Melody McKiver

Reckoning EP

BY Bryon HayesPublished Mar 16, 2018

Violist, artist and educator Melody McKiver originally composed and performed the music that comprises the Reckoning EP for the eponymous theatre production mounted by the indigenous arts collective Article 11. Scored to accompany the first movement, entitled Witness, the piece features McKiver's solo viola augmented by an array of electronics. While the original material has been sliced into six shorter fragments for this EP, the music flows seamlessly, the layered loops of their instrument reverberating gently and forming wave-like structures.
In each of the short mini-movements, McKiver manages to capture subtle elements that stretch beyond those emanating from the vibrating strings of the viola. The faint whispers of a scraping bow can be discerned among the cascading loops of "Nizh." A mysterious buzzing tone augments the staccato thrusts that comprise "Niswi." A sly drone peeks through the plucked tone clusters that sprout up throughout "Naanan." These surreal elements serve as a foil to the more traditionally beautiful sounds that McKiver presents.
This clever arrangement of lush, drawn-out tones, nearly rhythmic passages, and microscopic, noisy elements evokes a range of emotions: tension, melancholy, dread. Such redolent music is demonstrative of McKiver's skill as composer, arranger, improviser and performer. One would be foolish not to wander into their unique and captivating world of sound.

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