Grit Orchestra Biography

Grit Orchestra

Following the phenomenal sell-out success of the live world première of Martyn Bennett’s final masterpiece GRIT at Celtic Connections 2015, originally released in 2003, and widely recognised as a towering landmark in contemporary Scottish music at Celtic Connections 2015, this unique show could be coming to a city near you.

GRIT - an almost entirely studio-created album, reconstructed by violinist and composer Greg Lawson for a custom-designed orchestra of folk, jazz and classical players – extends his legacy triumphantly towards the future. Centred on traditional music’s purest primal essence, as distilled into Scottish Gaelic and traveller songs, Grit brought to bear the full visionary sweep of Bennett’s genre-transcending artistry and technological wizardry, to both dazzling and inspirational effect. Several years in the writing, Lawson’s reimagined version features a cast of around 80 musicians and singers.

“When you enter the landscape of Martyn Bennett’s mind,” he observes, “It’s amazing how many people you need to accomplish what he did by himself.”

Grit Orchestra reviews

“If anyone had ever told me that there would be a live, orchestral recreation of Martyn Bennett’s final album, Grit, a spectacularly individualistic studio concoction of archive recordings spliced ferociously with electronic beats and samples, I would have roundly declared it impossible. Yet here was the opening night of Celtic Connections, ten years on from Bennett’s untimely passing, and violinist Greg Lawson’s mightily ambitious recreation sweeping us jubilantly along.” Scotsman
“The sheer energy on stage was infectious, the orchestral sound was big-hearted and there were some terrific new colours in the orchestration. Fiona Hunter belted out Move like a call to arms; David Hayman intoned Psalm 118, gruff and stormy from the balcony. Wedding was heartbreakingly tender, violas whispering a slow tune above low drones. The evening ended with the entire hall singing together. It’s hard to imagine a fonder tribute.” Guardian