Mak Murtic was born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1988. Initially he channelled his art into drawing and painting. During his teens he started playing a set of instruments, initially the guitar and bass (under Kruno Cvanciger’s teaching), and he was self taught on the piano and saxophone (occasionally taking lessons with Sasa Nestorovic and Ugljesa Novakovic).
Throughout that time he started working with pianist Luka Smatisko and started the band Kreol, a couple of other school bands and Markovac folk orchestra, listening to a wide spectre of music from jazz, film music, to Beatles, rock, prog rock, reggae, funk and various folk music styles. In that time he started writing music and teaching himself to arrange by analysing Duke Ellington’s , Rimsky Korsakov’s, Debussy’s, Count Basie’s, and similar scores and various transcriptions.
From 2006 to 2010, Murtic studied Architecture at the University of Zagreb in Croatia. In 2010, He was accepted onto the BMus (Hons) degree at the London Centre of Contemporary Music (Middlesex University) where he studied saxophone performance (tutors: Dave O’Higgins, Dave Lewis, Ivor Goldberg) and later switched to Musical Direction (tutors: Mark Armstrong, Ed Speight, Sid Gauld).
Since 2010 Murtic has worked on various projects, from London’s Grand Union Orchestra, to film projects, Croatian Radio Television Jazz Orchestra (won HRT’s new composition competitions for Jazz Orchestra in 2011, 2012, and 2013 as well as being chosen as one of four Croatian composers to be presented in the European Broadcasting Union’s jazz programmed featured on all national radio stations in the EU). Murtic was chosen in Sound and Music, Making Music and PRS’s “Adopt a Composer” programme in 2013 to work with the Clapham Community Choir which was later performed on BBC radio 3.
At the same time Murtic has been successfully leading his ensemble Mimika which he dubs the “orchestra of possibilities”. Mimika has performed in the UK and abroad. Most notably the London Jazz Festival 2012 and 2014, The London Olympic Festivals, Richmix, Total Refreshment Centre, Hootananny’s, The Bussey Building and other venues in London, UK as well as Croatia. Mimika was chosen to open “Love Supreme Jazz Festival” in 2014 and holds a residency at Spice of Life, Soho, London. Mimika performs quirky concept pieces, a mixture of theatre, contemporary jazz, club music, prog rock and folk music that tell stories about human migrations, existentialism, and space exploration. Most recently the group performed “A Place Glowing a Brilliant Red”, a satire about a Martian civilisation in decline, which includes the 20 piece Mimika ensemble as well as the vocalist Maja Rivic and narrator Shama Rahman.
He is currently writing a new suite for his ensemble entitled “Divinities of the Earth and the Waters” set in an imaginary Fellini-esque folk festival with elements of Russian Futurist poetry of Velimir Khlebnikov and a composition for an expanded string quartet (with flute, clarinet and harp) to be premiered at the Opatija Festival 2015.
From Scratch to Structure (Mimika Orchestra, World Local Records, 2012)
A Place Glowing a Brilliant Red (Mimika Orchestra, World Local Records, 2015)
Antarctica and Other Destinations (Croatian Radio Television Jazz Orchestras, World Local Record, 2015)