ListN Up Playlist: Shara Lunon (August 10, 2023)

ListN Up is a series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Shara Lunon is a transdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y. She is the product of the evolution of Black American musical traditions. As a poet, vocalist, composer, and improviser, her art finds the ethereal in the chaotic. With voice as the foundation, Shara’s music is an exploration of text and sound that seamlessly weaves through the ongoing relationship of struggle, resilience, and resolution. Her goal is to challenge lassitude and in its place, instill hope.

Hello, my name Shara Lunon. I’m a vocalist, composer, and improviser based in Brooklyn. When I was thinking about this playlist, I wanted to think about those who really are master teachers to me in my life. So this playlist is full of friends, and elders, and heroes. I am really, really grateful that I get to share their sounds with you. So please, please enjoy!

“raspy” by Marisa Tornello (feat. Shara Lunon)

I love collaborating with my dear friend Marisa “Ri” Tornello. Not only is Ri a fierce vocalist, but an innovative visual artist and composer. Their material use always pushes boundaries, including creating this graphic score for me out of raspberries.

“Ritual” by Mariama Ndure

One of my dearest friends and greatest friends, Mariama Ndure, traverses vocal sounds so seamlessly. In this piece, I am so captivated by the way the three artists create atmosphere and blend their practices to create a neo-ritual.

“Happiness” by Abdul Wadud

One of the things I loved about Abdul Wadud was his curiosity. The way he continuously explored the full range of sounds that his instrument could make and then married it to sounds of Black traditions was so effortless.

“Pov Piti” by Matana Roberts

To quote Hanif Abdurraqib: “The truth is, if we don’t write our own stories, there is someone else waiting to do it for us. And those people, waiting with their pens, often don’t look like we do and don’t have our best interests in mind.” From They Can’t Kill Us Til They Kill Us.

This whole album, Coin Coin Chapter One, is crushing, joyous, and eloquent.

“Blasé” by Archie Shepp

This track has changed the way I think about creating sonic environments. The continuous piano line supporting Shepp creates such a deep and jarring scene in my mind. The percussion intensifies the narrative and sets the stage for the GOAT Jeanne Lee. This track was the inspiration for my punk band.

“viene y se va” by Isabel Crespo Pardo

I melt into Isa’s voice and fall in love over and over. Their voice is so authentic and warm.

“Solo (Reprise)” by Frank Ocean with Andre 3000

Listen carefully.

“Liminal” by Steve Lehman with Sélébéyone

HPrizm: “The beast couldn’t digest us, we never assimilated/ to see us in real form, some get intimidated”

Genius. Thank you, Chris Williams and Lester St. Louis of HxH for putting me on. I cannot stop listening.

“Brown People OUT” by Fay Victor‘s Mutations for Justice

A masterclass on repetition and its impact. The melody and rhythm are infectious, and hypnotize me. I am grateful for Fay’s continuous encouragement in my own work.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, and is made possible thanks to generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF.

You can support the work of ICIYL with a tax-deductible gift to ACF. For more on ACF, visit the “At ACF” section or