Billie Howard


Akosuen  /aa-KŌZ-eh-win/  is a composition project by Billie Howard involving sounds that focus on breathing cycles, chronic pain, and mediation on both quiet and extremely loud sounds. The Akosuen ensemble has appeared as solo synth and voice, operatic voice and violin duet, a trio playing ritual prepared piano and percussion, and a six-piece doom band. 

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The Paver

The Paver formed in 2008 as a power trio. We added cello in 2010. Our music is a carefully articulated study in aggression and consonance. Listeners have said we remind them of Milemarker, Cursive, Murder By Death, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, "Codeine songs sung by Steve Albini and Nina Hagen," "Shostakovich played through loudspeakers during wartime" or "Baroque-Core." 




NbN Trio (Nora Barton, Billie Howard, and Nomi Epstein) explores sonic textures through manipulation of acoustic instruments.  While the three instruments of the ensemble -  cello, violin, and inside of the piano - monopolize the sound space, there is extensive involvement of found sound, and/or percussive instruments by all three members of the trio.  The ensemble works carefully to investigate various color combinations between instrumental forces, while also creating juxtapositions of textural strata. Interests in sound dimensions include types of white noise, the juxtaposition of sound and noise, and the degree of clarity of pitch within sound.

NbN’s improvisations encourage the listener to investigate subtle aspects of sonic movement where sensory details become heightened through concentrated and focused listening.

We were a sponsored artist in residence at High Concept Laboratories during the Fall 2012 season. We have performed at Constellation, Heaven Gallery, Elastic Arts, Experimental Sound Studio, High Concept Laboratories, the Poetry Foundation, and the DePaul Art Museum. 

NbN+Trio+portrait.jpg is a Chicago-based concert series and performance collective curated by Nomi Epstein featuring post-Cagean notated, experimental music. Repertoire explores the indeterminacy of various musical elements including instrumentation, structure, pitch, and/or duration.

Eliza Bangert, flute
Nora Barton, cello
Nomi Epstein, piano/founder
Billie Howard, piano/violin
Jeff Kimmel, clarinet
Kenn Kumpf, voice
Matthew Oliphant, french horn
Robert Reinhart, voice/bassoon