John Melcher has spent most of his life outside the world of “New Music”, preferring to follow a relatively anonymous creative path free of the financial compromises and temptations that often come with being labeled a professional success. Paraphrasing a strong and early influence, Charles Ives, he prefers not to “starve on his dissonances.” As a result, he’s more widely known for his contributions to music technology, music composition software in particular.

Born in Indianapolis in 1951, Melcher's earliest profesional experience came as a guitarist in rock bands in high school. After graduation, he began intensive studies with composer and lifelong mentor Thomas Briccetti, followed by two years at Juilliard, while concurrently working with the Buchla synthesizer at New York University’s Intermedia Studio.

His early work was extremely dense and dissonant, strongly reminiscent of the post-war generation of experimental composers (Xenakis, Berio, Ligeti). In the 1970's, he was influenced by Minimalism, and its return to tonality. This he combined with aggressively complex metric structures, often presenting major performance challenges.  After several under-rehearsed and disappointing concerts, he stopped soliciting public performances altogether.

Returning to Indianapolis after two years, he composed in his free time and enjoyed some regional performances, while holding down various sundry jobs. He moved to San Francisco in 1975, and was later employed as a piano technician for The Grateful Dead and other Bay Area artists.

In 1981, Melcher acquired an Apple II computer equipped with special sound synthesizer hardware. He began writing music to be "performed" by the computer, and developing music software for Passport Designs, including the first MIDI recording applications available in the US.

In 1994, he produced a private album using then-new direct-to-disk recording technology, then lost all interest in performances or recordings of his work. He sold all his synthesizers and recording equipment, and moved back to Indianapolis, continuing to write in his free time.

A job opportunity sent Melcher to Thailand in 1997, where he currently lives and composes full time, producing finished recordings of hs musical output. In 2013, he was diagnosed with a severe aortic aneurysm, and underwent suregeries in 2013 and 2014. A new house with a separate, acoustically treated music studio will be finished in early 2015.

In his sixtieth year (2011), he decided to finally begin publishing and releasing commercial-quality recordings and scores of his works. To date, he has released three albums on his Lomluka Music label (BMI): (1) Play The Piano Drunk..., an orchestral song cycle based on texts of American poet Charles Bukowski; (2) Drastic Measures, electronic works begun in the late 1970's and completed almost 30 years later; (3) Oh, the Agony of My Heart, comprising four works written between 1987 and 2006. Two more albums are planned for 2015. They are available through CD Baby, as well as iTunes, Amazon, etc.

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