PROPOSAL SUMMARY: I would be honored to compose a new narrative orchestral ballet of any length, in collaboration with a national ballet company.
Greetings! My name is Mary Bichner, and I am an orchestral composer from Boston, MA, USA with both perfect pitch (the ability to recognize notes & chords by name upon hearing them played) and sound-to-color synesthesia (a neurological condition that causes me to “see” splashes of specific colors when I hear their corresponding pitches sounded). In my work, I strive to combine richly-hued harmonic progressions with memorable melodies, and frequently incorporate synesthesia-derived elements into each piece’s structure. Genre-wise, my specialty is composing vibrant new works inspired by the classical musical traditions of 18th- and 19th-century Europe, and I frequently create pieces in these styles for professional theatre productions, site-specific compositions projects, themed concerts, digital album/single releases, and more.
I am publishing this open proposal, as I would be honored to collaborate with an orchestral ballet company on a new narrative ballet of any length, inspired by the classic repertoire dance works of the 19th century (Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Coppélia, etc.). As composer for this new narrative ballet, I could provide an original score completely customized to the wishes and instructions of your company’s choreographer; filled with rich, memorable melodies and lush, romantic orchestrations designed to both convey and propel the storyline alongside the dancers’ movements. I could begin work on this project at any time in 2018, including during my upcoming three-month composer residency at the prestigious Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico from September through December 2018.
My most recent collaborations include a two-year composer residency at the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery of Cambridge, MA, USA (a brief documentary on the project can be found HERE); and a special collaboration with Boston’s Museum of Science for the visual song cycle “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations“, which premiered at the Charles Hayden Planetarium on November 30th 2017 (photos from this project can be found HERE, and 360° videos from the project can be found HERE).
I have attached my résumé, biography, testimonials, and selected composition samples beneath my signature for your review. Should you be interested in discussing a potential collaboration further, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com, and I would be delighted to respond to you promptly.
Thank you so much for considering my proposal, and I look forward to speaking with you!
James Wetzel, Co-Producer of Adult Programs at the Museum of Science, Boston:
“I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Mary Bichner over the past several years on numerous projects around Boston, and she remains one of the most exciting, creative, professional tour-de-force’s in the city’s Arts scene. Her style and range as a musician sets her apart from the pack and her ingenuity and artistic vision is unparalleled. She has been a producer’s dream- always surpassing expectations and our entire team at the Museum of Science has fallen under her spell. It’s been an absolute pleasure to explore, dream and create with her on our “Synesthesia Suite” program in the Planetarium over the past year and I am honored to have been a part of her journey as an artist. We are already counting down the days for her return engagement and waiting anxiously to see what gorgeous piece she dreams up next!” [February 2017]
Bree Harvey, Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services at Mount Auburn Cemetery:
“I have had the pleasure of working with Mary Bichner for the past two years while she has served as the Composer-in-Residence at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. […] It has been an absolute delight to work with her in a variety of ways. Everyone she worked with at the Cemetery was impressed by her endless enthusiasm, creativity, and professionalism. Though Ms. Bichner has recently completed her residency at Mount Auburn, we look forward for many future collaborations with her. […] She is a talented musician and composer who has much to share with the world.” [December 2017]
September 2018-December 2018 [UPCOMING]
Composer-in-Residence at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico
Organization: The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico (http://wurlitzerfoundation.org/)
Details: Mary is honored to have been named an artist in residence at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico for September through December of 2018. While in residence, she will continue work on a new one-act ballet and a new two- to three-act opera, both arranged for full orchestra.
December 2017-February 2018 [IN PROGRESS]
Commission: “Boston Common” [Working Title] and “King’s Chapel” [Working Title] for Vento Chiaro’s “The Boston Project”
Organization: Vento Chiaro (http://ventochiaro.org/)
Details: To celebrate their 20th anniversary season, renowned Boston wind quintet Vento Chiaro has commissioned Mary to compose a pair of works for the ensemble’s newest series, “The Boston Project”. Mary will create two new compositions — one inspired by Boston Common, and one by King’s Chapel — using her sound-to-color synesthesia, which will be premiered by Vento Chiaro during one of the ensemble’s upcoming concerts (official date and time to be announced shortly).
Recipient of a 2017 Iguana Music Fund Grant
Organization: The Iguana Music Fund ( http://passim.org/iguana ) & Club Passim ( http://www.passim.org )
Performance and Premiere of “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations” at the Charles Hayden Planetarium
Organization: The Museum of Science, Boston (http://mos.org/)
Details: Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet premiered “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations”, Mary’s new collection of chamber works inspired by the night sky, during two sold-out concerts at the Museum of Science’s Charles Hayden Planetarium on November 30th, 2017. The concert was accompanied by customized synesthesia-influenced visuals on the planetarium’s beautiful dome, allowing audience members to “hear” color and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. (Photos from this project can be found HERE, and 360° videos from the project can be found HERE.)
