Melody McKiver


Melody McKiver’s (they/them, do not use any other pronouns) musical work integrates electronics with Western classical music to shape a new genre of Anishinaabe compositions.  A proud member of Obishikokaang Lac Seul First Nation, Melody is currently Assistant Professor of Indigenous Music (tenure-track) with the Desaultels Faculty of Music at the University of Manitoba and a member of the Mizi'iwe Aana Kwat (LGBTQ2S+ Council) within the Anishinaabe Nation of Treaty #3. They are the 2020 recipient of the Canada Council's Robert Flaming Prize awarded annually to an exceptionally talented young Canadian composer, and a recurring invited participant in the Banff Centre for the Arts’ Indigenous Classical Music gatherings.

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 and musician Alanis Obomsawin. As a composer, Melody has a growing body of chamber and choral works. Notably, they were commissioned by Soundstreams and Jumblies Theatre to compose Odaabaanag, a string quartet responding to Steve Reich’s Different Trains, drawing on interviews conducted with Anishinaabe elders from Melody’s. Melody has scored several films and was invited to the Berlinale Talents Sound Studio as a music and composition mentor for the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival. Additional commissions have included Cluster Festival, Marina Thibeault, Duo AIRS, Brandon University, Megumi Masaki, Carnegie Mellon University, and TORQ Percussion with the Elora Singers. Upcoming projects include a setting of Métis author Katherena Vermette’s poem river woman for the Elora Singers and TORQ Percussion Quartet, and a full-length album in 2023. Melody holds an MA in Ethnomusicology from Memorial University and a BFA in Music and Indigenous Studies from York University.