Esmerine: La Lechuza
Co-founded ten years ago by percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) and cellist Rebecca Foon (Thee Silver Mt. Zion), Esmerine enters its second decade with a new album and an expanded line-up: harp-player Sarah Page and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Barr. La Lechuza documents the evolution of Esmerine under the influence of this expanded membership, and is dedicated to beloved and internationally-renowned Montreal-based singer Lhasa de Sela, who died on New Year's Day 2010 at the age of 37 (all four of the Esmerine players were part of Lhasa's studio band for the recording of her final album). Guests include Colin Stetson (Tom Waits, Bon Iver, TV On The Radio) and Sarah Neufeld (Arcade Fire, Belle Orchestre).
La Lechuza was shaped by another important collaborator, and a dear friend of Lhasa's: Patrick Watson, who recorded much of La Lechuza at his home studio in Montreal and who sings and plays piano on the album's centerpiece track "Snow Day For Lhasa".
La Lechuza ends on a special note, with a previously unreleased version of "Fish On Land" by Lhasa herself, with Bruce and Beckie (on marimba and cello respectively).
Most of the record was mixed by Mark Lawson (Arcarde Fire, The Unicorns).