Montréal-based chamber ensemble Esmerine will make a first trip to Europe this year for a run of live dates in support of their latest and acclaimed album Mechanics Of Dominion. This March, the post-classical-meets-post-rock instrumental group co-founded by cellist Rebecca Foon (Saltland, Pathway To Paris, Thee Silver Mt Zion) and marimba-player/percussionist Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) will hit select cities in France, Belgium and Germany followed by a full swing through Spain and Portugal – the band’s first Iberian dates in several years.

While part-time New Yorker Rebecca Foon was preoccupied with her Pathway To Paris climate justice work last fall – congratulations on the New York City carbon divestment victory; huge! – the band is back on the front burner and excited to bring their latest work to the stage.

Esmerine also takes this occasion to complete their visual album for Mechanics Of Dominion, with the final chapter – for the track “Northeast Kingdom” – now added and rounding out the playlist, replete with suitably snow-laden imagery (if you’re up here in Canada, that is). With Montréal multi-media artist Brad Todd having been commissioned to create videos for all eight songs on the album, a parallel set of fan-created videos by Geoffrey Boulangé was meanwhile shared privately with the band. Boulangé’s video for “Northeast Kingdom” fit serendipitously with Todd’s work, and Brad agreed the band should feature this fan-created piece to close out the official visual album. Congratulations Geoffrey and thanks for your beautiful work!




10.03.18 Berlin, DE Arkaoda
13.03.18 Liege, BE KulturA
14.03.18 Antwerp, BE Het Bos
15.03.18 Paris, FR Point Éphémère
16.03.18 Toulouse, FR Pavilions Sauvage
17.03.18 Montpellier, FR Black Sheep
18.03.18 Alicante, ES Teatre Arniches
19.03.18 Barcelona, ES Sala Apolo
20.03.18 Madrid, ES Sala El Sol
21.03.18 San Sebastian, ES Dabadaba
22.03.18 Bilbao, ES Kafe Antzokia
23.03.18 Porto, PT Understage
24.03.18 Guimaraes, PT Indisciplinas
25.03.18 Vigo, ES Radar Studios



#2 Album of The Year – A Closer Listen
Top 10 Avant-Garde Albums of 2017 – Exclaim
#20 Album of The Year – Norman


“The Juno-winning Canadian chamber group’s sixth album channels existential and environmental dread through a state of graceful introversion not unlike that of an old peer in modern chamber music, Rachel’s. Esmerine gracefully channel their future unease.”
The Line Of Best Fit • Album Of The Week

“Esmerine’s latest offers a dynamic response to the dire state of the natural world in eight crossover chamber pieces. Mechanics of Dominion is a bold, gripping and brilliantly nuanced addition to Esmerine’s gorgeous catalogue, swelling with hope and brimming with energy.”
Exclaim • 9/10

“Just as there are certain novels that make you feel that you are also in a novel, and that every movement you make is being recalled somewhere in narrative form, there are records that impute meaning into minute corners of your existence. Mechanics of Dominion is the soundtrack to a slow, elegiac, softly sad imaginary film concerning man’s inhumanity to man and the aftermath of ecological disaster…careful, elegant and cerebral but also quietly stirring.”
The Wire

“Constellation Records continues to be on a tear, the latest Esmerine record its crown jewel. Throughout the set, there is such beauty.”
A Closer Listen

Mechanics Of Dominion is Esmerine’s most dynamic and narratively-informed work, tracing an arc through Neo-Classical, Minimalist, Modern Contemporary, Folk, Baroque, Jazz and Rock idioms to invoke lamentation, meditation, resolve, resistance and hope. It is a requiem for our intractably suffering planet and a paean to the inscrutable, essential dignity of indigenous ethics and the natural world, and to modern human frailty and ingenuity. Stylistically, the album brings mallet instruments to the fore, with marimba, glockenspiel, piano and amplified music box providing a prominent foundation and through-line on the album’s diverse tracks. Multi-instrumentalist Brian Sanderson’s contributions are also an ever greater part of Esmerine’s songwriting – his stately melodic lines on horns and acoustic strings are formidable elements in the ceremonious lyricism and keening vitality of this song cycle.

Mechanics Of Dominion is also another impressive example of Esmerine’s dedication to exquisite album packaging and artwork collaborations, this time with the work of celebrated Montréal artist Jean-Sebastien Denis, whose recent Imbrications series of paintings beautifully echo the album’s compositional balance of abstraction, tension and emotional colouration. The deluxe 180 gram audiophile vinyl edition was pressed at Optimal (Germany) and includes a folio of five 12”x 12” art prints and a 12”x19” art print poster.