Music review: Breathless power and resistance from singer Karine Polwart

AS the light shone first onto our own faces, I didn’t realise that by the end of the performance I would feel so buffeted. Polwart’s stage presence is stronger than the average Scottish gale. She’s everything: nimble, canny, a wise woman in the truest sense of the words. Now a Robert the Bruce spider, now an earnest teacher (the sort that still loves her subject), now a full choir blasting us with chords that rolled over us like waves.

I was left breathless by opulent descriptions of the Midlothian moor, or birds, or seeds, or moss. Her rich voice and tenor guitar, the effortless switching between words and song. As the narratives stacked up like an overlapping patchwork of natural grasses, I bounced weightlessly between the woman before me, and the stories of women gone before me.[ . . . ] More at: Music review: Breathless power and resistance from singer Karine Polwart | The National

Karine Polwart – The making of “Wind Resistance”

Part One

Part Two

A peek into the making of Wind Resistance – Karine Polwart’s new show for the Edinburgh International Festival

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Every autumn, two and a half thousand pink-footed geese fly from Greenland to winter at Fala Flow, a protected peatbog south-east of Edinburgh. From this windy plateau, Karine Polwart surveys the surrounding landscape through history, song, birdlore and personal memoir. Ideas of sanctuary, maternity, goose skeins, Scottish football legend and medieval medicine all take flight, in this compelling combination of story and song.

As a songwriter and singer, Karine Polwart is a multiple winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. She is also a composer for theatre and animation, an essayist, a storyteller and an erstwhile philosophy tutor. She has created Wind Resistance with dramaturgy from David Greig, Artistic Director of The Lyceum.

Director Wils Wilson’s credits include The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart with the National Theatre of Scotland, Praxis Makes Perfect for National Theatre Wales and I Want My Hat Back for the National Theatre of Great Britain.