Mariya Ocher

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Mariya (Mary) Ocher
Mariya Ocher.jpg
self portrait, January 2011
Background information
Born (1986-11-10) November 10, 1986 (age 27)[1]
Moscow, Russia[1]
Genres Avant pop, experimental, post-punk, art rock, garage punk, folk
Instruments vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, synthesizer, piano, keyboard[2]
Years active 2006 - present
Labels Haute Areal, Buback Tonträger, Related Records, Hairy Spider Legs
Associated acts Mary and The Baby Cheeses, Mary Ocher + Your Government

Mary Ocher ("Oh-chur", born November 10, 1986)[1] is a singer-songwriter, poet, director and visual artist.[2] She was born Mariya Ocheretianskaya (Russian: Мария Очеретянская, Hebrew:מאריה אוצ'רטיאנסקי) in Moscow,[1] an only child to a voice and puppet theater actor (of the Obraztsov theater) father and an unemployed engineer mother both of Jewish/Ukrainian descent. Her family immigrated to Israel in 1991, first to a kibbutz in Negev and several months later to Tel Aviv.

While studying at a religious Jewish school in Israel, she was forced to change her name to Miriam for several years. In her teenage years, she studied film in an art high school in Tel-Aviv, which she then left at the beginning of the 12th grade. At the age of 18, she adopted Ocher as a last name.

Ocher's grandmother, Julia, was married to prominent Russian author Natan Eidelman, in the last years before his death.

At age 14, she had recorded her first song, produced by Idan Raichel, who later went on to become a successful mainstream world-music producer. Amusingly, out of the same film-class in high-school sprung members of the synthpop act Ne'arei Poster (Poster boys) and one-half of the hip-hop duo Cohen@Mushon.


In December 2006, she formed a band, Mary and The Baby Cheeses, in Tel Aviv, and in October of the following year, the band moved to Berlin, where she would later change the entire line-up. The band produced several DIY releases, the most notable being a collection of studio recordings titled Analog music for a digital generation. In December 2008, she released a solo album recording titled War Songs,[2] with 13 acoustic apocalyptic folk songs about war, crime and other related themes.

In mid-2009, she released several poems, and the The Origins of Evil, a photography project which has been published in several on-line and printed magazines.

In April 2009, she organized The Queens and The Rebels (of Unpopular Culture) Festival for theatrical music/performance art and multimedia at the legendary Tacheles complex in Berlin. The second edition of the festival was held on April 18, 2010 at the RAW Temple, Berlin.

In mid-2009, she took part in Voices - a fundraiser event for Physicians for Human Rights in Gaza organized by Eleanor Cantor aka Sister Chain and a small group of volunteers, that was held twice at Filmbuehne in Berlin and once more on 10 May 2010 in the city of Muenster.

In February 2010, Ocher organized The 15 Minutes Festival in Tel Aviv, on Rothchild Blvd, where several musicians and poets performed for a mixed crowd.

In January 2011, she joined the German Indie band 1000 Robota, on the 2nd leg of their German tour.

The re-issue of War Songs by the German label "Haute Areal" came out in Germany,[2] Spain, Switzerland and Austria on 11 March 2011,[2] and its first single, "On the Streets of Hard Labor" had been released[2] two weeks prior, on 25 February 2011.

As of 2008, Ocher has been working with Julien Binet on the documentary The Sounds of Softness with a variety of collaborators and guest appearances, amongst which members of Malaria!, Einstürzende Neubauten and Cluster (band) as well as Hanin Elias, formerly of Atari Teenage Riot. The film is about a late-1970s avant-garde movement.

In March 2011, Ocher was asked to participate in a campaign for Lomography, "LomoAmigo", to shoot everyday situations for several months with their analog cameras.

She participated in group exhibition Zum Schein, at the Neurotital gallery/Berlin, and another at Quai de la Batterie (Battery Key) in Arras, France.

On December 2, 2011, Haute Areal released a 7" EP with four new tracks: King khan's version of "The sound of war", the synthpop "Address Yourself Entirely to Me", "Man of 1000 Faces" and "Ugly, Ugly Girls" - the latter two from the War Songs sessions.

On December 18, 2011, they created a site-specific installation titled Restaurant.

She also accompanied musically the short play based on Andy Warhol's autobiography with German actor Peter Pagel at the Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam.

In June 2012, she was asked to join Ned Collette + Wirewalker's Australian tour. And on 30 June 2012 she played the most notorious of German festivals, the Fusion festival.

In October 2012, Ocher went on tour with the German bestseller author Sibylle Berg, alongside actors Katja Riemann and Matthias Brandt to promote Berg's new book Vielen dank für das Leben ("Many Thanks for Life"). The tour visited most large German cities, as well as Zurich (Switzerland), and it was entirely sold-out. Along the shows, a video was made for the song "The final embrace (Toto's song)" (Toto is the main character in the book, of which Ocher resonates on stage).

On October 6, her new band with two drummers, "Your Government" premiered at the performance festival "Foreign Affairs” at the Berliner Festspiele.

The second album, EDEN, produced by King Khan of King Khan and the Shrines and The King Khan and BBQ Show came out on Buback on 14 June 2013. The first single "Baby Indiana" was released on 1 June 2013 and second single, "The Android Sea" on 28 July 2013. Due to the unusual amount of videos that were made for the album, they were released once a week, for 2 months. The music video for "Baby Indiana" featured King Khan, Jessie Evans, Drop Dead festival's Polina Y and Art Stars' Nadja Sayej.

EDEN ranked #12 in Intro Magazine's list of Albums of The Year of 2013.[3]

In November 2013 Ocher joinded forces with German avant-garde poet/songwriter Hans Unstern and the Great Hans Unstern Swindle for a wide German/Austrian tour.

In December 2013 ARTE broadcast the episode of Into The Night in which Ocher spent a night wandering around the streets of Hamburg with Sasha Grey, meeting interesting characters such as Polish-German artist Mariola Brilowska.

in January 2014 she joined Die Goldenen Zitronen for a couple of dates.

In late February 2014 she set out for North America for a 2-month/50 date grandiose tour - of which 48 dated were in the USA and 2 in Canada. with only but a few days off, the route went from the west coast to the east - with stops at SXSW, various gallery shows, collages and locations as odd as vintage shops and a couple of house shows - the tour had been documented for a film.

Ocher is a member of the art collective Autodiktat; along with Documenta performer Peter Baecker, Austrian rebel Kris Kind and Irani-Austrian, Cannes film festival favorite - all conceptual artists.

She is also associated with the Australian Colour-Parade collective - aka The Colour Kids.

She has directed several music videos for herself, as well as the German/Spanish folk singer Fee Reega and the multi-national collective Lemercier and The Lala By, in addition to the documentaries All of my problems are imaginary (but my friends are real) and 13 conversations about love (work in progress). There was video-art with original music and texts as well as photography, typography and drawings are online in various places.

Ocher has collaborated with electronic producers Snax and TUSK and recorded background vocals for the German act Jolly Goods, the English Glen Strachan and Spanish The Mustache.

An adaptation of the Snax-produced version of "I, human" is out on October 4 on Buback along with 5 remixes, as a digital remix EP. The cover photo and the music video were entirely made with an Israeli team from Moshe Rosenthal (the director) - to Hadas Hinkis (visual artist and Ocher's primary collaborator in 2012) and Yehuda Swed (photographer). The music video features Ocher's father, as the head of the Victorian family.[4]

Interview Magazine (German edition) chose Ocher as their Superstar of October 2013 (offline).

Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre wrote her on Facebook that he'd like to record a song together, then dropped out of FB and the recording had never happened.

Among the festivals and associated evets she played: Folkale (2008, Tel Aviv), Berlin Festee (2010, Berlin), Oddpop (2010, Berlin), Antifolk festival (2009, 2010 London), Mother - A feminist festival (2009, 2010 - Tel Aviv, London), Tel Aviv Music Festival (2010, Tel Aviv), What's Queer About Queer Pop Today? (2010, Berlin), Avant-Garde Festival (Tel Aviv, 2011), TRAMA (Porto, 2011), Steirischer Herbst (Graz, 2011, 2012), Chewing the scenery - 54th Venice Biennale opening (Venice, 2011), Kampnagel summer festival (Hamburg, 2011), Fusion (Laerz, 2012), The Queer Festival (Copenhagen, 2012), Jerk Off (Paris, 2012), Festspiele (Berlin, 2012), Treibstoff (Basel, 2013), Reeperbahn Festival (Hamburg, 2013), CTM Festival (Berlin, 2014).

List of music videos[edit]

- I, Human (Snax VS Mary's Hi-fi Lo-fi Treatment) (video edit) (directed by Moshe Rosenthal, 2013) (taken from the I, Human EP)

- (with YOUR GOVERNMENT) Man VS Air (video by Robin Thomson and Tom Plate, 2013) (unreleased)

- The road (video by Hypertrashawonderland, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- Thunderbird/Eden (Part I) (directed by D.O. 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- Thunderbird/Eden (parts III-IV) (edited by Mary Ocher, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- Sweet charity (directed by Steffy Pop, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- Heartman (video by Mary Ocher, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- No lesson learned (directed by Mary Ocher, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- The Android Sea (directed by Craig Mc Guigan, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- My town (directed by Mary Ocher, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- Baby Indiana (directed by Frank Nagel, 2013) (taken from EDEN)

- Toto's song (the final embrace) (directed by Heta Multana, 2012) (b-side from The Android Sea single)

- Address yourself entirely to me (TUSK remix) (directed by Mary Ocher, 2011) (taken from the untitled 7")

- The sound of war (directed by Maria Heiligen, 2011) (taken from WAR SONGS)

- Six dead white men (directed by Yevgeniya Gapon, 2011) (taken from WAR SONGS)

- Smallhead (directed by Mary Ocher, 2011) (taken from WAR SONGS)

- Trampoline (directed by Florian Fusco, 2011) (taken from WAR SONGS)

- On the streets of hard labor (directed by Frank Nagel, 2011) (taken from WAR SONGS)

- Man of 1,000 faces (directed by Mathilde Nègre, 2011) (taken from the untitled 7")

Songs covered live[edit]

Patti Smith's "Rock N Roll Nigger",
Bob Dylan's (though better known in Odetta's interpretation) "Long ago, far away" and
Malvina Reynolds' "Little boxes".
  • "Where are we now?" at the David Bowie Gala at The Berliner Festspiele in July 2014.


  1. ^ a b c d "The Green Door Store – soro Live Presents Written in Waters Mary Ocher",, 12 June 2013, webpage: C5it-Ocher.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ulrich Gutmair, "Hier ist kein Platz für uns" ("Here is no place for us"), Spex Magazine,, 27 May 2011, webpage: Spex-MOch.
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links[edit]