Colleen hosts the Edinburgh edition of her ‘Sounds of a City’ series on BBC 6 Music, this Sunday from 1 to 2 pm. The programme, produced by Ashley Clivery, will be available on the BBC iPlayer for one month after it airs.
Having already delved into Sheffield through the eyes of Human League’s ‘Travelogue‘ , Liverpool and The Teardrop Explodes’ ‘Kilimanjaro‘, and Manchester with New Order’s ‘Power, Corruption and Lies‘, she is now heading further north, over Hadrian’s Wall and the Scottish border to Edinburgh, a truly international city, an intellectual centre with an incredibly varied history stretching back thousands of years, and home to one of the biggest events in the cultural calendar.
We’re looking at an album that links the old with the new, the traditional with the electronic, and it’s Martyn Bennett’s Bothy Culture. Released in 1998, Martyn’s second album takes Celtic folk and traditional Gaelic poetry, and blended them with the electronica of the day, elements of the rave scene, and drum and bass. Bringing the traditional to an entirely new audience and generation, his incredible energy meant he had no boundaries with which to compose and record. He sadly lost a long battle to cancer in 2005, but his spirit lives on through his music.
In this documentary, we ask why Martyn is so essential to the fabric of the city, we take a look at why the Edinburgh music scene is so small and insular, and how his indirect influence led to the growth of bands such as Young Fathers, Boards of Canada, Treacherous Orchestra, and even Moby. We talk to the likes of Radio 3’s Mary Ann Kennedy on his talents and legacy, members of Shooglenifty who worked with Martyn, friend and composer Greg Lawson, and font-of-knowledge and Celtic Connections artistic director Donald Shaw.