Fans descended on The Roundhouse for a celebration of Gil Scott-Heron, the legendary grandfather of hip-hop. An influential cohort of artists were assembled to pay tribute, including The Invisible's Dave Okumu (as musical director), Floating Point's Sam Shepherd, Andreya Triana, Loyle Carner, Kwabs and Reginald D Hunter - to mention just a few.

Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man formed part of Convergence, a music, art and technology festival celebrating everything innovative where those industries converge.

The festival was well represented in this instalment - the first move into commissioned concerts - though admittedly Gil was an odd choice. Organiser Glenn Max notes: "Gil wasn't necessarily the most obvious place to go to for this idea of Convergence, which broadly is really about innovation in the merging of music and technology in kind of new and unexpected ways. Gil Scott-Heron was certainly not a technologist, he was a bluesologist, thinking of himself as part of a tradition.... So, this was is in ways an odd choice, but undeniably a reference point for so much art that is being made right now."

The performance showcased a contemporary re-working of Gil's catalogue, the same catalogue which is a substantial influence on all the artists who performed it. Pieces of a Man was simultaneously a re-working and a retrospective, like an ouroboros, the symbol of the snake eating its own tail. "Gil's work runs through all of that," said Max, "through FKA Twigs, through a million different contemporary things. The other factor in why Gil is in this programme is, when you are dealing with a lot of anonymous DJ talent, there is not a lot of narrative and it is in fact shunned, in a time when we need to return to a narrative with all the terror going on around us."

Glen expands on this idea of a narrative "I always try not to use the word festival to describe Convergence, it is a conversation. Over 10 days, and in other events too, around these topics." Musical director Dave Okumu is on the same page, referring to Gil's legacy as a continuing conversation: "If Gil hadn't done what he did, it feels like there's a whole range of music that wouldn't have existed."

First coming into contact with Glenn Max on a production of Beck's Song Reader at the Barbican, Okumu was approached to put together the music for Gil's tribute. "I saw my job as trying to bring a coherent language to the whole show... but one that was flexible enough to allow real personal expression to the artist so they weren't coming on and just doing a Gil Scott-Heron karaoke." In other words, "Really engaging with the spirit of Gil's music but also showing that these are artists in their own right," with a fluid arrangement process that borrowed on personal interpretations of the collaborators to create a mosaic of influence on an influencers work.

The cohesion of the show was a key-point for Okumu, who encouraged all the performers to congregate on stage for the duration of the show: "It can feel incredibly fragmented - it was important to us to have everyone on stage for the whole show, because it felt like there was a communal ownership of what was going on."

This effort was not unnoticed by the crowd, who celebrated in equal measure with the band on stage, phasing between recognition and surprise as the newly reworked classics carved out a fresh groove. Anna Calvi gave a thunderous, terrifying, guitar screeching rendition of 'Me and the Devil' directly from the depths of hell. Andreya Trianna led some of the more emotional renditions, including 'Winter in America' and 'A Sign of the Ages'; she was personally recommended by Sam Shepherd, who himself arranged the music for 'We Almost Lost Detroit' and 'Angola Louisiana.'

Loyle Carner served up 'Whitey on the Moon' atop a swinging old-school beat, before launching into some of his own London-bred, fluidly delivered verse. Kate Tempest was a surprise guest, delivering an intense, spellbinding diatribe of society's woes. Everything about Pieces of a Man was tailored-made and unique to the one-off performance, all anchored by Gil Scott-Heron's timeless legacy.

There was a poignancy to the event - in contrast with the era of the internet, when music and art is readily available at all times, this was a unique collaborative experience from artists that would only happen once. These were arrangements that had been months in the working, only to be performed on this one fateful night. "I would love to see it recorded, I would love to see it happen again," says Okumu, but added: "It will never be the same as it was that night. If we did this again I wouldn't be trying to recapture that night, because I know that will never happen again, it will just have to be a continuation."