Born in Ukraine in 1948, Melnyk fell for the piano at an early age. Given lessons as a young child after his family emigrated to Canada after the iron curtain came down, he was immediately transfixed by the possibilities of the instrument. Critics have detected the influence of Ravi Shankar and other Indian styles in Melnyk’s music, along with the insistent, repetitive textures of minimalist pioneers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. It might be truer to say that there is genuinely nothing quite like Melnyk’s work: a unique musical pioneer, he has defiantly carved his own path. “I don’t say to people I’m a composer,” he declares. “I don’t know what I am.” Melnyk composes, as he plays, at the piano, feeling out lines and individual rhythmic cells that bubble, undulate and gradually expand into vast, interlinked frameworks.