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Performer plunges to death at Leipzig festival

The Local · 5 Sep 2011, 09:30

Published: 05 Sep 2011 09:30 GMT+02:00

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The man, Finn Martin, was supposed to use a rope to help him vertically slide down the façade of a building while playing a saxophone before dozens of cheering fans late Friday evening.

But during the attempt, the harness apparently broke and Martin plunged to his death before the shocked audience.

A doctor quickly determined that the 49-year-old performer had died from the impact.

Police said they were investigating the incident under the assumption that safety devices had failed and were also looking into whether participants had been under the influence of alcohol.

The performer was scheduled to do his 15-minute act four times while video images were displayed onto the building façade.

“He was a world-class artists, one of the top-ten saxophone players in the world, but almost unknown in Sweden,” Martin's cousin Peter Martin, told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Finn Martin had carried out similar stunts many times in recent years. In 2005 he played on the façade of a tower in Cologne that was nearly 150 metres tall.

While he was born in Sweden, Martin has lived abroad for most of his career.

According to his cousin, Martin's dare-devil performances were used to help him finance musical projects in West Africa.

Story continues below…

“Finn had a passion for African music,” his cousin Peter Martin told Aftonbladet.

“His art was his life and he was an artist and musician all the way to his fingertips.”

DPA/The Local/mdm/dl

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:25 September 5, 2011 by marimay
I am sure at least half of his audience only attends for the chance of this happening.
16:45 September 5, 2011 by zeddriver
While I feel bad for his family. I sometimes wonder why "one of the top ten sax players in the world" Would feel the need to dangle from a building to draw attention to himself. If he was truly one of the best. Wouldn't his music stand on it's own?

When I go to a concert. I go to hear music. I don't need to see someone play an instrument with their hair on fire.
18:19 September 5, 2011 by Englishted

I go to concerts to see somebody play with their hair on fire ,but no all I seem to get is music .
17:11 September 7, 2011 by dmiller
Even world class musicians have to compete for their market share of audiences and even solo performers have to pay others to make their concerts happen. While I certainly agree that music alone should be enough to establish a career, reality is more like gravity. There are too many world class musicians (and people in other types of "non-essential" professions) who are only able to pay their rent because they set themselves on fire or wait on tables.
22:28 September 7, 2011 by gffdss

First of all, the 'comma' key on your keyboard is to the left of the 'period' key.

Second, the rhetorical question you pose appears to be based on the foolish assumption that all the world's greatest artists necessarily rise to the top - that the marketplace only rewards the most talented and never or rarely misses greatness. Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. Many of the world's most gifted artists have only been discovered long after their deaths.

By the way, it was Finn Martin's bereaved brother who called him one of the world's best saxophonists, you nasty prick.
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