Celtic Connections - Follow That!
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Wed 28 Jan
The title of this latest round of commissions inspired by the music of the late Martyn Bennett underlines the far-reaching influence of his eclectic, open-minded approach to traditional music (while simultaneously suggesting that he was indeed a difficult act to follow).
In my last interview with Martyn, before his tragically premature death from cancer, he both encouraged exactly this kind of development, and warned against the pitfalls.
‘What I’d like next is for someone to come along and do it better than me. I think there does need to be a separation between pure traditional music and the kind of crossover that me and a number of others are doing. For me, the danger is that lots of people jump in and make a mess of it.’
Judicious selection has ensured that no one involved in this event is likely to fall into that trap. The concert, organised by the Martyn Bennett Trust in association with the Scottish Arts Council, follows on from an earlier event in 2007 in which musicians from various strands of Scottish musical life are let loose to create new music, using Bennett’s manuscripts and recordings as a catalyst for their own inventions.
Violinist Robert McFall, multi-instrumentalist Fraser Fifield, saxophonist Phil Bancroft and DJ Dolphin Boy have teamed up to work jointly on the project, while keyboard player Bill Wells and saxophonist Laura MacDonald will add their own contributions to what promises to be a fascinating evening of musical discovery.