At 7pm on June 7, Peter Broderick plays at the Chiostro del Carmine in piazza del Carmine for Secret Florence (part of Estate Fiorentina), only visitable once a year for the occasion organized by Musicus Concentus.
The venue, one of the lesser known corners of the Oltrarno, hosts the American (Irish by adoption) multi-instrumentalist and neo-folk singer who presents The Wind That Shakes The Bramble, released by the renowned Erased Tapes label.
Born and raised in Oregon, Peter was fascinated by the folk scene from an early age, moving to Denmark in 2007 where he embarked on a five-year tour with Efterklang. With several solo records blending various musical genres, 17 albums on Spotify, and many collaborations, he was also commissioned for film soundtracks and dance performances. Moving to Berlin, he collaborated with artists such as Nils Frahm and Greg Haines, and he married the Irish musician Brigid Mae Power in 2016, moving to Ireland permanently.
His 22-minute long 2021 piano-centred EP titled The Wind That Shakes The Bramble was inspired by Robert Dwyer Joyce’s 19th century ballad called The Wind That Shakes The Barley (which also inspired the popular 2006 film), taking the image of a barley plant that is shaken and moved by the wind, symbolizing Irish resilience in the face of historical challenges. Broderick’s track, described as “an extended ambient odyssey”, explores the idea of the blackberry bramble as a strong symbol of nature’s strength, weaving itself throughout our landscape and holding soil together. Peter comments “I think resilience is a wonderful thing to cultivate in your own life because ultimately you’re going to come up against adversity in one form or another, no matter who you are.”
Peter Broderick will perform four concerts in Italy, the first of which will be in Pordenone in June 6, followed by Florence on June 7, Venice on June 8 and Milan on June 9. He was initially expected to play in Florence in 2018, before a snowstorm in Ireland disrupted plans. Finally making it to the Renaissance city, Peter speaks about the intimacy of the venue at piazza del Carmine, “I really prefer intimate spaces. Once you surpass a certain capacity, I feel it becomes that much harder to make a real connection with the audience. I also feel that the voice as an instrument lends itself to intimacy because it literally is an extension of yourself. When you think about it, it’s how our mother’s used to put us to sleep when we were kids, there’s something so intimate about it naturally”.
Having met the Danish group Efterklang via MySpace, Peter’s perspective on the internet and music is an interesting one: “In recent years, a lot of my personal interests seem to be moving more away from the progress of technology and what grabs my attention is primitive skills, foraging and living out in the countryside. At the same time, I’m not a naysayer to technology and I’m very aware that I might not even have a career without the technology we have today, so I try to embrace all of it really but I will say that while I was grateful over the last couple of years for any opportunity even on the internet, now that shows are happening again it’s like an outpouring of ecstatic emotion to be in a space together with people, because there’s just no substitute for that.”
Peter Broderick in Secret Florence
Doors open at 6.45pm, and the concert starts at 7pm.
Chiostro del Carmine, piazza del Carmine 14
Admission 5 euro + 1 euro booking fee if pre-purchased, or 10 euro at the door (if available).
The concert is part of the Musicus Concentus calendar, Tradizione in Movimento, an association founded in 1972 with the aim of establishing a stable centre of musical activity in Florence and Tuscany which turns 50 this year.