On September 24, Orindal Records will release Mouth Full of Glass, the first solo album by Chicago-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Macie Stewart (pronouns: she/her/they/them). Written and recorded while finding solace and strength in solitude, Mouth Full of Glass features eight lushly arranged songs that search for the meaning of self within and without partnership. The record explores loneliness as well as the growth and beauty that blooms from within it - through creating it, Stewart reassesses her own relationships in order to communicate with a singular voice.
Stewart began her musical career at the age of 3. Learning piano while she learned to talk, she discovered two foundational modes of communication at once. As the daughter of a career musician (pianist Sami Scot), Stewart was encouraged to explore the piano and violin, and she became proficient on both instruments. After helping to found the Chicago bands Kids These Days and Marrow, Stewart broadened her 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 OHMME (with Sima Cunningham) and performing and improvising with Ken Vandermark’s Marker ensemble, the improvised act The Few (with guitar player Steve Marquette and bassist Charlie Kirchen) and the violin/cello duo Macie Stewart & Lia Kohl. 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.
Ben LaMar Gay is a composer and cornetist who moves sound, color, and space through folkloric filters to produce electro-acoustic collages. His unification of various styles is always in service of the narrative and never solely a display of technique. A Chicago native, Ben’s true technique is giving life to an idea while exploring and expanding on the term “Americana.”
By being active in Chicago’s experimental music scene and having spent a three-year residency in Brazil, Ben has collaborated with several influential figures in the world of music, including Joshua Abrams, the Association of the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Bixiga 70, Black Monks of Mississippi, Celso Fonseca, George Lewis, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Theo Parrish, Mike Reed, Tomeka Reid, and Itibere Zwarg.