Martyn Bennett - MacKay's Memoirs based on Lament For Mary MacLeod

The Queen's Hall, Monday 4th March (7:30pm)

It was twenty years ago today - Martyn Bennett was commissioned to write a special piece of music to commemorate the centenary of his alma mater – Broughton High School.

It was written for the then students at The City of Edinburgh Music School – hence the specific orchestration. Martyn worked with the students to create the piece and would bring in scores – where the ink was literally still drying, in to rehearsals. The parts still bear his hand written notes, and were largely copied down by tonight’s conductor, Susan Emslie. The piece was used for the Opening Ceremony of the New Scottish Parliament in Princes Street Gardens on 1 July 1999, and televised live from the gardens as the Red Arrows flew over. There was great interest in the piece and it was recorded at Cava studios, Glasgow in January 2005 and completed on the day Martyn died - 30 January 2005.

It is his final, and many would say, best work.

Tonight we invite back 4 musicians who were involved in the original performance or recording to revisit the piece, with the current crop of specialist musicians from the music school. In the first half they will showcase some new collaborations with the students and there will be solo and ensemble work from the young stars of the future.

Maeve Gilchrist: clarsach; Ben Duncan: pipes; Dave Lloyd: beats and loops; Lissa Robertson: vocals and keys

The City of Edinburgh Music School Chamber Orchestra; Susan Emslie: conductor

The Queens Hall, Edinburgh Timings

Doors & Bar Open: 6:30pm

Show starts: 7:30pm

Running times will be announced on the day of the show

Book Tickets


Martyn Bennett writes:

"I was very fortunate to have met Kenneth shortly before his death and managed to receive a couple of lessons from him concerning Ceol Mor (literally the 'Big Music' or piobaireachd as it is more commonly known.) I played 'Lament For Mary MacLeod' to him as it was one of his favourites and he had a brilliant mind for structures and form of which piobaireachd can be highly complex. He held the music of the pipes to be charged with the emotions of the landscape and was especially moved by the music of the Hebrides. I am very honoured to have been asked to write this piece for the talented students of the City of Edinburgh Music School and I hope that most of all this is an apt celebration of youth that will see our heritage firmly united for generations to come."

Animated film projections by Neil Kempsall

An experimental animated film inspired by Martyn Bennett's composition for pipes, clarsach and orchestra. The soundtrack was written by Martyn for the students of the City of Edinburgh Music School in honour of the late Dr. Kenneth A Mackay of Badenoch.

Presented by the City of Edinburgh Music School & The Queen’s Hall

Supported by Tay Charitable Trust