BEHIND THE MUSIC
Kirsty Pittman is a Melbourne based composer, guitarist and teacher. A graduate of composition at Melbourne Conservatorium of Music where she studied with Professor Stuart Greenbaum. Also at MCM she explored modern classical guitar and tango guitar with teachers Ken Murray and Doug De Vries.
She has composed/ commissioned to write music for symphony orchestra, big bands, electronics, guitar ensemble, extended chamber works as well as solos and duets. She has composed two albums of music for her chamber jazz quintet Samassin.
Previously she excelled in a BMUs (jazz guitar) at Melbourne Polytechnic, where guitarist Tom Fryer and multi instrumentalist Adrian Sherriff were influential teachers in encouraging her focus in cross-cultural music studies. Beginning with integrating Turkish and Arabic drum rhythms and additive cycles into her original compositions, she also studied Konnokol with Adrian Sherriff and Karnatic Vocals with Shobha Sekhar, and has continued studying with both teachers.
Improvisation as well as composition is a great love and her compositions always have room for improvisation. Recently she has been exploring the Oud and fretless guitar to further exploration of microtones in order to gain a deeper understanding of eastern music. Kirsty composes and performs in her chamber- jazz fusion ensemble Samassin with whom she has toured to Europe and Turkey, and produced two studio albums. These original compositions composed for this chamber jazz ensemble are earthy, vibrant, original eastern-tinged jazz compositions with exotic rhythms and cinematic beauty...a musical journey through ancient landscapes.
Two years into their adventures in lush, cinematic, world music, Samassin produced their first album, “Golden Muse” ; rich with exotic melodies and grooves, each piece a vivid and emotional journey. Written by Kirsty Pittman and beautifully interpreted by the band, these enigmatic compositions draw on the influences of jazz and traditional rhythmic ideas from the Middle East and Balkans.
In 2018 Samassin recorded their second album "Sin Samas".
She is also guitarist, co- manager, co- arranger/composer in Melbourne based Tango sextet La Busca formed in 2015. She has been studying the intricacies of tango guitar throughout this time and in 2018 was a founding member of the Melbourne Tango Orchestra. This sprung from a workshop series with from musical directors from la academia de tango, Buenos Aires. The group is a 13 piece "Orquesta Tipica" , and includes highly acclaimed Australian and Argentine tango artists, many of the group have studied in Argentina.
La Busca specializes in traditional tangos from early 20th century Argentina plus contemporary Australian tango. La Busca released their debut self titled album in December 2017, (available here) and toured in 2018 to Cygnet Folk Festival, MONA, Tamar Valley Folk festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and the National Folk Festival. Previously they have performed at the Brunswick Music Festival, Darebin Festival and Ventana Festival. Later in 2018 they had the privilege of playing at the Famous Speigeltent.
During composition studies with Professor Stuart Greenbaum, she had many compositions for chamber ensembles and electronics performed in Melba Hall during 2016/2017, and her her composition for symphony orchestra "The Descent of the Initiate" work-shopped by the MCM Symphony Orchestra. Her composition "Lucidity" performed by the MCM guitar ensemble, directed and conducted by Dr Ken Murray, head of guitar at MCM. She has also performed and composed in the electronic music idiom, and for film and animation. She also arranges for several local big bands and large ensembles.
Post pandemic Kirsty has been composing a large work in a rural setting, teaching her guitar students online, and studying the intricacies of Bach, Arvo Part and Toumani Diabate as arranged for guitar, with world renowned guitarist Derek Gripper.
Kirsty is available for her services as a composer, arranger, teacher and guitarist.
Other performance credits include regular performance in Melba Hall with the MCM guitar ensemble. (2016-2017). In 2015 she performed in a collaboration of western and south Indian musicians in an ensemble led by Guru Karaikudi Mani, Adrian Sheriff and Jonathan Dimond.
In 2013 she performed as guitarist in the Melbourne Fringe production Monkey!
In 2012-2016 she performed with exquisite Bulgarian female singers Sedyenka and in 2013 played at Festivals around the country with Blue Couch, the Kev Carmody Tribute band.
Kirsty has also performed diverse shows such as live musical improvisations with improvising actors at Impro-Melbourne in Prahran.
Kirsty's principal instrument is the guitar; principally classical (also acoustic, electric and bass.) She is available to teach these instruments as well as voice, composition, arranging and theory. Her lessons are individually tailored to suit the students individual way of learning and musical desires . Available in person or over Zoom.