“…one of Britain’s most uncompromising and original singer-songwriters…” – The Guardian
The third concert in our 2015 / 2016 Santa Rita Concerts season features a solo set from singer-songwriter Chris Wood, an award-winning legend of the UK folk scene. By turns tender and bitter, joyful and brooding, Wood’s highly potent songs speak to the contemporary human experience with rare insight and empathy. He has been described by Time Out as “quite simply our best writer of contemporary English folk songs”.
At the end of 2012, Wood embarked on a 50-date UK tour with Joan Armatrading, allowing him to observe Britain from coast to coast. Many of the songs on his most recent album, 2013’s None The Wiser, give testament to what he encountered. Reviewing the album for the Irish Times, Siobhan Long wrote: “Nobody comes even close to equaling his bird’s-eye-view… a distilled and intimate collection of snapshots chronicling the sweetness of love, the fragility of sanity, the glories of ageing and so much more.”
Chris Wood started out as a choirboy and much of his music bears the influence of those years spent with the music of Bach, Handel, Gibbons and Boyce: he describes his album Handmade Life as “church music with drums.” Self-taught on guitar and violin, he is a lifelong autodidact – and his independent streak shines through in his composition and studio work. Always direct and unafraid to speak his mind, his songwriting has been praised for its surgical clarity. His work is typified by his trust in the space music can create and a gift for lyrical understatement. He cites his major influence as “Anon”.
The Santa Rita Concerts provide a unique, deeply immersive audience experience. Each evening begin at 7pm with a Santa Rita wine reception, and a pre-concert interview with the evening’s musicians. The performances take place at 8pm in the museum’s beautifully resonant downstairs gallery. The space is candlelit and the atmosphere highly intimate – a concentrated ritual shared by performer and audience.
The Santa Rita Concerts are curated by Ergodos, a Dublin-based record label and production company run by composers Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Garrett Sholdice. The programme features a distinctive and diverse mix of soloists, ensembles, singer-songwriters and sound artists. Full details can be found here, and a discounted season ticket may be purchased online here.