Lily Benson


Cross is a musical duo founded by Leslie Allison and Lily Benson in 2010. Through sound and performance they investigate historical understandings of femininity, ritual, mysticism, and humor.

Their songs are musically influenced by, among other things, Benson and Allison’s classical music training, female musicians of the 1990s, and percussion that induces movement. Each tune is crafted out of a wide variety of sources- from melodic references to Hole and Liz Phair, language from HelĂ©ne Cixous’ Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing, West African dance rhythmns, zebra sounds from a long dead zebra of the 1970s (sampled from the Tierstimmen Archives), characters from Adirondack Mountain lore, etc.

Their performances integrate costumes, video, flags, choreography, and interactive hijinks. They have performed at venues such as Public Assembly (NYC), Trans Pecos (NYC), Fab Lab (Berlin), King Georg (Cologne) and starred in “Episodes of Starlite” by Frances Scholz and Mark von Schlegell.