IT'S now just over three years since the visionary Scottish musician Martyn Bennett departed this life, aged 33, after an often gruelling battle against the cancer with which he'd been diagnosed in 2000. A good few of those who had been touched by his music will remember the news filtering through on the final night of Celtic Connections 2005, quietening the last small-hours parties at the Festival Club in remembrance of a truly remarkable talent.

Following Bennett's funeral on Mull, where he'd latterly made his home, April of that year saw the first of several concerts that have now been staged to celebrate and build on his artistic legacy, together with the launch of the Martyn Bennett Trust, formed by friends and family members to support musicians whose work reflects a similar spirit. While previous events have centred on Edinburgh and Glasgow, this month's tour by maverick string quartet Mr McFall's Chamber, under the title Aye: An Affirmation Of Martyn Bennett, will revisit his unique oeuvre in concerts throughout Scotland.

The musical beneficiary of both a traditional upbringing and a classical training, coming of age amid the dance-culture ferment of the late 1980s, Bennett was a cutting-edge force in integrating these diverse sensibilities. As a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer, he connected the ancient energies of jigs, reels, ballads and laments with orchestral ambition, visceral grooves and contemporary sonic textures on five outstanding albums and in a host of unforgettable live performances. Particularly notable among the latter was the pre-match party in Paris before Scotland opened the 1998 World Cup against Brazil, when Sean Connery famously leapt onstage to dance, swiftly followed by Ewan McGregor, Alex Salmond, Alex Ferguson, Kenny Dalglish and Rory Bremner.

Devoted as he was to music's euphoric capabilities, however, Bennett's work was also informed by a profound understanding of its technical, philosophical and ideological aspects, brilliantly enacted in his complex, audacious aural collages. His final album Grit, released in 2003, was at once a nakedly personal testament of suffering, and a superbly realised invocation - with its samples of Gaelic and travellers' songs - of those experiences at a cultural level, as well as an implicit statement of faith in art's saving grace. Not for nothing did the Daily Telegraph's obituary compare Bennett both with Moby's Play and Steve Reich's Different Trains.

"A lot of Martin's music is totally accessible to listen to, but it's also really serious art music," says jazz drummer Tom Bancroft, who worked with Bennett on several collaborations, and is one of the guests on the forthcoming tour, along with Shooglenifty percussionist James Mackintosh and piper/saxophonist Fraser Fifield. "There's real intellectual courage and rigour behind it, as well as his musical mastery. He's always saying something, about culture, connection, life, the universe. No-one else in Scotland has come near the quality of his vision, or the way he delivered on it, and I think the music he's left throws down a real gauntlet for others to pick up."

Violinist Robert McFall, who formed his eponymous ensemble in 1996 to play music beyond the standard classical repertoire, has responded to that challenge by returning to an earlier, ultimately uncompleted, collaboration with Bennett. "We had plans to do quite a big project together, performing Martyn's music with the same line-up that's doing this tour, but in the end it never happened, because of his deteriorating health," McFall explains. "He and I had a lot of detailed discussions about it, up until he was almost literally on his deathbed, so it's always felt like unfinished business."

A centrepiece of the programme will be Bennett's groundbreaking Piece For String Quartet, Percussion And Scottish Small Pipes In C. It was originally written over a decade ago for the Edinburgh Quartet, but thought to be lost following its composer's death, until a copy was discovered in the Scottish Arts Council archives. This will feature alongside new arrangements of album tracks and compositions found among Bennett's manuscripts, plus others by both Fifield and the veteran Scottish composer Eddie McGuire.

"Fraser's musical outlook cuts across boundaries in a similar way to Martyn's," explains McFall, "and McGuire has a comparable interest in connecting the traditional and classical worlds. By including them, I wanted to link Martyn's music into its broader context, rather than presenting him in isolation." Given the importance of connection, be it musical and/or human, to Bennett's artistry, such an approach seems entirely fitting - and will hopefully connect just as meaningfully with audiences, once the show hits the road this week.

Aye: An Affirmation Of Martyn Bennett tours to Perth, Musselburgh, Beauly, Wick, Ullapool, Peebles, Glasgow, Tobermory and Findhorn from March 18-29