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High Concepts, Music


NbN Trio (Nora Barton, Billie Howard, Nomi Epstein)

NbN Trio (Nora Barton, Billie Howard, Nomi Epstein)

We’re having a wonderful time at High Concept Laboratories delving into what is new media for us. Our project AMBEDO is a multimedia pursuit involving our improvisations on prepared/inside the piano, violin, cello, a barrage of percussion instruments, and found sounds, in addition to video, projection and lighting. The visual components to our performance are entirely new for us and are the sole purposes of this residency: to experiment in these areas to see what relationship they might offer to our sonic investigations.

Over the last three months we’ve each taken video footage –mostly of outdoor scenes and abstracted image. Billie has worked to compile this footage and designed a video piece that will run concurrently with one of our improvisations. Another video piece Billie is creating was shot on B/W Super 8. Apparently there are only a few places in the U.S. that develop this type of film, so that project has taken a bit longer than expected to complete.


Another new endeavor for us has been performing with prerecorded tape. Nomi has been working with sound samples taken from our improv recording sessions as well as other found sounds to create a few different tape pieces that complement and expand our sound world.

Nora has been experimenting with the amplification of some of the trio’s instrumental force including the amplified prepared grand piano (for our trio piano piece), and our contact-miked microtonal autoharp. This furthers our main objective –that of exploring the intricacies of sound and color within a sometimes sparse atmosphere.


Our lighting design comes first from our interest in the light box. A little class in wiring, and Billie was a learned electrician wiring 6 light boxes, leaving Nora and Nomi to help with choosing bulbs, and placement of the structures in our performance space.

Lastly, we’ve been building structures that can suspend multiple screens, enabling us to project various images and video onto layers of screens.


We plan to use the rest of our time at HCL to put the final touches on all of the pieces we’ve created for our performance on January 12th, 2013. Having the support that HCL offers has been highly motivating and we are excited to have so much new work to present.

NbN Trio (Nora Barton, Billie Howard, Nomi Epstein)

December, 2012

For more information on NbN Trio, visit http://nbntrio.tumblr.com/


About NbN trio

NbN Trio is a Chicago-based, acoustic, experimental improvisation trio made up of Nora Barton, Billie Howard, and Nomi Epstein.


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This blog is a source for our associated artists and audiences to share the experience of the creative process. Here you will find news, pictures, and video's of the new work created at HCL.

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