Mia Pixley

Mia Pixley2020-02-18T18:12:19+00:00

Project Description

Spar Suite, the latest project from Mia Pixley, is a call and response visual art and music collaboration with husband, Kevin Shaw. Both accomplished artists under their own banner, the two have created a cohesive project calling upon the various senses as an intervention remedying the adjustment to new parenthood. Pixley has performed under the alias Baeilou where she’s received notable recognition from Afropunk, collaborated in award winning Off-Broadway theater productions (Soho Rep and Ars Nova produced, Futurity), film, and performance art compositions. In 2018, she recorded cello on Fantastic Negrito’s second GRAMMY award winning album, “Please Don’t be Dead”, which won Best Contemporary Blues. Most recently, she had the honor of playing cello on Barbara Higbie’s beautiful album, “Resonance”. Spar Suite’s upcoming self-titled EP is due out in February.

RELEASES

“Where You Stood”
Release Date: January 27, 2020
"Where You Stood" Single Artwork

“Where You Stood” is merely the beginning of a much larger narrative, it acts as the opening title page and preface to a much more comprehensive body of work. Complete with visually stunning and corresponding acrylic paintings, Mia Pixley’s punctuated cello leaps off of Kevin Shaw’s canvas as the two share a conversation beyond linguistic context.

Bio

Spar Suite is the resulting musical and visual call-and-response from husband-wife duo Mia Pixley and Kevin Shaw. Encapsulating a flourishing acrylic wave crashing through the halls of a Gothic-inspired architectural fortress, the husband and wife duo populate a deeply lush landscape of color, texture, and sound into one seamless melody. As a cross-medium conversation, the duo ignite a singular candle wick as wax drips from chamber ceiling to floor in an almost indecipherable direction. The projects acts as a therapeutic intervention remedying the adjustment to new parenthood. It created an opportunity for Pixley and Shaw to connect with one another on a much more intimate level that only an unhindered sharing of art can facilitate. The call-and-response exercise reclaims moments of connection, as opposed to pouring energy in conflicting funnels.

Known for her ability to play with enthusiasm, nuance and strength, Mia Pixley is a cellist, singer- songwriter, and composer. Mia began playing the cello at the age of four through the University of Texas at Austin Youth String Project-and thankfully so. A Nigerian and Venezuelan girl in an all white environment — music was a way for Mia to access and communicate her emotional life and sense of isolation. She continues to use music in this way, choosing to play the cello in a unique manner that speaks to her ancestral heritages, life experience, and simply put, the way she rolls. The most delightful part of the journey developing her musical skill and voice is the connection and collaboration with others that playing music allows.

Mia has collaborated in award winning Off-Broadway theater productions (Soho Rep and Ars Nova produced, Futurity), film, and performance art compositions. Last year, she recorded cello on Fantastic Negrito’s second GRAMMY award winning album, “Please Don’t be Dead”, which won Best Contemporary Blues. Most recently, she had the honor of playing cello on Barbara Higbie’s beautiful album, “Resonance”. In 2018, Mia released her positively reviewed debut EP, “Inside Under”, through her previous musical alias Baeilou. She is set to release a music and visual art collaboration titled, “Spar Suite”, which explores experiences of loss, mourning, and peace.

She is a recent graduate of San Francisco Conservatory of Music (PSD, Class of ‘18).  She has studied classical cello with Joel Becktell, Wendy Sutter, (previous cellist of Bang On A Can), and Jennifer Culp (previous cellist of Kronos Quartet). Mia has also studied with Mark Summer (previous cellist of the Turtle Island Quartet) to learn extended cello techniques and study composition. She found her singing voice post-college, while playing in the inimitable all female vaudeville cabaret cello, accordion, percussion, vocal trio called The Debutante Hour.

Mia has shared the stage with GRAMMY nominated Barbara Higbie, GRAMMY award winning Will Ackerman, Vicki Randle, Cris Williamson, Teresa Trull, and Julie Wolf. She has also toured with Windham Hill and joins them again for their 2019 Winter Solistice Tour.

Mia is the lead organizer of a community based musical book club called Bushwick Book Club Oakland. The original Bushwick Book Club was started in 2009 by Brookyln-based singer songwriter, Susan Hwang. Prior to each live show, a book is chosen and select musicians read the book and each write an original song inspired by the book. There are now Bushwick Book Clubs all around the world, such as: New Orleans, Seattle, L.A., Malmo, Portland, Greenville, Toronto, and now Oakland.

Mia holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from CUNY Graduate Center and considers her musical endeavors an extension of her interests in psychology. She has a BA from Columbia University. Mia cares about mental health, community, and nature.

She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband, Kevin Shaw, and their young son. Kevin Shaw is the visual artist behind all of the art you see around this website (kwshaw.com). Her young son is often the inspiration behind all of it (or the reason she creates music in order to keep her sanity, whichever really).

“Mia Pixley circles around stories in her songs, implying much, and declaring little, creating a constant sense of enveloping curiosity. As if beneath cello plucks and wails, there’s the truth of the matter.” — Afropunk

Nathan Leigh, Afropunk

“Every time I think I’ve forgotten about Mia Pixley, she pulls me right back in with another enchanting work.” – Jody Amable, The Bay Bridged

Jody Amable, The Bay Bridged

“…a flourishing acrylic wave crashing through the halls of a Gothic-inspired architectural fortress.” – She Makes Music

Helen Evans, She Makes Music