Her music brings together traditional, classical and jazz performers in a unique mix of Indian roots and contemporary flair. In addition to her group pieces she wrote the mini-opera Survival Song for the Royal Opera’s Garden Venture contemporary opera programme, which was shortlisted for the Olivier Awards. It led to the full-length Biko, the Royal Opera’s first commission from an Asian and a woman composer, staged in London and Birmingham. Other performers have included the Philharmonia Orchestra – in the premiere of Secret Chants, the title track of ShivaNova’s latest CD, and she has written works for the City of London Sinfonia, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, East of England Orchestra, the Balanescu and Bingham string quartets, the Park Lane Sextet, and numerous singers and instrumentalists.
Priti set up in ShivaNova in 1988 with the
aim of bringing together diverse musical traditions to unite
sound-worlds. ShivaNova combines Asian, African and Western
instruments and voices to create an eclectic global sound.
She wrote music for the children's opera, Gulliver in Lilliput, for young people from schools in Maidstone, and the multi-media show, Bananas which explored the cultural connotations of the fruit.
Her work with ShivaNova includes
collaborations with storytellers, jugglers, dancers and
orchestras, as well as creating workshops in schools and the
wider community. Their music has been described as ‘a
victory for musicianship and vision’
Their current projects include a collaboration with JUPO in Le Havre France to devise performances using world traditions involving young people. Past projects have included the multi-artform, Global Feast with the Myriam Dooge Dance Company from France, around solstices and equinoxes in public spaces over the summer. Future projects include continued work on the GOGO - Girls Only Global Orchestra project and WOW - Women of the World Festival.
ShivaNova, also established, SugarNova, a mainstream dance music arm of the group, and its debut single, Over and Over, reached the top 20 of the Music Week Club Charts.
Priti is also a lively and outspoken contributor to radio and TV. She has written for The Guardian, and been featured in The Independent and The Daily Telegraph, on Songlines, and BBC 3 and many times on Womans' Hour. She has been on the Arts Council Music panel, on the board of South-East Arts, and on the board of Overtones. She is at present on the board of Kent Music where she is helping to diversify and broaden music provision for Kent.
ShivaNova's founder, Priti Paintal is regarded as a pioneer in the cross-cultural music field. Born into a musical family in Delhi, Priti learnt to play piano as a child. She went on to study anthropology at Delhi University, and undertook her music training alongside. The British Council heard her perform with the Delhi Symphony Orchestra and offered her the chance to train formally in classic music. She came to Britain and studied western music at York University and Royal College of Music, Manchester.