Sometimes, when an unspeakable tragedy happens, something beautiful will arise from its ashes. In the beginning of 2010, the American-Mexican singer Lhasa de Sela died of breast cancer at the very young age of 37. The nine airy songs on Esmerine’s third album, La Lechuza, all came into being as a reaction to this loss on New Year’s Day 2010. They are little soundtracks of her grieving and a declaration of love to a close friend and utmost respected singer/songwriter of Montréal’s music-scene, who knew how to move light-footedly between Jazz, Worldmusic, Alternative Rock and Chanson. Bruce Cawdron (Godspeed You! Black Emperor) and Andrew Barr (The Slip) pick up her joy for playing and drive their percussions and marimbas into the room between the styles. Here and there, their folkloristic easiness remind the listener of Philip Glass’ soundtrack to Godfrey Reggio’s storm of images Powaaqatsi – full of sensibility and a frenetic vitality at the same time. Rebecca Foon’s (Thee Silver Mt. Zion) cello and Sarah Pagé’s (The Barr Brothers) harp help to weave a down-to-earth and cinematic melancholia around it all. They are supported by Arcade Fire’s Sarah Neufeld, Colin Stetson and Patrick Watson, who was one of de Sela’s companions for many years and whose voice seems to be on the brink of ripping apart any time. At the end of all these soft memories, Lhase de Sela returns to the present one more time: with the unpublished version of the song Fish on Land, she concludes the album as a guest singer and – in the spirit of the North American Indian tribe Kwakiutl – remains as La Lechuza, as owl. The Kwaikiutl saw in owls the souls of the people. And as long as the owl is alive, as long does the respective person live on.