Latest news »Martyn Bennett's GRIT opens Celtic Connections this week
Celtic Connections opens this week with the live world première of Martyn Bennett's final masterpiece Grit.
Grit, originally released in 2003, is widely recognised as a towering landmark in contemporary Scottish music, and this year's festival also coincides with the 10th anniversary of Bennett's untimely passing. The performance - of this almost entirely studio-created album, reconstructed by violinist and composer Greg Lawson for a custom-designed orchestra of folk, jazz and classical players - extends his legacy triumphantly towards the future.
Centred on traditional music's purest primal essence, as distilled into Scottish Gaelic and traveller songs, Grit brought to bear the full visionary sweep of Bennett's genre-transcending artistry and technological wizardry, to both dazzling and inspirational effect. Several years in the writing, Lawson's reimagined version features a cast of around 80 musicians and singers.
"When you enter the landscape of Martyn Bennett's mind," he observes, "It's amazing how many people you need to accomplish what he did by himself."