Kirsten McCord is a cellist, composer, and producer. She bases her approach to film composition on her musicality and on her ability to intimately connect with the vision of directors.
Among other film scores, she has composed music for “Universal Soldier – Day of Reckoning” starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, for “Give Up Tomorrow”, a Tribeca Film Festival Award winning documentary, and is featured in a film called “Between The Miles”, from Brown Eyed Girls Productions. Additionally, she played for Academy Award® nominated Artist, Elliott Smith, who did music for the films “American Beauty”, The 70th Annual Academy Awards® (with his music orchestrated and conducted by Danny Elfman), “Up In The Air”, “The Royal Tenenbaums”, and “Good Will Hunting” (Gus Van Sant). Her compositions were included in an episode of NBC’s “Parenthood” and in a radio drama series for WBAI called “Aliens”. She also writes music for other musical mediums in entertainment such as games, dance, fashion and in visual and performance art installations.
Sonic Youth’s co-founder (Thurston Moore) released Kirsten’s first solo album on his Ecstatic Peace label. Her eclectic and versatile resume includes studio work and live performances with Elliott Smith, Vic Chesnutt, and Mo Tucker (Velvet Underground). One of her first groups was a band called Rex from a label in Chicago (ex-Codeine/Sub Pop members), who were an early pioneers of Williamsburg’s music and art scene in the early 90’s. During her time with Rex, Kirsten made a name for herself in the indie rock world as she developed her eloquent style of cello playing.
She studied at Music and Film Schools such as The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, Eastman School of Music, and SUNY Purchase where she received her B.A. in Music Performance in 1995. Kirsten was taken to many classical and jazz performances when she was growing up and was lucky enough to see many of the greats perform. She was introduced to Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson, and was inspired by their ability to completely be free of all inhibitions on stage. She has had master classes with Yo-Yo Ma, performed with the Harlem Boys Choir and in orchestras for many years with some of the greatest classical musicians today such as Glenn Dicterow and Alan Gilbert. (conductor of the NY Philharmonic) Among her teachers were Ardyth Alton (trained by Leonard Rose), and Aldo Parisot who was an influential teacher hailing from the faculty at Yale who was deemed “the best cello teacher of our time”, by world renowned cellist Janos Starker.
Currently, when she’s not scoring films and sitting in with bands, Kirsten writes and produces meditation music for the NYC yoga community and plays cello live for yoga events.