Karine Polwart & Dave Milligan
Wednesday 26 July 2023, 20:00
Milton Keynes International Festival
The Stables Spiegeltent, Festival Central, Campbell Park, MK9 4AJ
Seven-time winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including 2018 Folk Singer of The Year, Karine Polwart’s latest project is a collaboration with renowned jazz/folk pianist Dave Milligan.
Piano and voice isn’t a combination that you hear often in the folk idiom, and yet it can be just as potent, if not more so, than a full band, and the duo’s new album is just this – an intimate, stripped-back collection of songs performed entirely with voice and grand piano. Deceptively simple, yet devastatingly powerful. Still As Your Sleeping (released in October 2021) is threaded through with images of stillness and flux, leaving and returning, and pivots of change and includes the timeless and poignant The Parting Glass as requested by Margaret Atwood for her specially curated BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“One voice and one piano can hold a lot of space, a lot of feeling”, says Polwart. “Some of these songs are brand new, whilst others have been on my tongue for two decades and more, which is as long as I’ve known Dave”.
Although known primarily as a jazz pianist, Dave’s writing and arranging often distils folk and traditional influences, making him the perfect creative partner for Karine. Both musicians live in the same Midlothian village and that familiarity is evident in the music. It’s a magical combination, and as Karine says “It’s never felt more important to me to make music, and tell stories, from exactly where I am, with the people I live alongside, my friends and neighbours.”
This performance will have unreserved seating