Raymond Raposa, who released music under the pseudonym Castanets, has died at the age of 41. The news was confirmed by his label, Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty Records. No cause of death was so far been provided.
In a statement handed to the record label, the Raposa family said: “It is with great sorrow that the family of Raymond Raposa announce his passing today. Raymond was a wonderful son, brother, uncle, friend, and musician. He will be greatly missed.”
Sufjan Stevens, singer-songwriter and founder of Asthmatic Kitty, also paid tribute to Raposa, taking to Tumblr to write: “He was a bright star, a good friend, and a great musician. It was always such a joy and a fierce spiritual journey to work with him. Heavy hearts and deep sorrows over here. Ray, may your soul glimmer brightly on the other side! And may perpetual light shine upon you. I love you.”
Raymond Raposa was born in 1981 in Michigan City, Indiana. After performing in a free-jazz outfit called Womb, the musician, then only 15, began travelling around America via Greyhound Bus. In 2002, he formed a collaboration with Nathan Delff, attracting the attention of Sufjan Stevens, who promptly singed Raposa to Asthmatic Kitty.
Raposa then moved to Brooklyn, where he set about crafting his first album, Cathedral, which was released under the moniker Castanets. Over the next ten years, he would release five more albums under that name, including 2005’s First Light’s Freeze, 2007’s In The Vines, City Of Refuge in 2008, 2009’s ‘Texas Rose The Thaw And The Beasts and 2014’s Decimation Blues, his final Castanets project.
In 2012, Raposa released Little Death Shaker under the name Raymond Byron and the White Freighter. His latest album, which he released as Raymond Byron, came out earlier this year and is titled Bond Wire Cur.