Mary Lou Newmark /   ROOM TO BREATHE CD

Mary Lou Newmark



A safari into the urban wilderness of Los Angeles with a green electric violin, poetry, beats, bird songs - there's a lot going on here!

Latest Win

Elizabeth Mathias Award from Mu Phi Epsilon — 07/31/2017

This award is presented once every three years to a member of the professional music fraternity "in honor of their outstanding and unique achievement in the field of music and music service."

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Mary Lou Newmark’s Restless Tiger - Live Performance...

Mary Lou Newmark’s Restless Tiger - Live Performance

Mary Lou performs at CSUN, presented by NACUSA - Concert to honor Beverly Grigsby's 90th Birthday.

Renew Regrow Repair - Mary Lou Newmark...

Renew Regrow Repair - Mary Lou Newmark

Words and music by Mary Lou Newmark. Vocal performances by Tricia Tahara and Blake Howard, Mary Lou on electric violin. Single available on iTunes.

Renew Regrow Repair Cover Art | Mary Lou Newmark
Renew Regrow Repair Cover Art
Room to Breathe Cover | Mary Lou Newmark
Room to Breathe Cover


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Mary Lou Newmark /   ROOM TO BREATHE CD

Mary Lou Newmark is an electric violinist, composer, and poet/playwright living in Los Angeles. Her music combines live violin performance, original poetry, electronically processed sounds, beats, and even bird songs. Mary Lou creates unique compositions that inhabit their own musical ecosystems.

Mary Lou began her career as a classically trained musician. She holds Masters degrees from USC (violin performance) and UCLA (music composition). In her late twenties Mary Lou began to compose music. As her compositions soon stretched the limits of the acoustic violin’s techniques, she discovered a passion for electronic music. With an unlimited palette of musical colors, she began to specialize in performing her own work for solo electric violin and e-violin with soundscapes.

Her first CD, “Green Angel,” was released in 2000. This debut work included electronic sound compositions and original poems, as well as instrumental pieces that reminded reviewers of Bach, Jimi Hendrix, and Robert Rauschenberg. Writing in 21st Century Music, David Cleary found the CD “soulful and highly charged.”

As Mary Lou continued to write both music and poetry, she expanded her creations to the theater. Her hybrid theatrical work, “Street Angel Diaries,” premiered in December 2006, in a full theatrical production at the Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Main Stage in Pasadena, CA. With original text, poetry and music, “Street Angel Diaries” looked at homelessness from the perspectives of the homeless themselves, based on first-hand accounts Mary Lou gathered from current or formerly homeless people. Philip Brandes of the Los Angeles Times hailed the work’s ‘haunting score” and went on to applaud Mary Lou’s “modernistic musical sketches on her neon-lit electric violin—picture Laurie Anderson on a good hair day, but aiming more at emotions than intellect.”

Mary Lou’s second CD, “Music From Street Angel Diaries,” drew music and text from her stage play.

In October 2015, Mary Lou’s latest theater work, “Breathing Room,” premiered in a full theatrical production at the Greenway Court Theatre in Los Angeles. In “Breathing Room,” two neighbors—Marilyn, an artist, and the Professor, a science teacher with a mysterious past—negotiate living with hummingbirds, meatball eating bears, backyard chickens, and “modern technologic vertigo.” The Los Angeles Examiner acclaimed “Breathing Room” as “a noble effort to re-engage the human spirit with the broader natural world.” In his Best of Los Angeles Theater 2015, critic Ernest Kearney called it a “joyous dance!”

Some of the tracks on Mary Lou’s new CD originated with this theater work. But clearly she has spent considerable time in the studio, shaping and distilling theater moments into music experience. “Coyote” was originally a monologue with introductory music for an actor on stage. Now it is “Bossa Coyote,” with heavily processed e-violin, a one word lyric, and a Latin beat. “Bed, Bath…and Bird” combines music from two very different scenes – Marilyn’s encounters with hummingbirds and her dizzying experience at a large housewares store. The electric violin’s graceful melody is interrupted by soundscapes of sirens, computers, money and vocal utterances. Picture a wild bird flying over a supermarket mall.

