Folk Magik Presents Half Shadow, Canary Room, Dao Strom
Sat, Aug 13, 2022 at 9pm
"Has the rare distinction of...[sounding] very little like anything else." Alt 77
"At Home With My Candles was recorded during quarantine, and as such directs its attention toward the ordinary/odd duality so often found behind closed doors. These conditions prove fertile ground for Half Shadow’s poetic sensibilities, an uncanny marriage between personal insight and a wider mystical experience." Various Small Flames
"Listening to Half Shadow’s avant garde musical stylings is the sonic version of looking through a kaleidoscope. Each piece of art presents unique, vibrant, and purposeful layers that dance together in one unified, magnificent tapestry. It’s early, but we think we’ve already found one of 2022’s most intriguing new releases." Underground Music Collective
"At Home with My Candles calls on the listener to inquire within themselves, in their secret, shy self, what their true vision consists of; what their soul is really made of.” Tome to the Weather Machine
Canary Room is the project of Portland based songwriter Maddy Heide. Over the last few years she has uploaded a massive selection of songs to her bandcamp. It is a magnificent display of songcraft in its rawest form; each collection feels like a peek into the brain and surrounding world of someone who has to keep writing songs in order to survive. Pulling from a long tradition of folk music through many generations (Vashti Bunyan, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn, Gillian Welch, the Weather Station, etc.), Maddy pens pockets of beautiful, heart-wrenching and yet comforting songs with little more than guitar and voice. 2021's critically acclaimed EP Christinewas recorded outdoors on 4 track cassette by Bud Tapes' Emmet Martin at the controls. Positioned among trees, an overgrown garden, and a plethora of birds, Maddy's performances are stark and emotive, feeling as lithe as they are poetically precise, and brought a flood of attention to Canary Room. The gorgeous but unassuming Christine received praise from a range of outlets including The Portland Mercury and NPR.
Kind Words for Christine:
"It takes a lot for a singer-songwriter with only an acoustic guitar to break through. Then I heard the song 'Christine' by Canary Room. It's from a short, five-song EP recorded outdoors on a four-track; listen closely and you can hear birds chirp and leaves rustled by the wind. But mostly you just hear Maddy Heide's voice up close, as if she's sitting right next to you, thinking out loud about the way seasons change in a person, and how you love them anyway. The melody ascends and descends like rolling foothills — gently, but not without a heart pumping blood." NPR
"At just over 14 minutes long, the collection is brief but beguiling, quietly potent. The primary draw is the album's five compelling songs, all built entirely from fingerpicked acoustic guitar and Heide’s delicate voice, which sounds like it was made to channel stirring, English folk-style melodies. Lyrically, she unspools dreamlike stories to process experiences and family history, then calls in natural settings...to frame the feelings that fuel the tunes. The first two pressings of the EP sold out long ago, and a third edition is dwindling—an indication that Heide’s modest project is reaching people in ways she never expected." Portland Mercury
Dao Strom is an artist who works with three “voices”—written, sung, visual—to explore hybridity and the intersection of personal and collective histories. She is the author of the poetry collection, Instrument (Fonograf Editions, 2020), and its musical companion piece, Traveler’s Ode (Antiquated Future Records, 2020); a bilingual poetry-art book, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else (AJAR Press, 2018); a hybrid-form memoir, We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People, and song cycle, East/West (2015); and two books of fiction, The Gentle Order of Girls and Boys (Counterpoint Press, 2019, 2006) and Grass Roof, Tin Roof (Mariner Books, 2003). She is a recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital Artist Award and a 2020 Oregon Literary Arts Career Fellowship; her book, Instrument, won the 2022 Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry. Her work has received support from RACC, Precipice Fund, Oregon Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, and others.
Strom is also co-founder and creative director of She Who Has No Master(s), a collective project of women writers of the Vietnamese diaspora; and De-Canon, a library art/publishing project highlighting books and works by writers of color.
Born in Vietnam, Strom grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California and is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
“Strom sings lullabies in a hushed voice that barely stick to the physical plane, becoming mist and memory as soon as the words pass her lips. All devolves into light particles and drifts into the sky. The energy of human interaction is what kept them tethered in the first place.” Cassette Gods
“This music is dense with shadows, but it’s also presented with great clarity...it has the precision of poetry, and like poetry it rewards close attention.” Underscore Music Magazine