Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Lily Shababi | May 19

Greetings, Racers!

This Sunday we are looking forward to hosting recent Cornish graduate Lily Shababi. Lily is a violinist and composer living in Seattle, Washington. As a classically trained musician, Lily has played with local orchestras such as Orchestra Seattle, Seattle Philharmonic, and the Seattle Symphony. However, as a violinist Lily focuses on the performance of experimental and contemporary repertoire. This has been executed through mediums such as alternative tunings and electro-acoustic sound. Notable repertoire includes Philemon and Baukis by Lou Harrison (for violin and Javanese gamelan), Sotto/Sopra by Richard Karpen, and Vespers for Violin by Missy Mazzoli. Lily’s knowledge of the contemporary field can also be traced through her compositions. Her works range from intimate chamber music to electronic pieces using digital softwares such as MAX/MSP, REAPER, and Audiomulch. Her most recent work for violin, percussion, and live electronics will be premiered at Nief Norf contemporary music festival (Knoxville, TN) in June 2019.

Lily will be joined by Satchel Henneman, a skilled classical and improvisational guitarist, performance artist, and composer who is returning home from his first year at Yale. Satchel is also committed to performing music of living composers, particularly works by his fellow colleagues and artists.

Lily and Satchel’s duo will begin at 8pm, with an improvisation to follow. For more info on what to expect, and for Lily’s blog post for the session, read on below!

Lily Shababi

Lily Shababi

Hello fellow Racer-ians,

I have invited collaborator Satchel Henneman to present this Racer Session. As a duo, we have been playing together for three years, performing in various chamber and improvisatory settings. Satchel and I will be presenting works in progress, in preparation for our upcoming album. These works range from thoroughly notated compositions to graphic scores. I recently graduated from Cornish, and Satchel is back from his first year of graduate studies at Yale.

listening, trust, understanding, underrepresented compositions, improvisation, exploration, experimentation

A prompt for post-presentation improvisation: As someone who spends most of her time perfecting a MAX/MSP patch or scrutinizing Finale scores, I find it hard to socially identify as an improviser. But... recently, I read Vijay Iyer’s “Improvisation: Terms and Conditions” where he posits that: “Life is a sustained improvisational interaction with the structures of the world, of the body, of culture. Improvisation is a condition of being alive.” There is something very raw and practical here, that helps me validate my personal experience with improvisation. In order to focus on the individualistic intimacy within improvisation, I would like to suggest that all improvised sets consist of duos. Hopefully, this will trigger the reflex to alternate between passive and active roles of listening. Pauline Oliveros used a mandala “to illustrate the relationship between awareness (the circle), which is diffuse and non-linear, and attention (the dot), which is focused and linear.”* I often find that a one on one setting allows me to play with this most comfortably.

See ya soon,


*Martha Mockus, "Meditation," in Sounding Out: Pauline Oliveros and Lesbian Musicality, (New York: Routledge, 2008), 39.