Chris Meloche

Best known for his long-duration 'Ambient-Environmental-Electro-Acoustic' music designed for overnight radiophonic diffusion, Canadian artist Chris Meloche has a history of recording music that is "designed to take advantage of a 'closed system'. That is... certain sonic parameters are defined and then the process is set into motion. Essentially, this musical action is designed to imitate an organic process as in nature. Each part of the work is set free to loop around and repeat in its own time creating an ever-changing soundscape."  For example, the track "Loop 6", better known as "Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth" was originally a 6-hour piece created for overnight radio broadcast.  Released on FAX Records in 1994, it was edited to fit on a CD. 

Although each work is unique, they all share similarities.  Each piece has it's own drone that runs throughout. Elements from nature and urban life (urban sprawl, urban decay, urban myths, the silhouette of buildings reaching toward the sky like huge teeth on the horizon, sound and vision, compliment and contrast) also play a big part in all of his works.  Designed to be more in touch with Brian Eno's vision of "ambient music" these pieces are meant to be experienced as background sound rather than listened to. 

Chris began creating electronic, electroacoustic and computer music in 1980 and formed the group M104 in 1982.  M104 released 3 independent packages and played numerous live shows.  After M104, Chris worked on various commissioned compositions, "Radio Art", and releases with Canadian poets Bill Bissett and Karen MacCormack.  He also continued to perform live electroacoustic music concerts.  Chris has received international attention and has appeared on radio broadcasts in London, Paris, Washington, DC, Hungary, and Moscow.  His environmental recordings of Scottish Stone Circle sites was installed at the Royal Museum of Scotland for 2 months in 1998.

In 1994/1995 Chris released 2 CDs for the well-known FAX Records label, followed by releases on Silent Records, Etherworld Recordings, and Staalplaat/Korm Plastics.

Chris Meloche is currently preparing a 20-year retrospective CD to be released in the UK later this year (1993).  He has also been commissioned to do work for BBC Radio, sound-design for a new installation project by Canadian artist Jamelie Hassan, and continues his environmental audio works featured on the Resonance Radio broadcast series "Out Of the Blue" in London.  He is a founding member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community and the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology. He is the host of the weekly contemporary music radio program WIRED FOR SOUND (on CHRW-FM, London) and also a freelance music writer currently published on a regular basis in both Canada and the USA.

Chris Meloche Discography


Polite Warfare - 0.0, ? , 1981
M104 - Inverse Entropy, ? , 1982
M104 - Science In Action, ? , 1982
M104 - Shadowplay (M104 Live in Concert), ? , 1983
Origin - Funk E. Fred Presents..., ? , 1984
Chris Meloche (with Gerry Collins) - Live at the Forest City Gallery, 1986, ? , 1987
Chris Meloche - Luddites LP, ? , 1989
Bill Bissett & Chris Meloche - Shining Spirit, ? , 1989
Chris Meloche - LINK: A Radio Music Performance Without Borders, ? , 1990
Bill Bissett & Chris Meloche - London Life, Nightwood Editions, 1991
Chris Meloche - Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth (lmt. signed #'d cassette), ?
Chris Meloche - Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth, FAX Records, 1994
Chris Meloche - Wireless, FAX Records, 1995
Chris Meloche - Document '90 (limited edition LP #'d/250 copies), Staalplaat / Korm Plastics, 1996
Chris Meloche - Surfacing: Urban Myth 2, Eterworld Recordings, 1996
Chris Meloche - Distant Rituals, Silent Records, 1996
Bill Bissett & Chris Meloche - Rainbow Music, Red Dear College Press, 2000

Coming soon: Chris Meloche - "Impossible Shapes" (a brief retrospective 1982 - 2002). Expected release late 2003 on English Electric (UK).

Tracks on other CDs:
M104 - "A Bit of Rat" on La Voce - Tribute to F.W. Murnau, ? , 1983
Chris Meloche - "Procession" on Ontario Electronic Music Project, ? , 1985
Chris Meloche - "The Process" on Ontario Electronic Music Project, ? , 1985
Chris Meloche - "Summer Sun" on Sounds Unknown, ? , 1987
Chris Meloche - "Sway" on Sounds Unknown, ? , 1987
Chris Meloche - "Ritual I" on Audiothology II, Underwhich Editions, 1989
Chris Meloche - "Fever Thots In Th Artik" on Breathe On the Living LP, ? , 1989
Chris Meloche - "Liquid Dansrs" on PRISM International, Sound Issue, 1990
Chris Meloche - "Caribu Rd" on PRISM International, Sound Issue, 1990
Chris Meloche - "The Medium" on CHRW Compilation, ? , 1991
Chris Meloche - "Moscow Calling" on Exposition, AMARC 4: Festival of Radio Art, 1991
Chris Meloche - "Electric Interlude" on DISContact!, Canadian Electroacoustic Community, 1992
Chris Meloche - "Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth (excerpt)" on X-Rated: The Electronic Files (From Then ‘til Now), Boudisque Recordings, ?
Chris Meloche - "Extensions V" on DisContact 2, CEC, ?
Chris Meloche - "Recurring Dreams... (excerpt)" on Ambient Cookbook, FAX, 1995
Chris Meloche - "Recurring Dreams... (excerpt)" on FAX Compilation II, Instinct/FAX, 1995

