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20 mars 2008

Free tickets for Martyn tribute

PA READERS have the chance to acquire free tickets to an exciting evening of music in Perth Concert Hall tonight. ‘Aye: An Affirmation of Martyn Bennett’ is a tribute to and celebration of the late, great musician, Martyn Bennett

Martyn, who died in 2005 aged 33, was a piper, fiddle player and creative genius who combined classical and jazz elements with Scottish traditional music and the beats of the 90s rave and dance scenes, creating powerful and memorable compositions.

Upon hearing Bennett’s final masterpiece ‘Grit’, revered folklorist Hamish Henderson commented “what brave, new music…”, an observation shared by members of Mr McFall’s Chamber. They play in Perth tonight as the opener to the eight-date Scottish tour ‘Aye: An Affirmation of Martyn Bennett’ which visits villages and venues across Scotland as part of the Scottish Arts Council’s Tune Up initiative.

An eclectic chamber ensemble, Mr McFall’s Chamber will perform a unique programme which highlights Martyn Bennett’s profound understanding and unique interpretation of Scottish folk music.

The band features a core string quartet from The Scottish Chamber Orchestra with piano, bass, drums and percussion. Formed in the mid-90s, the ensemble is well-known across Scotland, the UK and on the European festival circuit for their innovative mix of musical genres. They creatively programme the work of classical and contemporary composers alongside rock, tango, kletzmer, cartoon music and jazz.

A range of Martyn’s work including Cuillin Music (a composition for string quartet, percussion and small Scottish pipes) now features as part of the McFall’s varied body of live and recorded work, which in the past has included the likes of King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Ennio Morricone and contemporary composers such as Gavin Bryars and Dave Heath.

Mr McFall’s Chamber is joined by Scottish composer and multi-instrumentalist Fraser Fifield and percussionists Tom Bancroft and James Mackintosh. The set will include pieces by Fifield and composer Edward McGuire (both written exclusively for Mr McFall’s Chamber).

Commenting on the tour Ian Smith, head of music at the Scottish Arts Council, said: Martyn Bennett, whilst dying at a tragically young age, has left us with such an incredible legacy of great work, brilliantly encapsulated in his last album “Grit” for Peter Gabriel’s Real World label.

“This tour, featuring McFall’s Chamber, not only celebrates Martyn’s life and creative genius, but also takes that music to so many of Scotland’s communities, all of whom will identify with emotive and moving music performed by such fantastic musicians.”

Alison Anderson Mar 18 2008

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