Saltland / Rebecca Foon
Composer and cellist Rebecca Foon has been a fixture of the Montréal music community for two decades, performing and recording in a wide array of contexts, most notably as co-founder of the modern chamber post-rock ensemble Esmerine, as a member of Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra (2001-2008) and Set Fire To Flames (2001-2004), and more recently at the helm of her electro-acoustic songwriting project Saltland. With these four entities, Foon has performed around the world and released over a dozen albums on various imprints. Esmerine’s 2013 album Dalmak won the Canadian music industry’s Juno Award for Best Instrumental Album and the band’s 2015 album Lost Voices was a finalist in this same category, along with winning the award for Best Album Package. Following a series of six critically-acclaimed releases by Esmerine and Saltland from 2011-2017, Foon began working on new solo music featuring a heightened emphasis on vocals and piano, with her first eponymous release arriving in February 2020.
Foon is co-founder of Pathway to Paris, the international concert series devoted to expanding awareness and mobilization around the Paris Agreement, which has brought together musicians like Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, Cat Power, Michael Stipe, Joan Baez, Bob Weir, Flea and Talib Kwali along with writers and environmental activists like Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and Vandana Shiva, at events in venues ranging from Le Poisson Rouge and City Winery in NYC to The Masonic in San Francisco, Le Trianon in Paris, and Carnegie Hall. Pathway To Paris launched the 1000 Cities Initiative for Carbon Freedom in partnership with the United Nations Development Program in 2017, supporting cities to transition off of fossil fuels by 2040. Foon is also the co-founder of Junglekeepers, which since 2014 has purchased land rights to over 100km2 of pristine rainforest concessions in the Las Piedras region of Peru, protecting the land from illegal logging, mining and poaching, training and employing local park rangers, and supporting a biodiversity research station.
Foon was additionally a member of the instrumental trios The Mile End Ladies String Auxiliary and Fifths of Seven, each of which released an album in the mid-2000s, and she has been a guest musician on many recordings by artists as diverse as Carla Bozulich/Evangelista, Patrick Watson, British Sea Power, Little Scream, Grant Hart, Hrsta and Land Of Kush. She has performed collaboratively with Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson and Tanya Tagaq among many others. She was part of the National Parks Project music commission in 2011, played strings in concert for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds in 2013, and was a core member of Colin Stetson’s ensemble for Sorrow (A Reimagining of Gorecki’s Third Symphony) in 2016-2018.