Returning Weather is a deeply personal project inspired by Christine Tobin’s return to Ireland, having lived abroad for many years. After leaving Dublin, her hometown, she spent most of her adult life in large cities, notably, London and New York, but this is her first time living in a rural environment of farmland, water meadows and peat bogs. The enigmatic and historically rich landscape of Northwest Roscommon and beyond has awakened in Tobin a profound sense of belonging and a desire to explore, through music and poetry, the powerful connection between home, dwelling, and the land.
Although she made her mark internationally as a jazz artist, her style has always been eclectic. However, this project marks a move into new musical territory, as it is her first time working with Irish traditional musicians. Her band for this project is made up of uilleann piper David Power, and violinist Cora Venus Lunny, with guitar/ electronics by Phil Robson and piano by Steve Hamilton.
The commission is made possible through a New Music Commission Award from the Arts Council and we were thrilled to be working with jazz musician Christine Tobin.
This commission will also provide an opportunity for Tobin to focus on writing her own poetry and lyrics, as opposed to composing musical settings for the work of others such as Paul Muldoon, W.B. Yeats and Leonard Cohen, whose texts she set for her last three highly acclaimed albums.
Tobin is drawn to diverse artists such as Joseph Beuys, Seamus Heaney and Aaron Copeland, for whom the landscape was central to their work. She feels there is a wealth of treasure to be mined in the boglands, woods and lakes which weave through the rich terrain of Northwest Roscommon. Sometimes the ‘returning eye’ sees the beauty that is often unnoticed.