Kirsten McCord is a composer, cellist, and producer. Her approach to film composition is not only based on her innate understanding of Cinema, but also her strong musicality and ability to intimately connect with directors thus creating an understanding of the most desired sound.
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 the closing credits for 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 countless other musical mediums in the entertainment world such as games, fashion shows, launch parties and art installations, and various other TV shows and commercials.
Kirsten’s well crafted and deeply-felt music navigates diverse aesthetics and always becomes a memorable part of the whole experience of the visual and audio. Her interest and ability to create music in many different mediums has been used for such a wide range of film genres. She is also heavily involved in the New Age and World arena of music where it ties in with sound-tracking and she is a fixture of the NYC Live Music Yoga scene. She has played in most of the major yoga affiliated centers of the world. Kirsten’s music preparation and editing skills have been sought by major arts organizations and yoga studios alike. Sonic Youth’s co-founder (Thurston Moore) released Kirsten’s first solo album on his Ecstatic Peace label (on limited pressing vinyl). Her eclectic and versatile resume includes studio work and live performances not only with Elliott Smith, but with Vic Chesnutt, Mo Tucker (Velvet Underground) and Jarboe (Swans).
In her career, Kirsten has collaborated with various indie bands, orchestras, chamber music groups, musicals, experimental and performance art groups, electronic, punk and rock bands and performed in many visual art installations. One of her first significant and influential shoe gazing performance acts, Rex (ex-Codeine/Sub Pop members), was an early pioneer of Williamsburg’s music and art scene. During her time with Rex, Kirsten made a name for herself in the indie rock world as she developed her eloquent style of 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. Her parents took her to see Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Mstislav Rostropovich, to Dizzy Gillespie and Oscar Peterson, to name a few, and she 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 with 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 by world renowned cellist: Janos Starker “the best cello teacher of our time.” (See a full list under the “associations” page on her website)
Currently, among other musical projects, Kirsten writes and produces meditation music for the NYC yoga community and also plays cello live for yoga classes.