These are complicated times. The current Covid-19 pandemic is merely one of the many faces of a system so twisted that it makes it difficult to even imagine an inversion, a pause, a slowdown. Naturally the world of music (and arts in general) doesn’t exist in a vacuum and keeps drawing inspiration from these big issues. The Canadian composer Rebecca Foon, in her latest solo work Waxing Moon, focuses on another extremely relevant emergency: the climate crisis. As we have seen on Aristocrazia as well, this topic has already had an impact on several other acts such as 65daysofstatic.
Around here, Foon is mostly known for playing the cello in the post-rock project A Silver Mt. Zion, as well as for her participation in many of the most minimal and dronish things that have come out of the Constellation Records family. In short, the Montreal we love. Differently from her two previous solo records, released under the name Saltland, for Waxing Moon the Canadian musician decided to use her real name for the first time. This choice also helps highlight the different approach, as on this record she mostly focuses on vocals and piano (without, of course, completely neglecting the cello).
The hypnotizing artwork by Brigitte Henry envelopes the entire digipak and conveys a feeling of uneasiness, a sort of suspension in front of something unknown, or so gigantic that we cannot seem to fully comprehend in our finiteness. This is where the ten absolutely minimal compositions created by Rebecca Foon come into play. Simple photographs, images of what is, what could be, but especially of what should be. Just like the stylized hot-air balloon featured on the CD sleeve, the piano keys guide us through the ocean, the rain, the cosmos, in a constant balance between despair and hope. Foon‘s voice adds a human presence to this representation which keeps on changing, elusive, track after track, despite its minimalism. Several guests offered their precious contributions, we can note for example the easily recognizable violin played by Sophie Turner (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) particularly in “Another Realm”, or the guitar played by Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry (especially in the quasi-rock ballad “Wide Open Eyes”).
Waxing Moon is part of a journey known as Pathway To Paris, that Rebecca Foon founded in 2014 with Jesse Paris Smith to help people learn more about the climate crisis. All royalties will help finance the activities of the association and the 1000 Cities campaign. What can I say, if you can have quality music and at the same time support an important cause, why not?