“Room to Breathe,” the new CD, retains the soaring electric violin solos and imaginative word play of Mary Lou’s past work. But there is much more here. Mary Lou notes that she has been listening to the rhythms and pitch of animal sounds and finding the music in them. She is seeking a kinship between the sounds of nature and electronic music.

Mary Lou says, “I am trying to create a conversation between natural sounds and electronic sounds, on a much deeper level than I had in the past. I am fond of paradox. I like putting together disparate sounds and finding common elements among them.”

Sometimes the music is ambient, sometimes it is cinematic, and sometimes the sounds contrast. You hear a rock guitar with the bawl of coyotes, and you hear a soulful cello with the howl of wolves. It all ends with “Natural Love,” a peaceful poem of hope.

“Room to Breathe” is a passionate, personal work, from a creative artist whose spirit is truly a “restless tiger.”

Photography by Natalie Ford

Jul 31, 2017


Elizabeth Mathias Award from Mu Phi Epsilon

This award is presented once every three years to a member of the professional music fraternity "in honor of their outstanding and unique achievement in the field of music and music service."

Dec 31, 2015


2015 SAGE Award for Best Music Score

Awarded by Los Angeles theater critics at ArtsinLA.

Oct 13, 2015

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Carol Edgar Germain,, review

“This performance is not to be missed. . .There is nothing like it anywhere else. . .a beautiful, musical, poetic, and totally unique performance.”

Oct 09, 2015

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Michael Van Dusen, review

“Breathing Room is a fresh and thought-provoking evening for a discerning audience. Conceived in a symphonic style with four movements and a coda, Newmark’s poetic text is enlivened with elements of ritual, comedy, myth, and an intriguing aural landscape featuring the playwright on an electric violin.”

Oct 09, 2015

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Ernest Kearney, The TVolution, review

Breathing Room is “a joyous dance.” In the manner it conveys a relationship with nature imbued with the intimacy of the confessional, Ms. Newmark’s writing brings to mind the work of Ted Hughes. Neither ornate nor boisterous, this work is not a thing forged of sturdy links, but a gossamer fabric woven of silken butterfly wings. . .Ms. Newmark has presented her audience with an experience of intense feeling spoken softly. – One cannot help but feeling there was an abundance of love infused in this production.” Kearney included “Breathing Room” on his 2015 list of Top 10 Theater Productions in Los Angeles.

Oct 06, 2015

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Ron Irwin, Los Angeles Examiner, review

“Breathing Room is a unique theatrical experience. . .a noble effort to re-engage the human spirit with the broader natural world. There is no doubt but that the musical talent of Ms. Newmark is profound and that alone is well worth the price of admission."

Oct 05, 2015

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Bob Verini, Arts In LA, review

“the entire event is an emphatic reaction against splashy vulgarity, so those inclined to the campy, cynical, or sentimental might prefer to seek their healing elsewhere. On the other hand, they might do best to hurry over to the Greenway Court without delay. Succor is in such short supply these days.”

Mark Farber

Marketing Manager

P. O. Box 293
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

Date Title Location Type Info
Dec 14, 2017 Radio Interview by Kath Fraser, "Gathering Her Notes," on Ellensburg Community Radio ( Ellensburg, WA Appearance  
Dec 31, 2017 "Room to Breathe" on KTRU top 35 playlist Houston , TX Other  
Jan 21, 2018 Broadcast of "Room to Breathe" on Radio Mona Lisa Amsterdam, NL Other  
Jan 21, 2018 National Association of Composers concert Northridge, CA Performance  
Mar 18, 2018 Solo Concert for Women's History Month--Presidio Chapel San Francisco, CA Performance  
Mar 31, 2018 "Room to Breathe" on KTRU top 35 playlist Houston, TX Other  
May 19, 2018 TRADING STORMS: Music and Poetry by Mary Lou Newmark and Brendan Constantine Santa Monica, CA Performance  
Oct 16, 2018 "Room to Breathe" on KDNK Carbondale, CO Other  
Nov 17, 2018 Keynote Speaker/Performer, University of La Verne La Verne, CA Performance  
Dec 05, 2018 TRADING STORMS: Mary Lou Newmark and Brendan Constantine in Concert Los Angeles, CA Performance