Appears On:
Philip Perkins - "The Remotes #1", ? , 1990
Martin Archer - "English Commonflowers" Chris Meloche (Liverpool Soundwalk soundscape on title track), Discus, ?
Martin Archer & Geraldine Monk - "Angel High Wire", Voiceprint Records, ?

Silent Release

Special interview with
Chris Meloche

How did you meet Kim Cascone and get involved with Silent Records?

I was receiving music from Silent to feature on my radio programme (Wired for Sound, CHRW-FM) at the time.  Kim was familiar with my music on the German FAX label and contacted me about the possibility of releasing material on his label.  We worked out a deal and "Distant Ritual" eventually saw release on Silent.

Briefly describe the "ambient" scene during the times you were putting out material for Silent.

Hmmm... I've never been particularly interested in "scenes', myself.  There did seem to be quite a lot of people who emerged doing "ambient" music around that time, though.  My particular interest was probaby sparked by Brian Eno's original ambient recordings - "Discreet Music" etc...

How has it changed?

Many of the labels seem to have gone by the wayside after a lot of the major record chains decided to cut back on their stock (especially small independent releases).  There are still some people committed to the genre like Mike Griffin of Hypnos who consistently issues interesting material.

Is there any unreleased material from the Silent period?

I'm sure there is but I can't think of anything in particular at the moment.  I've been working on music more of less on a constant basis since 1980.  While going through my archives in search of material for an upcoming retrospective of my work, I was able to actually come up with 4 CDs worth of material (mostly unreleased) which I eventually shaved down to a logical hour-long collection.  The CD covers the period from 1982 to 2002.  ("Impossible Shapes" will be released on the English Electric label out of Sheffield, England in late 2003.)

Do you have a favorite Silent release?

I like Kim Cascone's PGR material as well as Rod Modell's Waveform Transmission recording and Gio's Makyo stuff.

Any plans on re-releasing the Silent material?

My priority would be to get the FAX material reissued first.  I'm especially keen on getting a reissue of "Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth" out again.  It is the recording that I am most frequently asked about.

What are you up to now?

I've done a lot of stuff since the Silent release.  I recently co-founded the Outward Sound Ensemble with fellow Londoner Herb Bayley in 2002.  We have been working together on a composer / performer basis with him playing specific things on my compositions for over 10 years.  Now, we are working on a 50/50 basis and creating some very unique music.  We hope to have some material out in the future and also plan to do live performances.
I basically retired from public performance about 10 years ago.  Much of my work has been for broadcast, installations and Web diffusion.  I did a commissioned work for BBC Radio in 2001 for a series that also featured Holger Czukay.  My environmental soundscapes recorded at the sites of various Stone Circles across Scotland were featured in a multi-media exhibition (with photographer Mark Johnston) at the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh in 1998.  In 1999, I created the Millennium Urban Soundscape web site which includes Sonic contributions from people around the world.
I've currently been contributing to Chris Cutler's radio programme "Out of the blue Radio" heard on the station Resonance FM in London, England.  I have also been involved with doing recordings and sound design for Governor General Award winning Canadian artist Jamelie Hassan.
I've collaborated on a couple of albums with Sheffield-based musician Martin Archer which have included contributions by people like Julie Tippetts and Chris Cutler.  As far as recordings... an excerpt from "Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth" was recently issued on a compilation out of Holland called "X-Rated: The Electronic Files" which also includes Chris & Cosey, Holger Czukay and many others.  I also released a CD in collaboration with Canadian sound-poet Bill Bissett called "Rainbow Mewsik."

Is there anything you would like to add?

If anybody would like to find out more information about my past or future works, they can check out my comprehensive web site at

Do you view the material you released for Silent differently from the material released on FAX andother labels?

Both "Recurring Dreams of the Urban Myth" and "Distant Rituals" were condensed versions of 6-hour radiophonic works which were designed to be played on the radio as an overnight installation work.  In that respect, those two works started with a similar purpose.  "Wireless" was created as a stand-alone CD length work.  It's concept and diffusion was completely different.

Silent really pushed the term "ambient' - do you consider yourself an "ambient" artist?

I have never really referred to my own music as "ambient."  I call it electroacoustic music.  It just happens that a lot of it is on the quieter side.

 Please include links to any sites you would like included on the site.

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