Caitlin Smith is a Canadian composer and writer based in Vienna, Austria. Living with a disabling chronic pain disease since age 20, her creative work reflects the complexity of her lived experience. Her practice mines a wide variety of musical genres, exploiting both concrete and abstract aesthetic techniques to convey sung and spoken-word material on themes related to feminism, disability, and inequality.
After completing a Bachelor of Music degree from Humber College in Toronto, Smith studied composition in New York on a one-year grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, and is otherwise largely self-taught. In 2005, she founded the Tiny Alligator Large Band, a hybrid jazz-classical orchestra, leading the ensemble in performances in New York and Toronto until 2011. She has been resident at the Banff Centre and The MacDowell Artist Colony, a presenting composer at the International Jazz Composers’ Symposium, and a participant in the Soundstreams Emerging Composer Workshop.
Her work as a composer and writer has been awarded numerous grants and prizes, including composition grants from the MA7 Magistrat der Stadt Wien für Kultur, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, as well as prizes from the Women in Creative Music Award from the Canadian Federation of University Women, and the Sonic Geography contest from Musicworks. Smith is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the Canadian League of Composers.