Shawna Caspi

Shawna Caspi – Apr. 14/23

A Special Treat Comes to Deep Cove Folk

  • Feature: Shawna Caspi
  • Date:  Friday, April 14, 2023
  • Time: Doors open at 7:30PM, show starts at 8:00
  • Location:  St. John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich Rd. (just across from Deep Cove Elementary School where there’s lots of parking)
  • Admission: $10.00
Shawna Caspi

I guess it’s ageing me a bit, but I do find myself missing the days when music was presented on 12-inch diameter, vinyl discs—the good old LP.  I’m not referring to the purportedly warmer sound of that older recording technology so much as to the requirement, back then, that all recording artists had to take time to think through a large (1 foot by 1 foot) spatial canvas demanded by the LP cover.  That large LP format forced musicians to engage visual art, design, illustration and/or photography, and was a wonderful vehicle to foreshadow the enclosed music in an eye-catching way.  What a marvellous opportunity to cross-fertilize the arts, and some of the most memorable album covers certainly did this (do you remember a particular favourite?). Many of these were amazing works of art.

The LP was soon supplanted by the CD which miniaturized the cover canvas to 5 inches square—the beginning of the end for the album cover. Today, computer downloads have supplanted any form of recording that demands visual communication (unless you find “click here” buttons have aesthetic appeal).

So it was with great delight that I found our upcoming feature performer, Shawna Caspi, has found a wonderfully creative way to re-kindle this cross-fertilization of the visual and musical arts in today’s world of computer downloads.  Her solution comes in the form of a post card which features one of her paintings—she’s a fine visual artist.  Each of these cards is coordinated with one of her songs and has a download code for the song on the back.  This means that, rather than download an album, you can purchase a set of postcards each of which takes you to a specific song.  How neat is that?  The visual and musical are reunited once again.

For example, here’s the image that goes with her song “Hold the Light”:

Hold The Light - Shawna Caspi

This alluring abstract gives an intuitive feel for its song which involves a deep commentary on how, in this Trumpian era, we’ve been seduced into being constantly on high alert with the fear of criticism and cruelty lurking around every corner.

Now when you shout
It’s a little bit meaner
All of it seems
To keep you scared
I have been there too
And I know the other side
I can take you through
If you hold the light
Hold the light

There’s amazing power, one that defies words, when you put this image together with the song ( ).  The visual and the musical do indeed complement and enhance each other in this format.

You can purchase Shawna’s recent album “Hurricane Coming” as either a traditional CD or the postcard set at the link above (btw bandcamp in one of the few “good guys” in music marketing these days).  Or, as would be much, much better, you can come to Deep Cove on April 14 and hear Shawna in person and have the opportunity to purchase either format if you’re moved by her music—which I’m sure you will be.  Please mark this date on your calendar and join us for what promises to be a wonderful evening.

In a world where language is forged as rushed texts and tweets, Toronto-based singer-songwriter Shawna Caspi takes her time crafting lyrics that are poetic and meaningful, often using unusual rhymes and surprising turns of phrase. She delights in nuance and detail – the way words sound, the way they’re shaped, the way they roll around on the palate. Her songs resonate with stories that are relatable, but told in new and unexpected ways.

Shawna spent years on the road playing festivals, concert halls, train cars, backyards, and living rooms, drawing energy from shifting landscapes and long drives through Canada and the United States. Those solo shows and unpredictable tours taught her how to be flexible and resilient in art and in life. Shawna is a skilled guitarist, supporting her warm, clear voice with intricate fingerstyle accompaniment. This is music that makes an authentic human connection, that conveys a sense of closeness, of being understood, of feeling less alone.

After touring her last album relentlessly, Shawna took a break to rest, reflect, and focus on songwriting. It was in those moments of stillness and solitude that she confronted her own experience of burnout, anxiety, and struggle with self-worth. In working through the shadowy parts of herself, Shawna discovered more ways to practice gratitude and appreciate little victories. This process of slowing down and looking inward resulted in her most raw, honest, and personal writing.

Shawna’s new album, Hurricane Coming, reveals a collection of songs that lie close to the heart, set against a backdrop of colourful and cinematic soundscapes, featuring a talented team of musicians who bring these rich sonic worlds to life. A story unravels – it begins with a breakdown, a vow to leave the past behind, then pauses for reflection, asks questions of trust, comfort, and belonging, follows the search for strands of gold, to conversations with old flames, through the swell of confidence that comes in the course of healing, and ultimately, to the acceptance of love and moving forward.

In addition to the music, Shawna also created original abstract artwork inspired by each song on the album. Known for her realistic depictions of scenic landscapes, these paintings are a stylistic departure from Shawna’s work as a visual artist. Much like the songwriting process that led to Hurricane Coming, these paintings combine the contraction of form and structure with the freedom of intuition and experimentation. Hurricane Coming is available as a CD, which includes Shawna’s artwork in the album design, and as a series of postcards featuring the paintings inspired by each song.

Hurricane Coming was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award for Contemporary Album of the Year and an Ontario Folk Music Award for Album of the Year, and Shawna’s songs have won awards from Folk Music Ontario and the Songwriters’ Association of Washington. She strives to tell the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable, to empower listeners to come to terms with the parts of themselves and the world that they might find scary, and to look for hope in the dark.

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