I have enjoyed Karine Polwart’s work as a singer/songwriter and story-teller for some time now, and with Wind Resistance my admiration for her work has risen to a new level.
This production brings together such seemingly disparate elements as pink footed geese, football, childbirth, and peat bogs and weaves them together into a beautiful and thought-provoking story. Karine was inspired by watching a skein of pink footed geese flying over her home at Pathhead, Midlothian, on their way to their wintering grounds nearby at Fala Moor. She wondered why they fly in that formation, and this thought led to her research which culminated in “Wind Resistance”.
In music, story and song, Karine has interwoven her own life story with that of Will and Roberta Sime, a local couple who married in 1919 after Will’s return from the war. Along with songs specially written by Karine for her son, Arlo, and for the late Molly Kristensen (daughter of Will and Roberta), the production also includes traditional songs such as “The Death of Queen Jane” and “The Lark in the Clear Air”. Karine’s clear and pure voice has a timeless quality, and she sings both traditional and modern songs perfectly.
As well as being entertaining and informative, “Wind Resistance” does have a moral to its story. Humanity has to work together, as the geese do when flying in formation. In Karine’s words, “We are one another’s wind resistance – a human skein – we’re not going to make it on our own”.
Review by Lisa Sibbald