Returning Weather is the latest work from Dublin born, multi-award-winning vocalist and songwriter Christine Tobin.
Celebrated for her versatility and nonconformist musical spirit, Returning Weather imaginatively weaves song, spoken word and a stellar group of musicians from diverse disciplines together, creating a multi-dimensional sound-world which blends influences from folk, 20th-century art song and jazz. While the live shows expand upon the material with additional spoken word passages and visual effects, the album is a concise collection of nine compositions. It charts a journey which is part homecoming, part memoir, inspired by Christine’s return to Ireland after many years abroad and explores themes of finding home, dwelling and landscape, reconnecting with a cultural background, reshaping a sense of identity and belonging. The songs are set in the countryside around Frenchpark, Boyle and Ballaghadereen. There are many songs of leaving and farewell, this is the music of homecoming and return. She was commissioned to write this evocative new song cycle by The Dock Arts Centre, with an Arts Council, Music Commissions Award.
Line-up: Christine Tobin voice, Cora Venus Lunny violin & viola, David Power uilleann pipes & whistles, Phil Robson guitar & electronics and Steve Hamilton piano.
During the week , Christine spoke with The Kilkenny Observer newspaper.
“The songs of Returning Weather are inspired by my return to Ireland after many years living abroad. I hadn’t planned, nor had I any idea that I was coming home”, she said .
Christine Tobin grew up in Dublin, later moving to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. She was an integral part of the London contemporary scene for many years before moving to New York in 2015 where she made a considerable impact on the city’s creative music world. She returned to Ireland in 2020. The forthcoming March 2023 release of ‘Returning Weather’ will be Christine’s twelfth album under her own name. In 2012 she won a BASCA British Composer Award for her settings of poems by WB Yeats, ‘Sailing To Byzantium’. The following year, her arrangements of Leonard Cohen songs won a Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Festival. In 2014 she was awarded ‘Jazz Vocalist of the Year’ at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards. Earlier in 2008, she won a BBC Jazz Award for ‘Best Vocalist’. Aside from her own projects, she has worked and recorded with an array of artists including musicians Django Bates, Billy Hart, Julian Joseph, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Turner, Louis Stewart, Nigel Kennedy, Jean Toussaint, Francesco Turrisi, Ingrid Jensen, poets Paul Muldoon, Eva Salzman, Don Paterson, actor Gabriel Byrne and film director Mike Figgis. She has played at major festivals and venues around the world and in 2021 Martin Hayes invited her to perform at the legendary Masters of Tradition festival at Bantry House. Summer festival appearances in 2022 include Borris Festival of Writing & Ideas and the UK’s Dome Stage at Snape Maltings.
Press praise for previous work
“It’s a tribute to the quality of Tobin’s writing that there are no weak spots in this excellent collection….. There’s a thrilling, dark timbre to Tobin’s voice that moves you like no other….
…a 24-carat voice”.
“What sets her apart is her intensity and the sheer beauty of her voice, a deep soulful thing that she seems to summon from somewhere deep inside…”.
Time Out Magazine
“Tobin has followed a studiously personal path as a singer and songwriter that has won her the kind of accolades bestowed on only a few. This rare and thoroughly personal artist is, a one-off.”
The Irish Times
“A masterclass in songcraft.”
BBC Music Magazine
“The Voice is a killer”.
“Too humane and humorous to preach, and too intelligent to deliver a formula for life, Christine Tobin is nevertheless fascinated by the pursuit of something that might stand up as The Truth.”
John Fordham Jazz UK
As part of her nationwide tour, Christine will play The Concert Hall in Thomastown on March 9th