Edinburgh Music School remembers Martyn Bennett

Martyn Bennett
Martyn Bennett
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THE Queen’s Hall and the City of Edinburgh Music School come together on Monday 4 March to pay special tribute to musician and composer Martyn Bennett’s final haunting work, Mackay’s Memoirs.

Born in 1971, Bennett attended Edinburgh Music School from 1986 to 1990.

He was commissioned to write Mackay’s Memoirs to commemorate the centenary of Broughton High School in 1999.

The piece, which he described as a “Celebration of youth” was performed in Princes Street Gardens to celebrate the opening of the Scottish Parliament and televised live from the Gardens as the Red Arrows flew overhead.

It was recorded in 2005, being completed on 30 January 2005, the day Bennet died aged just 33.

Celebrating 20th anniversary of the piece an impressive line-up of alumni and current students from the Music School will perform the work at the Queen’s Hall.

A composition for pipes, clarsach and orchestra, this unique concert brings together the four musicians who performed the original piece; Maeve Gilchrist on clarsach, Pipe Major Ben Duncan, Dave Lloyd on beats and loops and Lissa Robertson on vocals and keys, along with the Edinburgh Music School Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Susan Emslie, who collaborated closely with Bennet on the composition 20 years ago.

Tudor Morris, director of the school says, “I am truly delighted to be welcoming back former students who are making musical waves across the globe to share this special occasion with us, and to remember and honour Martyn Bennett - who has inspired us all. It will be an emotional evening for everyone, and a proud one.”

The concert will also include new arrangements of Beatles songs, solo performances and a new version of Imogen Heap’s Hide & Seek.

The culmination will be a full performance of the 13 minute long Mackay’s Memoirs accompanied by Neil Kempsell’s award-winning animation, created as a companion piece to live music.

Homecoming 2: The Return of Mackay’s Memoirs, Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, 4 March, 7.30pm, £6-£14, 0131-668 2019