Announcing New Composer Residency: Mary Bichner

April 28, 2016

Mount Auburn Cemetery is pleased to announce a new two-year (April 2016 – October 2017) residency by composer and musician Mary Bichner.

During her residency, Mary will compose ten new works inspired by Mount Auburn’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. In late 2016, the works will be professionally recorded for use in Mount Auburn’s upcoming phone app, so that visitors to the cemetery will be able to experience the music in the setting that inspired it. The compositions will also be performed live by an ensemble of nine musicians in series of concerts at Mount Auburn in 2017.

As the pieces are being composed throughout 2016, Mary will participate in a series of “pop-up” events at the cemetery, including mini-concerts, lectures and more. She’ll also post frequent updates on social media using the hashtag #MaryAtMtAuburn, so be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for previews throughout the year!

Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded in 1831 as the United States’ first rural cemetery. In addition to being a “National Historic Landmark, a botanical garden, an outdoor museum of art and architecture, and an important habitat for urban wildlife,” Mount Auburn is also a strong supporter of the arts. Roberto Mighty, MFA, the cemetery’s first and current artist-in-residence, is currently creating “earth.sky”: a “site-specific, multi-screen digital multimedia installation based on the landscape of the cemetery and the stories of some of the 98,000 people buried there.” Mount Auburn is also home to “A Glimpse Beyond,” an immersive performing arts experience featuring musicians, dancers, and artists that challenges viewers to “reexamine [their] ideas about life and death, joy and sorrow.”

We are looking forward to this unique collaboration.

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