We begin with a love story, echoing from a century ago in lowland Scotland. In Wind Resistance, Karine Polwart seamlessly weaves the beauty of voice, musicianship, verse and storytelling to bring together a fable that is both wide and deep. At times uniquely personal and humorous, at times historical, at times drawing on science, and with Pippa Murphy as sound designer, she has created a compelling piece of theatre.
With tales and evocations of the geese, the whaups, the skylark, the swallows and the hoolet, Karine brings to the stage the seasons’ turning, and humanity's cycles of birth, love, life and death.
Karine uses her Taran in a number of songs. And the music in Wind Resistance, is of course, stunningly good, as we could expect from an artist who has won 2018’s BBC Folksinger of the Year amongst many other awards. Songs, incantations and melodies are evocatively and perfectly performed with beauty and grace.
The themes of this piece are ecological, societal, social and individual. Like the geese flying in a skein, Karine advocates that we prevail when we work together:
And that’s a very good message!
I saw Wind Resistance at the new refurbished Perth Theatre, a wonderfully intimate space that really suited this profoundly moving and innovative work.
Over the next two months, you can see performances of Wind Resistance in Inverness, Cardiff and Milton Keynes. Full details are on Karine’s website.
And in the autumn, the Karine Polwart Trio is touring with Laws of Motion. I can’t wait!
- By Jennie Murray