Billie Howard
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Akosuen  /aa-KŌZ-eh-win/  is a composition project 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, a trio playing prepared piano and percussion, a six-piece doom band, and an eight-member female chorus.  

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special guests:
Isadora Zidore - voice, piano, baritone guitar
Nate Kappes - drums, piano
Nora Barton - piano, cello
Jesse Giallombardo - organ, bass
Heather Smith - voice
Courtney Mora - voice
Whitney Johnson - voice, viola
Hanna Brock - voice, bass violin
Kara McCanna - violin, voice
Elanor Leskiw - voice, trombone
Brendan Finucane - cello
Ronnie Kuller - violin
Traci Newhouse - viola
Becca Wilcox - viola
DJ Adam LeDeuce - samples, electronics


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." The Paver has released two full-length albums, two EPs and two singles, and have toured the midwest and east coast. 




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.

NbN Trio was a Sponsred Artist in residence at High Concept Labs during the Fall 2012 season. NbN has performed at Constellation, Heaven Gallery, Elastic Arts, Experimental Sound Studio, High Concept Labs, the Poetry Foundation, and the DePaul Art Museum. 

The Trio's debut album was recorded at Experimental Sound Studio and will be released in 2018. 


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.’s inaugural release “more or less” of three recent works by the Swiss composer, Jürg Frey was released on New Focus Recordings in 2014. The ensemble is currently in the studio recording a new album of pieces written specifically for

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