Bothy Culture & Beyond; a music-vision-dance-bike spectacular featuring The GRIT Orchestra & guests with special appearance by Danny MacAskill.
Following its unforgettable debut at the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2015, the groundbreaking GRIT Orchestra presents another spectacular world première – a grand-scale live version of Bothy Culture, the late Martyn Bennett’s second album. Bennett’s music, a virtuoso fusion of Celtic, Scandinavian and Islamic traditions with techno, breakbeat and hip-hop, has again been orchestrated by violinist Greg Lawson, who also conducts the performance. Comprising around 80 leading folk, jazz and classical musicians, the GRIT Orchestra is a truly unique ensemble, and a thrilling embodiment of Scotland’s contemporary musical landscape, the richly hybrid terrain which Bennett so brilliantly mapped and celebrated.
This night of entertainment will feature Scotland’s finest fiddlers including Duncan Chisholm, Aidan O’Rourke, Chris Stout, Megan Henderson, Sarah Jane Summers, Charlie McKerron, Eilidh Shaw and Laura Wilkie.
The show features a special appearance by astounding Scottish stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill, inspired by his 2014 film The Ridge (now approaching 55 million YouTube views), which follows his death-defying, world-first traverse of the Black Cuillin Ridge on his native Skye, soundtracked by Bennett’s inspirational track ‘Blackbird’.
Also featured during the performance will be an exhilarating aerial dance spectacle from Scotland’s leading aerial dance company, All or Nothing.
“The world will come to an end but love and music will endure” – words we hear often but that are right and fitting when we talk of Martyn Bennett and the Grit orchestra. Although Martyn isn’t with us today it is clear he is alive in the thoughts, hearts and minds of those in the audience as well as those performing his music on stage.
Conductor Greg Lawson’s vision was realised through the confluence of classical and traditional music, trapeze performance and stunt bikery, each of these fields represented by their respective finest. Throughout the evening Lawson and his orchestra led the audience through Bennett’s Bothy Culture with bursting, energetic summits and stunningly calm lower moments. The cinematic musical offering was visually complemented by stunts from Danny MacAskill, his biking colleague Ali Clarkson and trapeze artists of All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre.
The highlight of the night was certainly when the 10,000 strong crowd were brought back into the room as lone piper, Findlay MacDonald, played the Lament for Red Hector of the Battles to finish the evening. A special moment with I’m sure he, and we, won’t forget.
“Thig crìoch air an t-saoghal ach marraidh gaol is ceòl” – faclan air a bheil sinn uile eòlach agus aig a bheil ciall na bu dhoimhne nuair a bhruidhinneas sinn air Martyn Bennett agus orcastra Grit. Ged nach eil Martyn còmhla rinn an diugh tha e beò na cheòl fhèin agus ann an smuaintinn agus cridheachan an luchd-èisdeachd agus iadsan a bh’air àrd-ùrlar.
Bha an oidhche a chuir Greg Lawson ri chèile air a thoirt beo le trapeze, stunts air baidhseagal, ceòl traidiseanta agus ceòl classicadh, leis a h-uile duine na mheasg aig an ìre is àirde nan ealain. Tron oidhche, thug Lawson, agus na bha còmhla ris, an luchd-èisdeachd air slighe Bothy Culture, le amannan mòra far an robh a h-uile duine a dannsa agus agus a’ gluasad leis a chùil, agus amannan eile far a roba a h-uile duine air an toirt còmhladh le cumhachd is binneas a chuiream. A bharrachd air na bh’ann ri chluinntinn, bha an cuiream air a thoirt còmhladh le Danny MacAskill, Ali Clarkson agus All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre. Oidhche sònraichte.
Aig deireadh na h-oidhche bha an 10,000 a bh’anns an SSE Hyrdo air an toirt còmhladh mar aon leis am piobaire, Fionnlagh Dòmhnallach a’ cluich ceòl mòr. Rud sònraichte a fhuireacheas rinn bhon oidhche mhòr aig Martin Bennett.
“The warld micht cam tae an end but thir will ay be muisic” – wirds aften said, but nivir sae richt an fittin as when we spik o Martyn Bennett an the Grit Orchestra.
Martyn micht no be wi us ony mair , but we cuid still hear him, his thochts brocht tae life in his muisic an gied a voice by the performers on the stage; an a place in the herts an minds o the audience.
Greg Lawson brocht stars fae the warlds o claussical an traditional muisic, trapeze airtists, an the awe-inspirin biker Danny MacAskill. Thegither thae creatit a spectacular nicht tae live lang in the memory.
Bennett’s Bothy Cultur wi its burstin energetic heichts and quiet restfu interludes is a muisical wonder. Lawson an the Orchestra cairrit the crood alang the journey whiles the daurin stunts o MacAskill an the trapeze airtists sae in keepin wi the muisic war a feast fir the e’en.
The nicht cam tae an end on an e’en greater heicht. The 10,000 strong crood war brocht thegither as ane when lone piper Finlay MacDonald playit the Lament for Red Hector o the Battles. A verra special moment I’m shuir neether he nor we whae witnessed it, will forget.