Chris Meloche (b. Windsor, Ont., 1957) is an independent composer and performer of electronic, electroacoustic and computer music as well as a video and multi-media artist. He began creating electroacoustic works in 1980. He has persued independent studies and followed the work of such composers as Stockhausen, Reich, Cage, Berio, Riley, Feldman, Subotnick, and Hamel.
In 1982, Meloche collaborated in the formation of the group M104 with Werner Albert. M104 released 3 independent packages and played numerous live concerts, often as accompaniment to classic silent films (Nosferatu, Metropolis, Potemkin…). Since the demise of M104, he has continued to compose and perform solo material and contributed works for release in Canada and the U.K.
Meloche has also worked on commissioned compositions featuring acoustic instruments (cello, double bass, trombone) in conjunction with synthesizers, electronic sound processing and interactive electronics.
He has also been a proponent of “Radio Art” having diffused works such as “LINK”: A Radio Music Performance Without Borders, “Loop2” – a 7 hour radiophonic installation work – and Philip Perkins’ “Toronto Remote” performance.
Meloche has produced 2 releases by Canadian poets bill bissett and Karen MacCormack for Nightwood Editions as well as continuing to play live electroacoustic music concerts. International attention was gained with the presentation of “LINK” (produced with the assistance of a grant from the Media Arts Section of Canada Council) which was premiered at the Aeolian Hall (London) and broadcast on CHRW-FM (London). This event attracted international attention and led to interviews and features on Radio France International (Paris), Voice of America (Washington, DC), Radio Budapest (Hungary) and CFPL-TV (London). In January of 1990 his composition “Moscow Calling” received its international broadcast premiere on Radio Moscow, USSR.
Meloche has also recently completed the projects “Ionospheric Soundwalk” (a composition featuring naturally occurring radio waves), “Private World: A Wireless Public Access Audio Installation” and the 6-hour radiophonic work “Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth.” His environmental recordings of Scottish Stone Circle sites was installed at the Royal Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh) for 2 months in 1998 in conjunction with a photographic exhibition by Scottish artist Mark Johnston.
His work has also gained more international attention in 1994 with the signing of a CD recording contract with the FAX label of Frankfurt, Germany. These CDs have international distribution via N.E.W.S. of Belgium (distributed in Canada via Cargo Records, Montreal). He has released 2 CDs on FAX – “Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth” (1994) and “Wireless” (1995). His latest releases are “Distant Rituals” (1996) on Silent Records (San Francisco), “Urban Myth 2” (1996) on Etherworld Recordings (San Francisco) and “Document ’90” on Staalplaat/Korm Plastics (Amsterdam, Holland).
His work “Millennium Urban Soundscape Project” was broadcast via CHRW-FM and simultaneously over the Internet. It has also been presented as an installation at “drift” in Glasgow, Scotland (Nov. 1999) and was re-broadcast on several non-commercial radio stations throughout 2000. He has also collaborated with sound-poet bill bissett on the CD release “rainbow mewsik” (Red Deer College Press, 2000).
Meloche worked with Herb Bayley in the Outward Sound Ensemble from 2002 to 2007. Their first CD release was “Cloudburst” (in collaboration with British musician Martin Archer) on the Discus Records label (Sheffield, UK). Meloche’s 20-year retrospective “Impossible Shapes” was issued by the English Electric label in 2005 and has garnered positive reviews in The Wire, Gramophone and All Music Guide.
Meloche currently works as half of the duo the Transmorphous Sound Ensemble which was formed with Richard Moule in 2009. They have performed in several contexts including the Electric Eclectics Festival, LOLA Festival etc… They have appeared on bills with such other performers as Tony Conrad, Damo Suzuki, Rhys Chatham, Nicolas Collins and The Necks. Their first two CD releases (… already in progress… and Limelight) have been issued via their Transmorphous Editions imprint.
Text-based collaborations have also remained important as Meloche continues to work on a regular basis with sound-poet Penn Kemp. Together they have produced works for CD (Darkness Visible) as well as commissioned works such as Xtra Texture. Kemp was also one of the featured performers in Meloche’s alt.opera Communication Breakdown along with actor Jeff Culbert.
In 2010, both Kemp and Moule participated in the live performance of The Space Between which was a celebration of Meloche’s thirty years working in electronic media.
Chris Meloche’s work has been supported by grants from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council. He is a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and theWorld Forum for Acoustic Ecology. From 1990 to 2015, he was a broadcaster on CHRW-FM. He was the host and producer of the radio programme Wired for Sound for 22 years until April 2015.