Martyn with Mum & Dad
Martyn died in tragic circumstances on September 17th 2002, aged 30.
Music was the driving force in his life and there can have been few days since he was a toddler when he wasn’t engaged in music making of some sort.
Indeed, at infant school the teacher asked his parents to dissuade him from breaking into spontaneous song during lessons, as it was putting the other pupils off their work!
He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of music of all kinds, which amazed his boss at Forsyth’s Music Shop in Manchester, where he worked for a short time.
Play it again…
He was also blessed with a phenomenal aural memory, which could recall at will using his voice, hands and feet any music he’d ever heard with astonishing pitch and rhythmic accuracy.
These ‘performances’ could happen at any time and in any place, completely without affectation or prompting, just as the spirit moved him.
Perhaps this helps to account for his exceptional versatility as a musician who could play to professional level on the violin, piano, bass guitar and drums. He also had a good singing voice, which he had started to develop in a jazz ensemble.
Mart with sister, Steph
In his teens, Martyn played the violin in the Cheshire County Youth Orchestra and toured the USA twice. He was a member of the Methodist Association of Youth Clubs’ Orchestra and with this group had the experience of playing in some of the country’s leading concert halls, including memorably the Royal Albert Hall, where he took part in a BBC Songs of Praise programme.
At the University of East Anglia in Norwich he obtained a music degree and two highlights there were his appearance as Pooh Bah in the ‘Mikado’ by Gilbert and Sullivan, and as the violin soloist with the university orchestra in Haydn’s G major concerto.
During the vacations, on a number of occasions he worked as stage manager for Music for Youth, helping to run the National Festival at London’s South Bank Centre and at the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Following university he travelled abroad, notably to Nairobi in Kenya, where he taught music for 2 years as a volunteer at Starehe Boys’ Centre and School for the disadvantaged.
Acting up with friends
In recent years he had been involved with the Macclesfield Majestic Theatre Group, playing keyboards and bass guitar in a number of shows and in May 2002 was musical director for the Spring show.
Martyn’s untimely death has been a profound shock to everyone who knew him. His family and friends are sure that it would be Martyn’s fond wish for his infectious love of life and music to be perpetuated through a music trust in his name.