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Esmerine in Guelph, TO (1/2 of Barr Brothers)


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Thought some of you might be interested in checking out one of these shows:

Sept 10 - Guelph Jazz Festival

Sept 11 - Music Gallery, Toronto (6pm)


Esmerine was co-founded ten years ago by percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godpseed You! Black Emperor) and cellist Rebecca Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion) soon after the duo met while recording the first Set Fire To Flames record, Sings Reign Rebuilder (2001) at the old brothel at 10 rue Ontario Est in Montreal. Esmerine has since released two critically-acclaimed albums of modern chamber music, If Only a Sweet Surrender to the Nights to Come Be True (2003) and Aurora (2005) that have one foot in the new music/experimental terrain of contemporaries like Rachel's or Town And Country and the other in the more visceral and lyrical landscape populated by the likes of Dirty Three (and GY!BE themselves).

Beckie and Bruce continued stoking the fires of Esmerine, exploring a world of melodic percussion and cello, with occasional live performances and special events in their Montreal home town over the past few years often including invitations to guest musicians to collaborate with the group on one show or another. While Esmerine had made deft but sparing use of guest players on previous records, their collaborations and performances over the past two years opened the band up to two new players in particular who were invited to join as full members: harp-player Sarah Page (Lhasa de Sela, The Barr Brothers) and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Barr (Lhasa de Sela, The Slip, Land of Talk, The Barr Brothers). They were all introduced through their dear friend Lhasa de Sela while Lhasa was working on her third and final record in Montreal.

With this expanded four-piece line-up, Esmerine recorded its third album La Lechuza in 2010. The record was predominantly tracked by Patrick Watson at his Montreal loft, and Watson sings on three of the album's songs. Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Unicorns) mixed the bulk of the album's tracks. La Lechuza is dedicated to Lhasa de Sela, who died of breast cancer on New Year's Day 2010 at the age of 37. The album closes with a previously unreleased version of the Lhasa song "Fish On Land" that was recorded with Bruce and Beckie in 2008 during the Lhasa sessions.


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