projects: present & past
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. Akosuen is at work on a series of duet recordings with collaborators of different instruments and backgrounds. The first two duets were released in 2018 with Rebecca Himelstein, supercollider, and Cinchel, guitar and electronics (Scripts Records).
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. The Paver will release a new full-length in 2019.
a.pe.ri.od.ic 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. a.pe.ri.od.ic’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 a.pe.ri.od.ic. Billie was the founding violinist in the ensemble from 2010-2018.
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.