Melody McKiver St. Alban's Anglican Church, Ottawa ON, August 19

Melody McKiver St. Alban's Anglican Church, Ottawa ON, August 19
Photo: Calum Slingerland
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Though the hour felt like a relatively short time in which to display their talents, Anishinaabe artist Melody McKiver's performance was a captivating confluence of both sound and vision. Dedicating the first half of the set to their standalone solo work, McKiver demonstrated a focused, technical approach to the viola with two original compositions. "Theresa," written at the height of the Idle No More movement, saw them pluck the strings of their instrument before clicking a loop pedal to layer steady melodies over top, while "Ziigwan" did well to capture the arrival of the spring season, for which it was named.
 
The second half saw McKiver showcase their film score work, playing compositions in time to projections of two films on the church wall. Aided by their array of pedals, McKiver recreated their impeccably layered four-part viola score for Inuk filmmaker Mosha Folger's stop-motion production The Big Lemming and their more minimal, emotive score for a segment of Christian Chapman's Edmazinbiiget, which highlighted their inclusion of reverb and delay effects.