Martyn Bennett

1971 - 2005

Experimental musician. Born into a musical family in Newfoundland (Canada), Bennett returned to Scotland at the age of six with his mother when his parents divorced. They lived for a time on Mull before settling in Kingussie. Here he began playing the bagpipes and developed a reputation as a protege, winning competitions across the country. In 1986, he moved to Edinburgh and continued his education at Broughton High School and the Edinburgh City School of Music. In 1990 he joined the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance in Glasgow, studying violin and piano.

Bennett caused a sensation, and some controversy, when he combined traditional Scottish bagpipe and fiddle music with modern techno dance beats and thus became influential in the development of Celtic Fusion. His highly-acclaimed albums were Martyn Bennett (1995), Bothy Culture (1998), Hardland (2000), Glen Lyon (2002) and Grit (2003), together with MacKay's Memoirs, first performed at the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and issued as a recording posthumously in 2005.

First diagnosed with cancer in 1993, Bennett lost his struggle for life in an Edinburgh hospice at a tragically young age. He was buried on Mull.

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