Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - Narada Records announced today the death of Martyn Bennett:
"It is with a heavy heart that we announce the death of Martyn Bennett after a long struggle against cancer. Martyn died in Edinburgh on Sunday, January 30th. He has left behind an extraordinary and seminal body of work - influential recordings and the memorable outstanding live performances. His last album GRIT
, on Real World Records
is an image of a struggle and endurance - both of the singers featured and of Martyn himself."
Martyn was 33 years old and fought a long battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. His wife Kirsten was with him, as she had been over the years.
A Mass is to be held on Friday the 4th of February 11am at St Michael and all Saints Church in Brougham Street, Tolcross, Edinburgh. Then on Mull, Saturday 5th of February 11.30am at Salen Church, Isle of Mull.
Born in Newfoundland, his family went to Quebec when he was five and then moved to Scotland. The family were close to the travelers – Martyn remembered living with them when he was about eight.
"Passion means feeling pain and anger and love. You don’t hear it too much, but you hear it more in the voices of travelers than anyone."
Real World Records founder, Peter Gabriel, said about Bennett:
"We are all very upset to learn of Martyn's death. He was mixing traditional Scottish music with contemporary grooves and arrangements in a very unique and soulful way. He will be badly missed by us as a creator, player, and inspiring man."
Back in his early childhood in Newfoundland he lived in a Gaelic speaking community and when they came to Scotland the family first lived on the Isle Of Mull. He was subsequently playing traditional tunes on the fiddle at a young age and continued to play it until he was 16 and studied classical music. At 22, engaged by the Edinburgh club scene, he started experimenting with electronic music, creating the rare marriage of the folk and modern dance cultures.
Cheryl McEnaney, label manager for Real World in the USA remembers working with Bennett:
"I was privileged to have worked with Martyn on Bothy Culture
Culture during my tenure at Rykodisc
, and spent a couple of memorable days with him when he did an unforgettable show at the old Luna Park club in Los Angeles. He was an absolute original, an incredibly vibrant, witty and lovely person, immensely talented and so acutely alive. It was fateful to cross paths again with GRIT
on Real World
... but by then, Martyn had become too severely ill to travel or do almost anything at all for his final work; what we have left now is simply that incredible testimony of his suffering, a handcrafted legacy."