Greetings all! Two of Mary’s recent works are at last complete and now available for booking: the 10-12-minute mini ballet “Oh, the OF It All!”; and the 15-minute mini opera “Fair Isle”. Both works feature stunning libretti by the wonderful playwright John J King, who originally conceived of the pieces for his evening-length theatre work, “The Mementi Mori of Edward Gorey”.
Here is more information on both pieces!
“Oh, the OF It All!” is a new, as-yet-unpremiered “mini” orchestral ballet work by composer Mary Bichner and librettist John J King, celebrating American illustrator Edward Gorey’s fondness for the New York City Ballet and its legendary choreographer, George Balanchine. The work is arranged for a traditional mid-sized ballet orchestra consisting of: 2 flutes (flute + flute/piccolo), 2 oboes (oboe + oboe/English horn), 2 clarinets (clarinet + bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (bassoon + bassoon/contrabassoon), 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (2 tenor + 1 bass), tuba, timpani, percussion (snare drum, triangle, gong), piano, celesta, harp, and string orchestra. You can watch a libretto text video of the piece, as well as take a look at its score and libretto, by visiting the “Oh, the OF It All!” page right here.
“Fair Isle” is a new, as-yet-unpremiered “mini” orchestral opera work by composer Mary Bichner and librettist John J King. Inspired by an episode in the life of American illustrator/author Edward Gorey, “Fair Isle” tells the tale of Ted (Edward Gorey) and Tom, two friends in the midst of a month-long trip through the Scottish Isles. With Tom, Ted’s heart swells like a storming sea, but – as Ted searches for the right words – Tom’s feelings remain firmly planted on earthy matters.This operatic work is approximately 15 minutes in length, and is orchestrated for: “Ted” (tenor vocalist, OR any singer with a range of D#3-A4), “Tom” (bass-baritone vocalist, OR any singer with range of either E2–E4 or A2–E4 [with five optional F#2+E2 notes]), “The Porter” (mezzo-soprano vocalist, OR any singer with a range of E#4-D#5), 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 2 horns, timpani, harpsichord, and string orchestra. You can watch a libretto text video of the piece, as well as take a look at its score and libretto, by visiting the “Fair Isle” page right here.
For booking inquiries regarding these pieces, please contact either composer Mary Bichner ( info [at] marybichner [dot] com ) or librettist John J King ( johnjking80 [at] gmail [dot] com ).
Thank you one and all!
THANK YOU so much to everyone who joined Mary and Christina Goh at the Museum of Science Boston for Wednesday April 13th’s “Rencontres poétiques” concert! It was a joy to perform for you inside the Museum’s beautiful Omni Theater! And huge thanks to the Museum’s incredible visuals and live production teams, all of our wonderful partnering organizations in France (Muse & Ruse Production, Sabine Soury Poussard, the City of Tours and the Bibliothèque centrale de Tours, The Saché Castle et le Département de Touraine, National Union for Suicide Prevention France, Le Centre des Monuments Nationaux, & l’Office National des Forêts de France), and our special guest singer Mali Sastri for bringing this concert to life on stage and on the screen.
More media from the concert will be made available in the coming weeks, but until then, here are a few photos!:
And here is a re-cap of the concert, complete with photos, from composer and performer Christina Goh via her official website [in French with an English translation option]:
Thank you so much to one and all, and looking forward to the second performance of “Rencontres poétiques” in Tours, France in October 2022 (official date and info coming soon)!
Thank you so much to journalist James Bennett II of WGBH for including a write-up about April 13th’s “Rencontres Poétiques” concert in his article “The April Drop” on the GBH News site! You can check out the full article here:
Cheers to one and all, and looking forward to seeing you at the Mugar Omni Theater on April 13th for “Rencontres Poétiques”!
Greetings everyone and hoping this message finds you safe and well! <3 Posting today with some exciting news: Mary will be teaming up with the incredible French composer Christina Goh and the fantastic Museum of Science, Boston for an evening of poetry, music, and larger-than-life visuals in the Mugar Omni Theatre on Wednesday, April 13th! Bringing their international collaboration to Boston for the first time (they performed in Tours, France last year as part of Christina’s beautiful “Ut Fortis” concert), Mary and Christina will perform musical settings they’ve composed for famous poems in both French and English, including a world premiere from each composer. Inspired by the works of Yves Bonnefoy, Honoré de Balzac, Emily Dickinson, Phillis Wheatley, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Edgar Allan Poe, and more; each song will be set to original, immersive visuals developed specifically by the Museum’s award-winning artistic team for the Omni screen.
(This may also be a good time to let everyone know that Mary’s been studying French since June, and will be singing [and speaking!] a bit of French during the concert – be sure to attend to see how she fares! ;))
Here is complete info on the show!:
04/13/22 “RENCONTRES POÉTIQUES” WITH CHRISTINA GOH AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE, BOSTON
When: Wednesday, April 13th 2022 @ 7:00PM
Where: The Mugar Omni Theater @ The Museum of Science, Boston (1 Science Park, Boston MA 02144)
Tickets: $20 in advance / $25 day of show [General Admission]
Ticket Link: https://www.mos.org/subspace/rencontres-poetiques
Performers: Mary Bichner ( Composer / Vocals / Piano ), Christina Goh ( Composer / Vocals )
Tickets are limited due to COVID restrictions, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly encouraged — you can do so right here!:
Cheers to one and all, and looking forward to seeing you there! <3
( Photo by: John J. King )
Mary is delighted to announce that she has just completed composing the music for THE MEMENTI MORI OF EDWARD GOREY, a shuffle play by John J. King inspired by the life and work of Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000). The play consists of thirteen vignettes, each of a different genre that Gorey loved: from opera and ballet to hand puppets and silent film. For each performance, several sketches are selected and ordered by an audience volunteer – Tarot card reading style – resulting in a new performance each night. By casting nine actors as different versions of the artist, MEMENTI MORI explores the spectrum and fluidity of identity, artistry, and personhood, through a life.
Selected vignettes from MEMENTI MORI include:
*”Oh, the OF It All!”: A 10-12min orchestral ballet work celebrating Gorey’s obsession for the New York City Ballet and its legendary choreographer, George Balanchine. Orchestrated for 2 flutes (flute + flute/piccolo), 2 oboes (oboe + oboe/English horn), 2 clarinets (clarinet + bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (bassoon + bassoon/contrabassoon), 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (2 tenor + 1 bass), tuba, timpani, percussion (snare drum, triangle, gong), piano, celesta, harp, and string orchestra.
*Fair Isle: A 12-15min orchestral opera work that tells the tale of Ted (Edward Gorey) and Tom, two friends in the midst of a month-long trip through the Scottish Isles. With Tom, Ted’s heart swells like a storming sea, but – as Ted searches for the right words – Tom’s feelings remain firmly planted on earthy matters. Orchestrated for: “Ted” (tenor vocalist, OR any singer with a range of D#3-A4), “Tom” (bass-baritone vocalist, OR any singer with range of either E2–E4 or A2–E4 [with five optional F#2+E2 notes]), “The Porter” (mezzo-soprano vocalist, OR any singer with a range of E#4-D#5), 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 1 bassoon, 2 horns, timpani, harpsichord, and string orchestra.
Mary composed the bulk of MEMENTI MORI’s music from April 2020 to May 2021, and is currently putting the finishing touches on the score’s orchestration.
While originally intended as an evening-length theatre work, the individual scenes are also able to be performed as self-contained, stand-alone works of approximately 10-15 minutes each. For inquiries, please contact John or Mary at:
John J. King: jjk [at] j-rexplays [dot] com
Mary Bichner: info [at] marybichner [dot] com
Thank you so much to John King for inviting Mary to take part in this incredible project! More information will be available soon, so please stay tuned!
(Album art by: Kristilyn Ink)
Guess what — “Lyra” is released today! You can download it as an MP3 via pay-what-you-wish-pricing (featuring AMAZING album art by the incredible Kristilyn Ink) on Mary’s Bandcamp page, watch the GORGEOUS video created for it by the Museum of Science Boston’s award-winning planetarium team on Mary’s YouTube page, and download the sheet music (also via pay-what-you-wish pricing) at the Sheet Music Shop.
“Lyra” is a pop song for alto, piano, and double-viola string quartet about recognizing someone in your present as being a soulmate from a past life, but living with the pain of THEM not recognizing YOU (which seemed a fitting theme for Valentine’s Day). The chords used in the song are meant to synesthetically match the colors of the stars found in the Lyra constellation, as well as the Ring Nebula, via Mary’s personal synesthesia color palette.
“Lyra” was composed as part of Mary’s ongoing collaboration with the incredible Museum of Science, Boston as part of their Synesthesia Suite: Live concert series, and was premiered at the Charles Hayden Planetarium on November 30th 2017. Here’s the BEAUTIFUL video that the Museum’s award-winning planetarium team made for the 2017 concert, which you can now view anytime you want on Youtube!:
Thanks to one and all, wishing you a space-y Valentine’s Day, and hope you enjoy “Lyra”! <3
(Photo by: Sam Brewer for WGBH)
A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all who joined us for last evening’s Pindrop Sessions season finale concert at Aeronaut Brewing Company! Mary is hugely grateful to Aeronaut, WGBH, WCRB, Tasting Counter, Phoenix, and soprano Margot Rood for bringing this magical event to life and inviting Mary to take part. This epic season finale included soprano-and-woodwind renditions of Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915”, David Maslanka’s “Quintet for Winds No. 3”, and the world premiere of Mary’s new work “The Senses of Summer” (all performed gorgeously by Phoenix and Margot Rood!); a beautiful (and delicious!) synesthesia-themed tasting menu created by the wonderful fine dining restaurant Tasting Counter; and more.
