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You left us with fire And we let it burn You lined your pockets with the breath of your children All you leave is a wasteland And we’re fighting to breathe on Far enough from the slaughter Close enough to the dam I lost the dream of a daughter To be the bard of a wasteland Lost time Another lick of the tide, another loop in a line What kind of life is a wasteland, fighting to breathe on Far enough from the slaughter Close enough to the dam I lost the dream of a daughter To be the bard of a wasteland (I’m just the bard of a wasteland)
Lost Coast I 12:28
Swept 03:56
Tarn 04:14
Rise 02:29


Composed by Gabriella Smith
with Gabriel Cabezas and Nadia Sirota

Produced by Nadia Sirota
Recorded by Francesco Fabris
Mixed and Mastered by Valgeir Sigurðsson

Recorded at Greenhouse Studios, Reykjavík, Iceland
Project Management by Eclipse Projects

Artwork by Darian Donovan Thomas

© 2021 Gabriella Smith (BMI), Gabriel Cabezas (ASCAP), Eclipsed Publishing (ASCAP). Worldwide rights administered by Modern Works Music Publishing.


Bard of a Wasteland
Lost Coast I
Lost Coast II
Lost Coast III


Bard of a Wasteland
Gabriel Cabezas - cello
Gabriella Smith - vocals

I spent November 2019 in my childhood home in the San Francisco Bay Area, wildfires raging like they never had during the years I spent growing up there. I remember pacing around my room one particularly smokey night in sadness, frustration, and anger, not knowing where my future lay or if I even had one. Furiously jotting down lyrics and recording melodic fragments on my voice memo app, Bard of a Wasteland began to take shape. As the only track with lyrics, I began to see it almost like a prologue or the album’s self-contained liner notes. It sets the scene for the rest of the album, whose remaining tracks are a wordless, raw emotional expression of the grief, loss, rage, fear, and hopelessness experienced as a result of climate change—as well as the joy, beauty, and wonder I have felt in the world’s last wild places.


Lost Coast - I
Gabriel Cabezas - cello, percussion
Gabriella Smith - vocals, percussion, mouth pops
Nadia Sirota - viola, percussion, mouth pops

Lost Coast I and III were originally written for solo cello and symphony orchestra. When I write music for orchestra, I usually create demos on my computer — recording all the parts myself on violin, singing what I cannot play, and using pots and pans in place of percussion — so I can hear how the piece is working. This whole album came about from the idea of kind of exploding these string-and-vocal demos. Lost Coast was inspired by a solo backpacking trip on the Lost Coast Trail in Northern California. A large section of the trail runs right along the beach at the base of the cliffs and is washed away at high tide. You have to carefully consult a tide log while planning your hike so as to not get trapped or swept away. While hiking, I imagined music in which the “trail” (a solo line) is constantly emerging from and then becoming washed away by orchestral texture.


Lost Coast - II
Gabriel Cabezas - cello
Nadia Sirota - viola

Lost Coast II came out of a desire for breath and space after recording the dense and relentless first and third movements. This track also felt like a nice moment in the album for cellist Gabriel Cabezas’s musical voice to shine through. The solo cello line came together collaboratively through iterations of Gabe’s improvisations and fragments I had written, pieced together into a flowing line over the shifting backing strings.


Lost Coast - III
Gabriel Cabezas - cello, percussion
Gabriella Smith - vocals, percussion, violin
Nadia Sirota - viola, percussion

Camped on the beach my last morning on the Lost Coast Trail, I woke to find bear footprints in the sand all around my tent, backpack and bear canister. The bear had clearly come to sniff me and my belongings and had been just a few inches from me as I slept.


Gabriel Cabezas - cello

We recorded Swept in Iceland during a 3-day blizzard in December. Sometimes the storm was so loud we had to stop recording. With only a few hours of winter sunlight each day, the darkness and bleak beauty of the storm melded with the otherworldly cello sounds to create the album’s emotional climax. The track sounds electronic but is entirely acoustic cello played with paperclips attached to the strings.


Gabriel Cabezas - cello
Gabriella Smith - vocals, tea strainer
Nadia Sirota - viola

As in much of the album, Tarn features string instruments as percussion, with the producer Nadia Sirota plucking her viola between the bridge and tailpiece and hitting the strings with a pencil, along with me opening and closing a tea strainer. Gabe again plays with paperclips on the strings, but this time the strings are plucked instead of bowed. The bowed cello parts reuse the same chords from the ending of Lost Coast II, which when transposed up a tritone, somehow magically fit with my humming riffs in a strange but addictive way.


Gabriella Smith - vocals
Gabriel Cabezas - vocals, cello
Nadia Sirota - vocals

One of the most spectacular moonrises I have ever witnessed came as we were listening back to this track for the first time. Full and yellow on the horizon, coming up over the mountains outside Reykjavik, it felt as if the music had been written for that moment.


released June 25, 2021


all rights reserved



Gabriel Cabezas New York, New York

A sought-after soloist who has performed with America’s most prominent symphony orchestras, Gabriel is also a member of the acclaimed chamber sextet yMusic. As a collaborator, he has appeared on releases alongside the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Paul Simon and Phoebe Bridgers. Gabriel received the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, a career grant awarded to emerging Black and Latinx classical artists. ... more

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