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Fleet Footing - an audio treasure hunt - part of Totally Thames 2020

by Catherine Kontz & Sarah Grange

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    Fleet Footing - an audio treasure hunt (audio and map)
    Created by Catherine Kontz and Sarah Grange
    A Now For Norbert recording (a branch of Dinner With Daisy Records)
    Download the audio material for a new sonic walk charting the course of the hidden River Fleet in London and take it with you (phone, tablet etc with headphones) on the walk.
    A complimentary map is attached as bonus item so you know where to go and when to stop and listen. Make sure you download or print it before you set off as the bandcamp app doesn't seem to allow viewing it en route on certain devices!
    More info on
    Purchasable with gift card

      £7.99 GBP  or more


Gast Seo hwierfeð mid hryrum Flod feallað Hwæt Se eþelstol me þynceð elþeodig Muþ lame gefylled Þrie dagas deop Gast Swefende
Bathers 02:10
Garage B16 01:18
Castlehaven 01:40
fljót hreins oss ber oss brotnar brúður brotnir eiðar dauðir dómendr dauðir hundar Ber oss Hreins oss fljót
Under Quinns 00:47
The flies hum in the long grass You have taken off your shoes and stockings You have tucked your skirt up You stand in the water It is delicious It is cool and pure You will fill your pails soon And trudge them back to the big house But for now you have time to dream of Boudicca who fought the Romans here and turned the clear water red
Chad's Well 01:28
The celebrity of these waters being confined chiefly to its own immediate vicinity for a number of years; the present proprietor has thought proper to give a more extensive publicity to the existence of a nostrum provided by Nature through Divine Providence, approaching nearest that great desideratum of scientific men and mankind in general, throughout all ages; namely an UNIVERSAL MEDICINE. The many cures yearly performed by these waters does not come within the limits of a handbill, but suffice it to say, that here, upon trial the sufferer finds a speedy and sure relief from INDIGESTION and its train, HABITUAL COSTIVENESS, the extensive range of LIVER COMPLAINTS, DROPSY in its early stages, GLANDULAR OBSTRUCTIONS and that bane of life, SCROPHULA; for ERUPTIONS ON THE FACE OR SKIN its almost immediate efficacy needs but a trial.
Flood 01:55
seventeen sixty eight overflowing roads and fields four feet deep A man several thousand pounds' damage three oxen several hogs eighteen forty six Fleet gasses exploded drove a steamer against the piers penetrated into the cellars three thousand pounds goods destroyed most severe five feet swept away cattle furniture Three poor house roads impassable kitchens inundated thirty-six sacks of flour Flood Fleot five feet or more sewage discharged one million seven hundred and forty one thousand seven hundred and seventy five cubic feet
Traffic 03:44
Clerks Well 03:45
Thalweg 02:32
Fleet Bridge 02:22
Fleet Fleot Ken ditch Old Bourne Turnmill Brook River of Wells 87 years since she last broke her banks 163 years since Bazalgette buried her 172 years since she exploded in the storm 238 years since the rioters burned her prison down 239 years since she first carried convicts to the colonies 282 years since the giant pig emerged 309 years since Christopher Preston was killed by his bear 352 years since the fire took everything 465 years since the Bridewell women were first whipped as whores 644 years since Duke Robert fired his arrows across her 728 years since the friars incense could no longer mask her putrid stench 952 years since the Normans sailed upstream 1140 years since the Vikings gave up their gods for her 1518 years since Lundenwic was built on her banks 1958 years since Boudicca turned her red 1975 years since the Romans used her waters to turn the mill 34 million years since a long lost ocean set layer of sand on a layer of clay and sent Fleet flooding down the hill Now she runs invisible to the sewer not the Thames A conversation ended no tide no time no name


***Part of TOTALLY THAMES 2020***
*** Quattropole Music Prize 2019 Jury selection ***
***Tête-à-Tête Opera festival***

UPCOMING EVENTS: 2 socially distanced Fleet Footing Walks in the company of the creators - 5th and 27th September, 11.00-16.00 as part of Totally Thames 2020. Meeting point Vale of Health Pond, Hampstead Heath. To reserve your place on the walk download the audio material and the map from this site and drop us a line on Also more info here:
***the walk on 27th is also now fully booked but you can of course set off on your own or drop us a line if you want to be kept informed about future guided walks.

Also: make sure you download or print it before you set off as the bandcamp app doesn't seem to allow viewing it en route on certain devices!

A bold new work combining music and interactive performance in an exploration of London’s lost river, Fleet Footing is a music walk charting a course along the path of the River Fleet through live, interactive and recorded materials.

Having flowed through history as a site for religion, trade, medicine and scandal, the Fleet was gradually covered up by the city’s development. Though all but invisible now, the river’s impact on London has left clues and hints behind: in the curves of the streets, the names of the roads, the viaducts across what is now only asphalt..

Combining a site-responsive sonic work with a specially commissioned map by Rowanne Anderson, Fleet Footing enables participants to follow this forgotten part of London’s landscape from its source at Hampstead to its mouth at Blackfriars, discovering as they walk the river’s history. This is 360˚ experience where the audience move through the city and become themselves part of the performance.

Using binaural sound recording technology, the boundaries between musical space and urban location will be blurred to allow a creative rediscovery of local geography. Composer Catherine Kontz, whose works often embrace elements of theatre and a visual dimension, teams up with writer Sarah Grange to create this site-specific piece that unearths the Fleet’s rich history. With dramatic direction and guiding instructions, the participants become performers themselves within the blend of recorded material and the sound of the city to create an interactive and immersive experience.

Count 4-5 hours to do the entire walk, especially if you are walking in a group. (approx. 6 miles/10 km, includes the 45 minutes of pauses at 17 listening stations). You can of course run it, cycle it, march it or dream of it however we conceived it as a leisurely walk to do in parts or in one go!

The Fleet Footing route is step free and buggy-friendly, although some of the Hampstead Heath sections are woodland paths and therefore quite uneven in places. There is lift access to the Holborn viaduct upper level, which will be clearly marked on the map.

Fleet Footing initially launched as part of Tete-a-Tete the opera festival 2018


released August 8, 2018

Featuring: Bill Bankes-Jones, voice – Michael Drout, anglo-saxon voice – Juliet Fraser, soprano – Sarah Grange, voice – Tom Jackson, clarinets – Catherine Kontz, voice – piano, waterphone and reed organs – Sibylla Meienberg, voice – Edgar Vaxby, Emmylou Vaxby and Evie Vranic-Britten, voice – translations into Old English and Norse provided by Rory Naismith and Brittany Schorn – binaural recordings by James Bull – Mixed by Henri Vaxby and Catherine Kontz for une cartouche – Map by Rowanne Anderson. With thanks to everyone who participated in “I can definitely hear it”.

All tracks edited, mixed and mastered by Henri Växby and Catherine Kontz for une cartouche. Now For Norbert 2018.
Thanks to Alastair White & Susanna Lee, and to Fr. James Elston at St Pancras Old Church.


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Catherine Kontz & Sarah Grange London, UK

Catherine Kontz is a London-based composer whose works explore nonlinear form, visual/spatial elements, and musical theatricality.

Sarah Grange is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer with an eclectic background in theatre and art practice, working mostly in live performance contexts.
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