other Monday afternoon, done with different emerging music artists based in Toronto and the surrounding area.

The purpose of this series is to connect our audience with local artists of different genres and styles – who come from and identify with different communities that help make Toronto the city that it is, most especially within its music scene. Within that, this series also aims to place an emphasis on musicians who are students at Ryerson University.

This series is funded and made possible by the Community Radio Fund of Canada.