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. A beautiful piece of work that was first performed in 1999 at the opening of the Scottish Parliament by Broughton High School. It was then recorded the morning after Martyn's death by the young people of Broughton High who never knew that Martyn had passed away, the news being kept back until after the recording. This was Martyn's final recorded work.
Based around the theme and first variation of the piobaireachd 'Lament For Mary MacLeod', it explores the possibilities of pipe music as a basis for contemporary music. It was named Mackay's Memoirs after reading Dr Mackay's medical and personal journals written during his post as Free Church of Scotland missionary general practitioner in Moyobamba, Peru. The piece opens with Psalm 121 and features the pipes of both countries, along with voices, clarsach and the classical orchestra.
The film is a visual interpretation of Martyn's wonderful musical composition, inspired and influenced by the structure and melody of the soundtrack. I wanted to respond to the way the music had been composed, orchestrated and performed, and the way that the music evokes an emotion and vision of the island people, rich and varied wildlife and diverse landscapes. It is a film that celebrates the links between the traditional music and landscape that inspires it's composition, It aims to bring the people, land and music closer to those who feel so much part of it, and whom understand clearly what it is that makes the Island of Mull the glory that was, and is. Mull was a very special place close to Martyn's heart, and I hope the film succeeds in bringing to everyone who knew him and his music, of which there are many, wonderful happy memories of him as a man, musician, composer, and the resulting brilliant legacy of his work.
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."
Violin 1: Hanna Read, Emma Lloyd, Katherine Stewart, Scott Galbraith, Mairi Tully, Catriona Hewison, Orna Gilchrist, Emily Carr.
Violin 2: Sarah Kelly, Megan Tuohy, David lloyd, Lisa Robertson, Martin Galbraith, Rose Jamieson, Sarah-Jane Service,
Viola: Dharma Kim, Lewis Kelly, Jan Anderson
Cello: Sarah Spence, Sean Shibe, Emma Turley
Double Bass: Ishmael Florit
Trombone: Andrew Barker, Chris Wheeler
Piano: Chris Lyons
Timpani: Tom Leer
Clarsach: Mairi Macleod
Pipes: Ben Duncan
MR McFALL'S CHAMBER:
Violin: Greg Lawson, Robert McFall
Viola: Brian Schiele
Cello: Su-a Lee
Live Drums: Tom Bancroft, James Macintosh
Narration: Dr. Eric Mackay (son of Dr. Kenneth Mackay)