Loading Events

« All Events

Jun 30

Lia Kohl + Whitney Johnson

June 30 @ 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Join us for an evening of deep listening! Performing as a duo, Lia Kohl and Whitney Johnson blend cello, viola, synthesizers, field recordings, organ drones, and live radio to create lush, tranquil, gradually-evolving music that explores the possibilities of sound.

Kohl and Johnson began improvising together in Chicago in 2018. What started with free exploration has coalesced in a set of sounds, approaches, and open compositions that take form on an upcoming record on Drag City, set to be released in November 2024. Drawing on their individual practices, Lia and Whitney have been delighted to discover their similarities and differences. Both Lia and Whitney are string players (cello and viola, respectively), composers, and sound artists based in Chicago. Both of their wide-ranging practices include solo composition and performance, installation, improvisation, and collaboration. Lia’s work centers curiosity and patience, an exploration of the mundane and profound possibilities of sound. As Matchess, Whitney’s practice asks listeners to engage with their own skepticism and belief in the effects of sound on bodies and minds.

Lia Kohl is a cellist, composer, and multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago. Stitches together sacred and profane, mundane and synthetic, environmental sounds, drones, random noises and organized soundsShe 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.

Praise for Lia Kohl’s album: The Ceiling Reposes:

“The Chicago cellist duets with scraps of radio and field recordings on her bold and strangely moving second record… It sounds like summer in the city when all the windows are open and all the sounds in the world are playing at once and passing through you—as though you, too, were made of air, just one more vibration in a cosmic web of buzz.” – Pitchfork

“She frames each fragmentary sample so that even the static feels like a living part of the lush, tranquil, gradually evolving music, and the radio recordings mesh with the other material so well that you might wonder if they weren’t also somehow responding to her… as calming as a warm bath.” -Chicago Reader

“Lia Kohl is not afraid to break a few rules… Call it time travel, if you will. And Kohl is a master of the form.” -Chicago Tribune

Whitney Johnson, also known as MATCHESS is an artist who interprets the unknown with sound. She composes, improvises, and collaborates with the viola, as well as the organ, electronics, and vocalization. Her techniques reproduce meaning through a range of historical material processes, including reel-to-reel tape looping, cassette tape sampling, and field recording.

Three recent works have engaged with skepticism and belief in the effects of sound on the body. Huizkol (premiered at Lampo), The Tuning of the Elements (curated by the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago), and Fundamental 256 Hz (commissioned by Longform Editions), each considered the possibility of brainwave entrainment, an alternative healing technique that uses binaural beats to induce a relaxed or energized mental state.

In tandem with her sound practice, she received her doctorate in the sociology of sound from the University of Chicago in 2018, writing a dissertation on the cultural value of embodied sensory perception, particularly in the discipline of sound art. She is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts and Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will be a postdoctoral researcher in 2022 on sound and technology in the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University in Sweden.

“Whitney Johnson’s music shoots straight for the subconscious.” -Pitchfork


June 30
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM


Epsilon Spires
190 Main Street
Brattleboro, VT 05301 United States
+ Google Map
View Venue Website


Epsilon Spires
View Organizer Website


Feel the Beat of Brattleboro and Beyond

Subscribe for Local Updates!