Fleet Footing

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Hampstead Heath, London, UK

Walking piece details

Languagemodern English, old English, old Norse, anglo-saxon
Cost7.99

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..

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, with 45 minutes of pauses at 17 listening stations). You can of course run it, cycle it, march it or even just 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 is clearly marked on the map.

Near Hampstead Heath, London, UK

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