Aye: An Affirmation of Martyn Bennett

Aye: An Affirmation of Martyn Bennett

The second Tune Up tour of 2008 will see the work of maverick Scottish musician and composer Martyn Bennett celebrated in style, with performances from Mr McFall's Chamber, Tom Bancroft, Frasier Fifield and James Mackintosh.

The eight-date Scottish tour will visit villages and venues from Ullapool and Findhorn to Peebles and Perth, as part of the Scottish Arts Council's Tune Up initiative.

Now in its fifth year, the initiative takes the highest quality music, from traditional to experimental, world music to cabaret, chamber music to pop and rock, to venues across Scotland, and has established itself as a significant international touring programme.

Bennett, who died tragically early at the age of thirty-three in 2005, 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 many powerful and memorable compositions.

Upon hearing Bennett's final masterpiece 'Grit', revered folklorist Hamish Henderson commented "What brave, new music…", an observation that is shared by members of Mr McFall's Chamber and reflected in their own, often experimental, repertoire.

An eclectic chamber ensemble, Mr McFall's Chamber will perform a unique programme that highlights the late, lamented 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 nineties, 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, klezmer, cartoon music and jazz.

A range of Bennett'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. Enjoy!"

Aye: An Affirmation of Martyn Bennett Tour Dates

18 – Perth Concert Hall
19 – Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
20 – Phipps Hall, Beauly
21 – Lyth Arts Society, Wick
22 – MacPhail Centre, Ullapool
26 – Eastgate Arts, Peebles
27 – Eastwood Park Theatre, East Renfrewshire
28 – An Tobar, Mull
29 – Universal Hall Arts Centre, Findhorn

Full details of the tours including dates, venues and details on how to book tickets are available from the Tune Up website.