Lia Kohl + Macie Stewart

Thu, Apr 25 at 8pm

  • All Ages
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Lia Kohl

Lia Kohl is a cellist, composer, and multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. She creates and performs sonic landscapes utilizing cello, synthesizers, field recordings, and live radio to explore the mundane and profound possibilities of sound. She has presented work and performed at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Walker Art Center, Chicago Symphony Center, and Eckhart Park Pool. Recent releases include Untitled Radio (futile, fertile) on Longform Editions, and The Ceiling Reposes on American Dreams Records. She is the 2023/24 Wave Farm Radio Art Fellow.

Her work has been featured in PitchforkThe Quietus, The Chicago Tribune, and Downbeat Magazine, and on NTS Radio, Kunstradio, Chirp Radio, and WNYC. Recent collaborative releases include duos with Macie Stewart (Astral Spirits), Honestly Same (Moonglyph), and ZRL (American Dreams Records).

As an improviser and collaborator, she has participated in cultural exchanges in Mexico, France, Germany, Denmark, China and the UK, and toured on four continents. An active recording artist, she has arranged strings and recorded with Makaya McCraven, Circuit des Yeux, Steve Gunn, claire rousay, and Steve Hauschildt, among others. As a sound and visual artist, she has presented gallery shows at Roman Susan Art Foundation and Experimental Sound Studios’ Audible Gallery. She has been a resident artist at ACRE, Vashon Artist Residency, High Concept Labs, dfbrl8r Performance Art Gallery, Mana Contemporary, Stanford University, and Mills College. She tours regularly with puppet theater company Manual Cinema.

Macie Stewart

Macie Stewart is a multi-instrumentalist, composer/arranger, songwriter, and improviser based in Chicago, IL who Downbeat Magazine calls “a master of equilibrium.” Stewart’s instrumental work primarily includes piano, violin, voice, guitar, and synthesizers. From a very young age she found herself drawn towards music and sound; learning to communicate with music while simultaneously learning to communicate with words. As the child of a career musician (pianist Sami Scot), Stewart was encouraged to explore the piano and violin through classical training which led to teaching herself guitar and composing music for herself and others. After helping to found the Chicago bands Kids These Days and Marrow, Stewart broadened their interests and spent time in the avant-garde jazz scene, performing regularly at Chicago institutions Constellation and The Hungry Brain. It was in that scene Stewart distinguished herself as a go-to collaborator, co-founding the band Finom, (with Sima Cunningham); forming an improvised duo and longstanding artistic collaboration with cellist and sound artist, Lia Kohl (Macie Stewart & Lia Kohl); performing and improvising with Ken Vandermark’s Marker ensemble; and creating as the improvised trio, The Few (with guitar player Steve Marquette and bassist Charlie Kirchen). Stewart has toured as a multi-instrumentalist with bands such as Japanese Breakfast, The Weather Station, Chance The Rapper, Makaya McCraven, and Tweedy. Stewart has also spent years working as a string arranger, drawing on her varied background in classical, jazz, and Irish folk music to create unique arrangements for artists such as the band Whitney, SZA, V.V. Lightbody, Knox Fortune, and many others.

On September 24, 2021 Stewart released her debut solo record “Mouth Full of Glass” on Orindal Records and re-released the record on November 11, 2022 featuring two new bonus songs with UK label Full Time Hobby Records.

Macie’s longtime collaboration is the band Finom with Sima Cunningham. The band began in 2014, and since then they have released 3 full records, many singles, and a collaborative dance film entitled “Half of Us” with Hubbard Street Dance in 2021. Their most recent record, “Fantasize Your Ghost”, came out in June of 2020 on Joyful Noise Recordings. Finom premiered a work for 50 piece orchestra and dance with the Pacific Northwest Ballet titled “Before I Was” in Spring of 2022 alongside choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams.


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