NEAR WEST SIDE — The Epiphany Center for the Arts will host Chicago native Macie Stewart in a one-night only orchestral show Friday.
Stewart, a multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter, has arranged her 2021 debut solo album, “Mouth Full of Glass,” for a 12-person ensemble.
The show begins 7:30 p.m. Friday at Epiphany Hall, 201 S. Ashland Ave. Tickets start at $15, but if the price is a financial burden, potential attendees are encouraged to email for exceptions, Stewart said.
“I want this to feel like a space where people can feel catharsis, even for just a little moment, and be taken away to somewhere else,” Stewart said.
Stewart grew up in Mayfair on the Northwest Side, where her musical family encouraged her creative pursuits from a young age. She is classically trained in piano and violin, and she was involved in chamber music spaces before finding a love for rock music and the improvised music scene.
Stewart’s chamber pop style is sweet, gentle and introspective, which led her to become a regular on the Chicago music scene. Stewart is also half of rock band Finom and has toured as a multi-instrumentalist with several bands.
Throughout Stewart’s career, she’s maintained her interests in composition and playing with orchestral arrangements, she said. When she created “Mouth Full of Glass,” she wanted to incorporate that interest, and she layered instruments to achieve a synthetic effect in her work, she said.
“It’s hard to be able to perform that live,” she said. “That was always a dream, to get 12 people or more together and play it.”
Stewart said the creation of “Mouth Full of Glass,” which she conceptualized in 2019 and recorded completely at home in 2020, happened as she navigated a breakup with a long-term partner and her best friend’s imminent move. It became her debut solo project, released in the United States in 2021 and internationally in 2022.
“I was just trying to discover who I am,” she said. “This album represents this very early stage of [me] actually living for myself and still trying to figure out who that is.”
The now 30-year-old artist describes going through life as a “perpetual discovery.”
Collaborating with musicians for this project has been particularly eye-opening for Stewart and has helped her come up with new ideas for the future, she said. It’s an exciting prospect for her, as she sees herself starting to move on from her debut release.
“I’m closing a chapter on this record,” Stewart said. “I’ve been touring it a lot this year, which has been really amazing — and something I wasn’t sure would happen, since the record came out in 2021. It feels really special.”
Chicago-based musicians Damon Locks and Dana Hall will open for Stewart. More information on Friday’s show is available at the Epiphany Center for the Arts website.
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