Chris Wood and Karine Polwart are co-curators of a unique event called Commonplace at Kings Place, London. This four day event starts on Wednesday February 9th with In Search of Anon: Erica Wagner (Literary Editor of The Times) begins the evening in conversation with Simon Armitage, Hugh Lupton, Martin Carthy and Chris Wood. Other events will feature artists: Jon Boden and The Remnant Kings, Karine Polwart with Alasdair Roberts and Corrina Hewat and more.
Folk music has never existed in isolation, it has always been an expression of community and the prime commentator of its time. COMMONPLACE seeks to join up the dots and subtly re-define the folk festival by reuniting the music with the wider community. Joining us will be Martin Carthy, Erica Wagner from The Times, Michael Marra, Chris Mullin, Jon Boden, Simon Armitage, Adrian Arbib, Hugh Lupton, Alasdair Roberts, Corrina Hewat and others. The speakers will be contextualizing the music with wide ranging conversations on Anon, the environment, copyright, spin and enclosure — ancient and modern — while the musicians contextualize the comment with music from the last 900 years including songs still wet on the page.
Kings Place Interview
Events and Dates
Date: Wednesday 9 February: In Search of Anon with Chris Wood, Martin Carthy, Simon Armitage & Erica Wagner
Who is the greatest writer and composer of them all? The answer, of course: ‘Anon’. Erica Wagner begins the evening in conversation with Simon Armitage, Martin Carthy and Chris Wood. Together they will explore the richness of the anonymous voice and the role of Anon in the 21st century. This is followed by Martin Carthy and Chris Wood in concert, Carthy specialising in the vivid reworking of Britain’s rich canon of traditional song, while Wood has emerged as a compelling songwriter who ventures into areas few artists dare to tackle.
Thursday 10 February: A Folk Song A Day: Jon Boden and The Remnant Kings
In the wake of the fantastically successful A Folk Song A Day project (number one in the iTunes music podcast charts), Bellowhead’s lead singer brings his motley crew of post-apocalyptic folk survivalists to showcase just a few of the 365 folk songs from the ongoing project. Lively new arrangements of traditional material weave in and out of Boden’s critically acclaimed futuristic Songs from the Floodplain. Songs old, new and from the not too distant future.
Late-night Songs with Jon Boden
After the concert the band will decamp to the foyer to lead a singing session with the audience. They will record a rendition of a folk song with the audience (advance notice of the song will be given!). The recording will be posted on the ‘A Folk Song A Day’ podcast the following morning.
Friday 11 February: The Folly At The Heart Of It: Karine Polwart with Alasdair Roberts and Corrina Hewat
Draw the arc of a circle through Glasgow (where Karine Polwart was born), the hamlet of Kilmahog in Stirlingshire (where Alasdair Roberts grew up) and Edinburgh (where Corrina and Karine first discovered their common love of vocal harmony), and it finds its centre at Airth on the banks of the River Forth, over Scotland’s most bizarre building, a spectacular 18th-century folly in the shape of a pineapple. It now stands just a spit from Grangemouth’s oil-refining complex:a triumph of imagination over logic. Polwart, Roberts and Hewat unravel the common threads that link them geographically, musically and metaphorically, in an exploration of weirdness, wonderment and hubris.
Saturday 12 February: The Big Sing: Water from the Well
The St Pancras Room will transform into a secular church with glorious, massed-harmony singing led by Karine Polwart. All songs will be taught by ear – no music theory required.
Saturday 12 February: Chris Wood – The Handmade Song
To achieve authenticity, song writing begins close to home. Chris Wood’s uncompromising writing celebrates his love for the unofficial history of the English-speaking people. Chris invites you to a song-writing workshop: be edgy, be emotional, be political, tell a story – but above all, be you. The Handmade Song follows his acclaimed album, Handmade Life. Come and write as you are!
Saturday 12 February: The Tongue that Cannot Lie: Karine Polwart and Chris Wood with Michael Marra and Chris Mullin
To begin the final evening of Commonplace Erica Wagner invites Chris Wood, Karine Polwart, Michael Marra, one of Scotland’s most respected songwriters, and Chris Mullin, author, journalist and former MP, to separate spin from truth and shed light on the poisoned chalice that is ‘the tongue that cannot lie’, a gift given to Thomas Rymer in a 13th-century Scottish Ballad. Tonight’s concert sees Chris, Karine and Michael share an evening of some of the clearest voices in Britain today.
EVENT: Commonplace: Clear Voices In A Cluttered World
DATE: 9th-12th February 2011
BOX OFFICE: 020 7520 1440