Hear Saltland's Somber 'I Only Wish This For You' : All Songs Considered Montreal composer Rebecca Foon, known for her work in Esmerine and Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra, layers somber cello loops in a meditation on climate change.
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A Cellist Offers Hope To Mother Earth

Saltland. Hrair Hratchian/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Hrair Hratchian/Courtesy of the artist

Saltland.

Hrair Hratchian/Courtesy of the artist

There they were, Greenpeace activists hanging from cranes in the sky. The banner, reading "RESIST," unfurled within sight of the White House after President Trump froze EPA grants and ordered the environmental agency to remove climate-change research from its website. It was a potent image Wednesday, perhaps setting a tone for years to come.

Working under the Saltland moniker, Rebecca Foon calls her second solo album, A Common Truth, a meditation on climate change. The Montreal cellist and composer works in climate justice and has been a member of Esmerine, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Orchestra and Set Fire To Flames, and has recently toured with Colin Stetson's Sorrow orchestra performing Gorecki's 3rd Symphony. Here, Foon places her focus on the acoustic and processed sounds of her cello to represent a natural world in flux.

"I Only Wish This For You" layers somber cello loops with equal parts elegance and anger, swooping one moment and crashing the next. With a voice equally suited to opening petals and opening wounds, Foon sings to the earth like a mother to a newborn, beaming with hope while gripped with fear. But she also offers an alternate form of resistance: transformation.

Oh, to what end

How to break

This vicious cycle of greed

A fight

Transformation

I only

Wish this for you

A Common Truth comes out March 31 on Constellation.