“When Mary Bichner composes music, she’s transcribing the auditory language of the colors around her, something most people’s brains can’t do.”

Mary Bichner is an American orchestral composer with synesthesia — a neurological condition that allows her to “see” splashes of specific colors when she hears their corresponding pitches sounded.


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May 12, 2024

( Photo Credit: Nikos Alexopoulos )

Later this month, Mary will be traveling to Greece to serve as artist-in-residence at The Vasilicos, an elegant seven-suite boutique hotel perched on the magnificent Caldera of Santorini, Greece; as part of its “[To Build] A [Temporary] Home” ad hoc residency program.

While in residence, Mary will begin the composition of a new string quartet work using her sound-to-color synesthesia, inspired by the rainbow hues of the world-famous Santorini sunset as viewed from The Vasilicos’ Efta balcony.

The work will later be recorded in partnership with The Vasilicos, with a live premiere anticipated for the future.

Mary is the third artist-in-residence in the program, and the first composer in its history. Previous recipients of the residency include Felicia Simion (2022) and Saori Kuno (2013).

More information on The Vasilicos can be found on their official website, and more information on their ad hoc residency program can be found via the “[To Build] A [Temporary] Home” subpage.

Thank you so much to The Vasilicos for this amazing collaboration, and please check back at the end of the month for more updates! 

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