Composer (Selection of Works)

Ernie Bird is a professional composer, arranger & orchestrator. Coming from the singer-songwriter world, Ernie finished the Musical Theatre Writing minor at Berklee College of Music (while double majoring in Music Production & Engineering and Music Management; 2017). Later he finished NYU Tisch’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (2020), where he got a full competitive scholarship, and composed for two full-length musicals. Ernie continues to compose for musical theatre and standalone pieces, film scoring, solo piano music, and scoring for podcasts. His music is eclectic, combines instinctive and catchy phrases with daring patterns and chromatic elements. His major influences are Steve Reich, Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Max Richter, Stephen Sondheim, Adam Guettel, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johann Johannsson, Hans Zimmer, Ralf Hütter, Nikolai Kapustin & Georgy Sviridov. In addition to composition, Ernie Bird is an experienced audio engineer & performer.

(Please note that Ernie Bird & Ernest Deriabin are the same person, with Ernie Bird being used more frequently since 2018)

“Ernie Bird is an original, a gifted musical storyteller who writes bold and emotionally stirring compositions”
– Michael Wartofsky, Musical Theatre Composer (Car Talk: The Musical!!!, Cupcake)

“I have had the pleasure of getting to know Ernie Bird and his music for the past year. […] From listening to the very first notes, I knew Ernie’s musical voice could invoke character and string dramatic arcs in a special and unique way. Ernie brings both craft and instinct to each new piece, resulting in music theater that feels fresh and exciting.”
– Zach Redler, Composer (The Falling and The Rising, The Memory Show)

Musical Theatre

Dotted Line – A New Musical

Book, Lyrics & Music by Ernie Bird (full-length)

In the spicy 1917, a young idealistic journalist and Kiev dweller Petro is pulled into a red chain of unpredictable events, that includes spreading Tsarist propaganda, fighting for the right left cause, becoming a communist, capturing enemies of the people and… hallucinating; in the city where people don’t know what country they’ll wake up in tomorrow, drinking their lives away. Dotted Line is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to walk on the tiny dotted line between being a hero of the future, and a murderer of the past; a tragicomic train that drives through genuine love, the quirky farce of the pre-Soviet era, loyalty to justice, blind fanaticism, spy games, and the unthinkable mistakes human nature is capable of.

Awards:

  • Winner of Curtain Up Musical Theatre Songwriting Competition 2017
  • Semi-finalist of International Songwriting Competition 2017

Development & Performances:

  • “On The Dotted Line” song staged & produced at Berklee Performance Center, Boston; March 2017
  • “Rule The World” song written, arranged for a 17-piece orchestra, recorded and produced at Berklee College of Music, Boston; May 2017
  • “The Train” song performed at the Berklee Night at Dixon Place, NYC, January 11, 2020

“I heard a song from his musical Dotted Line, and it was extremely exciting, it was nothing like anyone else was doing. […] Dotted Line will be very interesting for an American audience for many reasons. First of all, it’s a big bold story, almost like a Greek tragedy, so it is very dramatic in that way. And then it engages the specifics of Ukrainian history and Soviet history, and the way that it affects the individual stories of the characters, and the way the personal choices are made based on the political movements of the time […] Dotted Line is very promising, […] I’ve heard several songs and they are fantastic, they’re very moving. […] I can’t wait to see what it becomes.” 

– Michael Wartofsky, musical theatre composer,  (Car Talk: The Musical!!!, Cupcake)

RISE – A Proletarian Musical

Book and Lyrics by Gabrielle Mirabella, Music by Ernie Bird (short-length)

RISE is a musical adaptation of Jack & Jill starring two hungry, little girls stuck at the bottom of society, and their highly demanding mistress. Set to a post-Soviet, contemporary musical theatre score, RISE mixes dark themes such as violence and poverty with lightning-fast physical comedy.

Awards:

  • Finalist of the Theatre Now 7th Sound Bites 10-minute Musical Competition, 2020

Development & Performances:

  • Workshop at NYU Tisch, NYU; April 2019
  • Professional recording at Gary’s Electric Studio, NYC; December 2019
  • The Seventh Annual Festival of 10-Minute Musicals, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center, NYC; April 22nd, 2020–postponed to September 30th

Musical Theatre Podcast for Kids: What Will She Do Next?

Words and Narration by Gabrielle Mirabella, Music Composition and Production by Ernie Bird

Broadway stars, historical women, and family-friendly showstoppers. Musical theatre writing team Bird & Mirabella present a musical podcast focused on key, decision-making moments in the lives of history’s greatest women. Through interactive storytelling and Broadway-style song, What Will She Do Next? keeps children searching for an answer, while ultimately learning a lesson in perseverance.

Ernie Bird does composition, arranging, music production, audio & dialogue editing, mixing, sound effects & foley, and gets the finished product ready for publishing on podcasting platforms.

Featured in on Apple Podcasts, as well as the NYT, Chicago Tribune & The Daily Herald. Past guests include Wicked‘s Kara Lindsay and GBBO‘s Matt Lucas.

Broadway World Press Release

For more info, visit www.whatwillshedo.com

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts!

Ren Faire – The Musical

Book by Gabrielle Mirabella, Lyrics by Jessie Field, Music by Ernie Bird (full-length)

A millennial farce that takes place in a modern-day American Renaissance Faire. Our over-the-top tale stars former high-school sweethearts, Alley and Dani, both in the midst of the dreaded “Quarter-life-crisis”! Join our whacky ensemble of Knights, Nobles, and Pirates as they brave a sea of millennial-specific issues such as student loans, health insurance, having sex at your parents’ house, anxiety and depression! An exploration of what it means to find your own personal “renaissance”, even when life feels downright medieval. 

Development & Performances:

  • Developing as part of the Theatre Now New York Writers Group
  • Act I read-through – May 16, 2021

Soroka – On The Wings of Love

Book & Lyrics by Trinity Chen, Music by Ernie Bird (full-length)

Loosely based on an Asian myth the Weaver and the Cowherd, Soroka tells a story about two lovers who are physically and mentally separated for a lifetime by wars, political persecution, and traditions.

Development & Performances:

  • Developed at NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, NYC, June 2019 – May 2020. Advisors: Sarah Schlessinger, Fred Carl, Donna DiNovelli
  • Online table read; May 4, 2020
  • Stage reading with AEA actors at NYU Tisch; May 12, 2020–canceled
  • Signed by Write4Art in April 2021, the first public performance scheduled soon

Return to Grace – A Biblical Unraveling

Book by Gabrielle Mirabella, Lyrics by Jessie Field, Music by Ernie Bird (full-length)

Our planet is changing… The weather is unpredictable, flora and fauna are disappearing en masse, and disease spreads across our globe at an alarming rate. Our story begins with a young girl on a park bench, waiting for her Father to return. Her name is Grace, and although she does not know it, she is humanity’s last hope. What starts as a mission to find God and save the world, becomes a journey towards healing, starring the Bible’s most infamous characters. Return to Grace hopes to challenge what you thought you knew about these outcasts and the stories that define them. 

Development & Performances:

  • Developed at NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, NYC, June 2019 – May 2020. Advisory: Rachel Sheinken, Mel Marvin & Zach Redler
  • Stage reading with AEA actors at NYU Tisch; April 8th, 2020–canceled
  • Online table read; May 6, 2020

Solo & Cabaret Pieces

New York – Music & Lyrics by Ernie Bird.

From the “Foreign States of America” song cycle. Explores the gentrification of the Ukrainian Village in the Lower East Side of New York.

Sung by Ernie Bird. Pianist: Lucy O’Brien.

The Center of the Universe – Music by Ernie Bird, Lyrics by James Salem.

A standalone piece inspired by “The History of Everything, Including You” by Jenny Hollowell.

Performed by Irene Farronato. Pianist: Zach Alfred-Levow

The Descent of a Rambling Mind. Lyrics by Jessie Field, Music by Ernie Bird (and many other composers quoted shamelessly). Pianist: Lucy O’Brien.

Over the first months of studying in grad school at NYU Tisch, our class had developed a seemingly innocent, yet increasingly noisy habit of accidentally making our water bottles fall on the ground. The issue screamed to be addressed, and so I did with my dearest and daring pal Jessie Field, and with the help of many other famous composers, one of which for sure turned in his grave many times.

The Only Me from Soroka, Music by Ernie Bird, Lyrics by Trinity Chen. Performed by Gabrielle Mirabella.

We Can’t Escape Who We Are. Music by Ernie Bird Prose by Trinity Chen. An Experimental piece based on Man Ray’s “Obstruction” installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Solo Piano Pieces

Scoring Examples

Songwriting

He & He – Acoustic Pop Album

Music & Lyrics by Eric Gaudette & Ernie Bird (He & He duo)

Arranged & Produced by Ernie Bird. Recorded live at Boston Record Co; 2018

Songs by Ernie Bird: A New Updating Catalogue of pop songs

Earlier Works: