A visit to the Eduardo Paolozzi retrospective at the Dean Gallery four years ago was the starting point for alto saxophonist Martin Kershaw’s ambitious new Hero as a Riddle project. A Scottish Art Council New Music Award has finally allowed Kershaw, familiar from his work in bands as diverse as Trianglehead and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, to make the dream a reality.
He will lead a ten-piece ensemble in the project, which will also be heard in Aberdeen and Inverness prior to reaching Edinburgh on this tour. The saxophonist explained that he hopes the music will reflect not only his admiration of Paolozzi’s work, but also the artist’s eclectic and experimental spirit.
‘Paolozzi’s desire to explore a huge variety of approaches to art is very inspiring to me. Hero as a Riddle is one of his works that I have composed a piece on, and I chose it as the overall title because it seemed to encapsulate a lot of what his work is about for me.’
The saxophonist has composed a nine-part suite, each inspired by a specific piece of Paolozzi’s work. The band will feature four jazz horn players, a trio of string players from Mr McFalls Chamber (albeit using electric instruments), and a conventional rhythm section.‘I’ve picked musicians that I know can cope with anything I throw at them, and I have tried to vary the way I use the ensemble and the individual players through the pieces.’
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 7 Nov