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Swedish artist plunges to his death in Germany

The Local/dl · 5 Sep 2011, 09:45

Published: 05 Sep 2011 09:45 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 artist, 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 dare-devil performances, which he called 'Vertigo', many times in recent years.

In 2005 he played on the façade of a tower in Cologne that was nearly 150 metres tall.

On his website, Martin referred to Vertigo as "an unusually emotional music aerial performance".

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

Story continues below…

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

“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 from every pore of his body.”

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:30 September 5, 2011 by Tysknaden
He should have stayed to what he was. A gifted artist, who was able to play his instrument like a god.

But he died by a marketing gimmick.
10:43 September 5, 2011 by hackie
What a bad way to end his career.
10:47 September 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
10:30 September 5, 2011 by Tysknaden

"He should have stayed to what he was. A gifted artist, who was able to play his instrument like a god."

Yeah!. If he played like a god, he should have kept on playing the saxophone.. I feel sorry for him. And Tysknaden, how do you know that he played his instrument like a god?

On the other hand, I would never consult the doctor who quickly determined that the 49-year-old performer had died from the impact. Than is a beauty written by the journalist of TL in charge of writing the news. You do not need to be a "doctor" to determine that someone playing the saxophone way of in the heights and falls down to the ground, died because he was shot by a rocket.
12:04 September 5, 2011 by Tysknaden
@J.C.Belmar: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/leute/0,1518,784286,00.html
13:42 September 5, 2011 by jacquelinee
I am sad for him, but he was a bit of a doughhead to attempt something so dangerous and stupid. I am an artist, but I am not going tp paint while bungee jumping over Niagra falls, because I am not an idiot!
13:59 September 5, 2011 by sparc
@J. L. Belmar: 20 meters is not high enough to conclude death in all cases. Not long ago a guy was saved after falling from the 6th floor.

Also, it takes training to distinguish a faint pulse of somebody who might be on the brick of dying.

Finally, a free-fall can cause all sorts of other fatal conditions to a man his age, like a heart attack.

All in all, the most probable outcome should never be taken for granted.
14:09 September 5, 2011 by Kstock
all due respects, ...but his last note was flat
15:03 September 5, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Condolences to his family and friends. I hadn't known of him, but obviously a very talented and beloved man.
15:21 September 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
13:42 September 5, 2011 by jacquelinee

He had done this type of public relations jippo in other places. I certainly do not agree with you when saying that he was a stupid or an idiot. He was an artist, like you claim to be, looking for other routes to sell his product, (him) so he could continue with his projects in Africa. So simply.

So please jacquelinee, do not fall into the line of the many Rickys, canuks and company we have had in The Local threads.

And, perhaps, and only perhaps, maybe while bungee jumping over the Niagara Falls you could make a bigger name than the one you have now. Just perhaps.

Sorry, but he is dead and he certainly does not deserve the epithets of stupid and idiot.

12:04 September 5, 2011 by Tysknaden

Vielen danke, Herr Tysknaden.
15:38 September 5, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ JL

I probably could make a far bigger name for myself, I agree. However, I would rather live in total obscurity than not live at all. I also would rather base my accomplishments on my own talent and merits rather than a dare devil act. That way, I would know it was my work that was impressive and not my "sideshow".

Just my view, and he was surely entighteled to do what worked for him.........but in this instance I don't think it did, cus he won't be playing the sax any more, he is now plaing a harp. ;-S
16:16 September 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
15:38 September 5, 2011 by jacquelinee

You have missed the point of the reason he had for performing dare devil acts.

Read well: "According to his cousin, Martin's dare-devil performances were used to help him finance musical projects in West Africa." I do not know what can be clearer than this. His "sideshow" as you qualified his act, was not for making a bigger name. I was for raising funds for his musical projects in West Africa.

And the last paragraph in your comment is again quite irreverent, disrespectful, rude, and imprudent, like the one posted here by Kstock who falls in the line of the many Ricky the Trickies we have to accept but not tolarate here.
16:20 September 5, 2011 by GLO
A Beer stunt, well what can you say. Play with fire you know!!!!
16:27 September 5, 2011 by jbat
jacquelinee.. this bad thing happen by accident.. accident.. you also can die by any accident if that happen... and what he did is not too dangerous and not a devil act as you said... it is safe..how many people die because of bungee jumping compare to how many people success doing it with no problem?

It only can turn to bad when accident has decide to happen!
16:30 September 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar
16:20 September 5, 2011 by GLO

I will tell Oscar Wilde to contact you so you can teach him how to be witty, humorous, funny, amusing, clever, sharp and shrewd.

You certainly made it!
17:25 September 5, 2011 by Kstock
I subscribe to the fact that in death there is humor, much like a wake, his family and loved ones miss him..and I'm guessing at times asked him, "what you are doing, is it safe?" A true talent will be missed. Apparently the song he was playing was a solo ... which was found on Bruce Springsteen 1985 great album, called "I'm going down" there is a great sax solo in it.

Long live Finn Martin!
17:35 September 5, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ JL and jbat

Ok guys. I stand corrected. And at the risk of REALLY annoying the womens groups, I kind of think men and women have a different view on things that can be dangerous. Men sort of view it as adventurous and thrilling, while women tend to be (for the majority) a little more reserved in this area. I admire his cause and think it is really admirable.
18:25 September 5, 2011 by J. L. Belmar

The women groups who will be annoyed are those who do not understand that equality in gender simply does not exist and will never exist in a whole lifetime. We are from Mars and you women are from who knows where. They say that from Venus. Poor Venus. What did that huge planet did to deserve the "honour".
16:21 September 6, 2011 by Dakotaman
As my Norwegian grandfather used to say, "You can always tell a Swede, but you can't tell him much."
17:16 September 6, 2011 by Tysknaden

Google Translate

"(...)Finn Martin died at his risky performance was apparently "not backed by the available technology." The police said on Tuesday.

Why the rope wasn't hooked in the straps to his body or attached by a helper was left unclear. The technique itself was intact. According to the police will continue to consider whether Martin was possibly under the influence of alcohol, drugs or narcotics. So far there is no evidence. The result should be ready in a few days.(...)"
12:00 September 7, 2011 by zooeden
I`ve worked or supervised stunts with people and heights and it´s pretty close to impossible that your harness and or the rigging equipment fails. Sure it can happen if your gear is rusty or broken or you have never send it to mandatory check ups. A performer his statue has probably done that cause that IS his craft... However what I have encounter is that people who assist some times miss little safety basic details... Im gonna say it was human error. What a tragedy damn it!!!
21:00 September 7, 2011 by hjoian
Agree with the above post. "wire-work" is safe if the kit is upto scratch,you dont mess with old kit or take risks with worn or old equipment.

What a waste. RIP
18:13 September 10, 2011 by suckfist
Too bad his harness couldn't carry a tune.
07:57 September 16, 2011 by Puffy Taco
Bottom line--he did what he could with what he had to try to help some others, regardless of our personal assessment. RIP
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