Composer-in-Residence at Marble House Project
Organization: Marble House Project (http://www.marblehouseproject.org)
Details: While at Marble House from May 2nd through May 25th 2016, Mary began composing for two projects: a new one-act ballet arranged for full orchestra, and a new series of vocal and/or instrumental works inspired by the night sky’s constellations.
April 2016-November 2017
Composer-in-Residence at Mount Auburn Cemetery
Commission: Synesthetic Suite inspired by Mount Auburn Cemetery
Organization: Mount Auburn Cemetery (http://www.mountauburn.org)
Details: Mary was honored to take part in a two-year composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery. In the first year of her residency, Mary composed twelve new works inspired by the cemetery’s breathtaking landscape and landmarks, using her sound-to-color synesthesia to select the musical components that best “match” the natural color palette of each location at different times of year. In January of 2017, the works were recorded by a 19-piece chamber orchestra at WGBH Studios of Boston MA, and were released online as a digital album on June 3rd, 2017. The works were premiered at Mount Auburn Cemetery in concert on June 3, 2017 (Spring Suite) and November 4, 2017 (Autumn Suite). The audio recordings are now permanently featured in Mount Auburn Cemetery’s free mobile app, allowing visitors to the cemetery to experience the music in the setting that inspired it. (View a brief documentary of this project HERE.)
November 2014-February 2015
Composer & Music Director for the Wheelock Family Theatre Production of “Pinocchio”
Organization: Wheelock Family Theatre [AEA] (http://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org)
Venue: Wheelock Family Theatre (180 Riverway, Boston MA 02215)
Performance Dates: January 30-February 22, 2015
May 2014-July 2014
Arranger & Music Director for the Nora Theatre Production of “Her Aching Heart”
Organization: The Nora Theatre Company [AEA] (http://www.centralsquaretheater.org)
Venue: Central Square Theater (450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139)
Performance Dates: July 10-August 10, 2014
Recipient of the 2014 San Diego Film Award for Best Musical Score – Short Film
Film: Just Desserts [David G. Stone, Director] (http://www.justdessertsthemovie.com)
Organization: Film Consortium San Diego (http://www.filmconsortiumsd.com)
Named Somerville Arts Council Artist of the Month for March 2014
Organization: Somerville Arts Council (http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org)
Interview: March 2014 Artist of the Month – Mary Bichner
Recipient of a 2014 Somerville Arts Council Artist Fellowship Grant for Music
Organization: Somerville Arts Council (http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org)
( ***For résumé credits prior to 2014, please visit this link.*** )
Mary Bichner is an orchestral classical-meets-pop composer with the bizarre musical superpowers of perfect pitch (the ability to recognize notes and chords by name upon hearing them played) and synesthesia (a neurological condition that causes Mary to “see” splashes of specific colors when she hears their corresponding pitches sounded). Called a “musical genius” by CBS News, and invited to Harvard University’s prestigious neuroscience lab to be studied for her brain’s unusual wiring, Mary creates richly-colored compositions that delight classical enthusiasts and indie-pop rockers alike.
In the autumn of 2017, Mary collaborated with Boston’s Museum of Science for the premiere of “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations”, a new collection of chamber works inspired by the New England night sky in spring. The suite was performed live in concert by Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet during two sold-out concerts at the Charles Hayden Planetarium on November 30th 2017. The performances were accompanied by customized synesthesia-inspired dome visuals created by the museum’s award-winning planetarium team, giving audience members the unique opportunity to “hear” color and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. (Photos from this project can be found HERE, and 360° videos from the project can be found HERE.)
From April 2016 to November 2017, Mary served as composer-in-residence at the beautiful Mount Auburn Cemetery of Cambridge and Watertown, MA. In the first year of her residency, Mary composed twelve new works inspired by the cemetery’s breathtaking landscape and landmarks, using her sound-to-color synesthesia to select the musical components that best “match” the natural color palette of each location at different times of year. In January of 2017, the works were recorded by a 19-piece chamber orchestra at WGBH Studios of Boston MA, and were released online as a digital album on June 3rd, 2017. The tracks are also featured in Mount Auburn Cemetery’s new mobile app, allowing visitors to the cemetery to experience the music in the setting that inspired it. (View a brief documentary of this project HERE.)
Other noted commissions and collaborations include serving as composer-in-residence at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico for Sept-Dec 2018 (upcoming); a commission from celebrated wind quintet Vento Chiaro for their “Boston Project” concert series (in progress); serving as composer-in-residence at Marble House Project of Dorset VT for May 2016; arranging and conducting strings for 30 Seconds to Mars’ MTV Unplugged appearance; numerous collaborations with the illustrious Vitamin String Quartet (including a placement on ABC’s Modern Family); musical collaborations with professional theatre companies including The Nora Theatre Company [AEA], Wheelock Family Theatre [AEA], and Liars & Believers; and more.
Past awards include receiving a 2017 Iguana Music Fund Grant, receiving a 2014 Somerville Arts Council Music Fellowship Grant, being named the SAC Somerville Artist of the Month for March 2014, and receiving a 2014 San Diego Film Award for her musical score of the short film, “Just Desserts”.
For more information, please contact composer Mary Bichner at: