Billie Howard is a pianist, violinist, violist, and music educator. Most recently, her compositions appeared as the soundtrack for the short film “Olion”. She performs & records regularly as Akosuen and released two duo albums (with Rebecca Himelstein and Cinchel) in 2018. She was the founding violinist of the Hyalite String Quartet, NbN Trio, and contemporary music collective a.pe.ri.od.ic and also plays keyboard with Bobby Conn.
Billie Howard is a Chicago-based pianist, violinist, violist, and educator. As a performer, she is inspired by contemporary and experimental music on the farthest ends of the volume spectrum, ranging from the quietest sounds to fully-amplified extremes. She also composes under the moniker Akosuen, which ranges from a solo endeavor to a 6-piece band with chorus. Akosuen recently scored the short film, Olion, which premiered at the 2017 Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival. Billie also maintains a private violin and piano studio in Logan Square.
Performance highlights include the Oscillations Series at Experimental Sound Studio, Resonance Series at the Hideout, Museum of Contemporary Art with a.pe.ri.od.ic and Bobby Conn, Bohemian National Cemetery with Wrekmeister Harmonies, classical performances at Constellation, Ganz Hall, Pick-Staiger Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, and US tours with the Paver.
In demand as a freelance violinist and pianist, she has performed with musicians of all genres including Bobby Conn, Hurray for the Riff Raff, Noname, Chicago Composer’s Orchestra, Wrekmeister Harmonies, Minor Characters, Very Truly Yours, The Rutabega, Mucca Pazza, Classical Revolution, and she was the founding first violinist of the Hyalite String Quartet. An active session musician, she has been featured on studio recordings by American Idol winner Lee DeWyze, Grammy-nominated children’s artist Justin Roberts as well as many other recording artists.
In addition, Billie is a dedicated arts curator and producer, working as the Artistic Director for High Concept Labs.
She holds a M.Mus. in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and B.A. in piano and violin performance from Montana State University.
compositions & RECORDINGS
Akosuen + Cinchel (Scripts Records)
Akosuen + Himelstein Lapse: Live at Experimental Sound Studio
We do what we can (installation)
A Memory Palace of Fear (podcast and installation)
Olion (film score)
a pe ri od ic More or Less
Acoustic Experimental Sessions
string arrangements & Recordings
Very Truly Yours
Girls Tell You Secrets/Sleep In The Clouds 7”
Tonight You Belong to Me
We Can't Be Wrong
Recess "Recess" "Looking For Trains" (Grammy-nominated album 2013)
Bone & Bell Mourning Brume
Joe Montanaro, Gad Fly film score
Matthew Shelton’s Picnic
filmed for Strobe Sessions Episode 41
Eyes Ears Nose
Mythological Creatures “No One Is Illegal”
Careful Q Maybe Just A Little Bit A Lot "Dream After Dream" "Giraffes Move in Herds"
Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble