Split Tape with Cave Cricket

by Half Shadow

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  • Limited Edition Split Cassette
    Cassette + Digital Album

    70 Pro-Dubbed, C-36, Rubine Red Cassettes in beautiful, shiny cases. Cover drawn by yours truly, Jesse Carsten.

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about

Released as ILLUSION FLORIST 001 in Portland, Oregon in the Summer of 2018. Half Shadow is Jesse Carsten. Cave Cricket is Kira Sassano. They have been friends for a good long while now and would like you to hear their split tape. When you are finished with it, and especially if it has not become a treasured object to you, please give it to a friend. Or, actually, if it has become a treasured object to you please give it to a friend as well.

Notes on Half Shadow's side:

The first song "Balm in Gilead" is a traditional, black spiritual, normally titled "There is a Balm in Gilead," which has been sung by many greats including Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, Paul Robeson, among others. The Balm that's referred to in the lyrics is something like a spiritual medicine, a healing cosmic energy, that most see imaged in Christ. I sing this song to bring about the healing vibration that the authors of the song intended to fan out from the poetic vision of healing held therein. It is the time in the world for a balm of this magnitude and gracefulness. The version that inspired mine can be found on the Mississippi Records cassette of mythic and political jazz called "The Fables of Faubus". The version on there is by Jeanne Lee and Archie Shepp. It is a stunningly beautiful version. I often weep when I hear it.

The 3rd song "Yarrow" is a medicine song channeled by participants of the School of Forrest Medicine, here in Portland. I don't know who channeled it specifically, but these songs are not meant to be owned. One sings this song to connect with the spirit of Yarrow, which clears, heals wounds, and connects heaven and earth in an individual or community. May Yarrow heal the rampant wounds of the world!

The 5th song is a reworking of Sonny Sharrock's amazing "Blind Willy" from his game-changing and wild album "Black woman". I called my version "Blind Willa" cos it feels more femme to me somehow. Cheers to Sonny wherever he may be shredding!

A note on my whiteness: This tape contains two songs performed and written by black artists, as well as a medicine song which originated via Native visionary techniques. As a white person it's necessary to acknowledge my intense debt to the artists of color who have come before me, bravely expressing themselves despite living in a world dangerously rigged against them in every way. I am grateful beyond words for these artists, without whose work I would not be myself. May they all find healing, freedom, respect, sovereignty, and wealth in this world and the next. May white supremacy be swiftly demolished!

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released July 6, 2018

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Half Shadow Portland, Oregon

“Half Shadow, the ever-evolving songwriting extension of Jesse Carsten, is built of a series of weighted dream- songs...filled with detours to unexpected lands where the line between open and unhinged is thin. Carsten's performances are invariably powerful, full of wonder, and unlike anything else."

Portland Mercury
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