Here is a lovely gallery of photos from the event, featuring images by photographers Sam Brewer and Diana Hunt:
Thanks so much to one and all, and wishing everyone a beautiful and synesthesia-filled summer! <3
It’s almost here! On May 5th 2019, Mary is honored that the amazing Phoenix and soprano Margot Rood will be premiering her new work “Senses of Sumer” during the Pindrop Sessions season finale; in partnership with Aeronaut Brewing Company, WGBH, WCRB, and Tasting Counter! The concert will feature an exciting program including Samuel Barber’s classic musical setting of James Agee’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915”, a new musical setting of Agee’s text Mary has composed entitled “Senses of Summer” (with synesthetic elements worked into the score based on Agee’s descriptions), and more. For this concert, Pindrop has also teamed up for a special collaboration with the amazing Tasting Counter of Somerville, who will be creating an exquisite three-course tasting menu inspired by the synesthetic elements present in “Senses of Summer”!
More details on this show, including information for purchasing tickets, can be found below:
05/05/19: PINDROP SESSIONS PRESENTS “THE SENSES OF SUMMER”
When: Sunday, May 5th @ 7:00PM
Where: Aeronaut Brewing Company (14 Tyler Street, Somerville MA)
Tickets: $20-$55 — *GET TICKETS HERE* [21+]
Performers: Phoenix, Margot Rood
Thanks one and all, and looking forward to seeing everyone in May! <3
(Post-show selfie! Photo credit: Dominick Douglas)
What a magical night! <3 THANK YOU to all of the amazing musicians, scientists, artists, organizations, and audience members who made last evening's "Synesthesia Suite" concert series such an incredible experience! Huge and heartfelt thank you's to the Boston Museum of Science team (James Wetzel, Lisa Monrose, Jason Fletcher, Dani LeBlanc, Darryl Davis, Wade Sylvester, Annette Sawyer, and Claire Campbell); the MIT team (Frank Wilczeck, Siranush Babakhanova, Thomas Sanchez Lengeling, Brodi Elwood, Alexandra Rieger, Stephanie Brandt, and Terry Kang); The Council for the Arts at MIT; MIT Media Lab; MIT's ACT Facilities, the Arizona State University team (Nathan Newman, Justin Pye, and Brent Smith); Scihub; Planetary Quartet (Sonia Deng, Anna Stromer, Dominick Douglas, and Timothy Paek); our awesome soundperson Joel Simches; our wonderful photographer Jonathan Beckley; our amazing musical assistant Brianna Lueders; our hair/make-up artist extraordinaire Maya Landi; and everyone who joined us in the audience for these concerts -- thank you for sharing your time, talents, and kindness in order to make this dream project a reality!
Many thanks to one and all, and looking forward to the future phases of this exciting collaboration! <3 Cheers and can't wait to share more with everyone (very) soon! <3
Happy New Year, one and all! <3 Now that 2019 is finally here, it's time to announce Mary's spring concert schedule!:
First up, on Thursday April 4th, Mary is honored to return to the Charles Hayden Planetarium for the “Synethesia Suite: Live” concert series in collaboration with the Museum of Science Boston, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Arizona State University. This one-night only immersive musical experience will feature live performances of Mary’s compositions paired with stunning visuals directly inspired by her polymodal synesthesia, allowing audience members to “hear” color and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. Most exciting of all, the visuals for this latest concert in the series will be presented in two exciting and innovative forms: a collection of dazzling 360-degree videos created by the Museum’s award-winning artistic team for the Planetarium’s fulldome, as well as an entirely new synesthesia-displaying LED-based technology (including interactive LED synesthesia costumes!) created by the renowned scientists of MIT Media Lab and ASU’s SciHub especially for this concert. Entitled the HyLighter, this new technology will be created under the direction of theoretical physicists Frank Wilczek (Nobel laureate and Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics) and Nathan Newman (Lamonte H. Lawrence Professor in Solid State Science). Tickets for this show will go on sale starting Thursday January 10th via this link (purchasing tickets for this event in advance is highly recommended — the previous concerts in the series sold out a full month before the concert date!).
Then, on Sunday May 5th, Mary is delighted to premiere a new collection of synesthesia-influenced woodwind-quintet-and-vocal-works presented as part of “Senses of Summer”, the sprawling season two finale of the innovative Pindrop Sessions classical music series. Presented by Aeronaut Brewery, WGBH Boston, and WCRB Classical Radio Boston; the Pindrop Sessions are “a classical-ish performance series taking place the first Sunday night of every month at the AERONAUT taproom in Somerville, shining light on the ridiculous pleasure of collective listening.” The concert will feature a gorgeous performance of Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915 as well as Mary’s new woodwind-and-vocal works performed by the incredible Phoenix Ensemble and the exquisite soprano Margot Rood. Tickets for this event are avaialble now, and can be purchased via this link (purchasing tickets for this event in advance is highly recommended also — the series has a history of quickly selling out!).
More information for each show can be found on Mary’s Peformances page, as well as the event pages found here (April 4th show) and here (May 5th show).
THANK YOU so much to the Museum of Science Boston, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arizona State University, Aeronaut Brewery, WGBH Boston, WCRB Classical Radio Boston, Phoenix Ensemble, and Margot Rood for inviting Mary to collaborate on these amazing and sure-to-be-synesthesiatastic concerts!
Wishing everyone a warm and lovely winter, and can’t wait to see you in the spring! <3
The Synesthesia Suite concert project is funded in part by the Council for the Arts at MIT.