26 Jan 2023


This is an early "folktronica" classic combing experimental electronics, samples and traditional folk instruments.

Visionary Landscapes was originally performed as a live soundtrack to a 3 screen projection of super 8 footage taken from Andrew Kotting’s feature-film, “Gallivant”. It took place at LUX’s Visionary Landscapes event at Cecil Sharp House in May 2003. The CD contains studio versions plus one live track featuring Ben Woolford playing his late fathers home made valve driven electronic organ.

‘Cut-ups and smidgeons abound. Jem Finer and Andrew Ktting have assembled a veritable bricolage of things folk laureate. Voices from a bygone zeitgeist weave their way throughout the beautifully constructed soundscapes. Elegaic, beguiling and always haunting the compositions mend their merry way. Hurdy Gurdies, Zithers, Melodicas and Harmoniums transport the listener to places they have not been before. Contemplative sonic landscaping at its very best. A right carry on.’

'FINER played with the Pogues and currently has a 1,000-year piece of computer-generated music, Longplayer, continually extending itself in an east London lighthouse. Obviously, there's no need to hurry to hear it. Kötting is an artist and film-maker whose Filthy Earth won a fistful of prizes. Last May, they collaborated on a live soundtrack for outtakes from Kötting's film Gallivant at Cecil Sharp House, home of English folk music.

Visionary Landscapes documents the results. Samples of elderly rural types decrying meaningless modern music and singing snatches of traditional tunes drop in between droning harmoniums and backwards voices in a morally ambivalent, oddly moving and suspiciously amusing collage of country life. Finer also has a spidery solo album of treated guitar instrumentals, called gtr, out now.' -Stewart Lee

Jem Finer
Andrew Kötting

Andrew Kötting’s Gallivant
By Gareth Evans

A unique journey through the moving image is properly celebrated on dvd

Andrew Kötting is one of Britain’s most intriguing artists, and perhaps the only film-maker currently practising who could be said to have taken to heart the spirit of visionary curiosity and hybrid creativity exemplified by the late Derek Jarman. Formally exploratory and aesthetically innovative, like Jarman he is also a great collaborator, building around his various projects a community of shared interest, while anchoring his prolific production in an ongoing report on the lives of those closest to him.

His twenty-five-year progress to date has moved from early live-art inflected, often absurdist pieces, ripe with their own internal logics and skewed mythologies, through darkly comic shorts – teasing out the melancholy surrealism at the heart of contemporary Englishness –  to two resolutely independent features that take landscape and journeys as the springboards for visually striking and structurally inventive enquiries into identity, belonging, history and notions of community.

In all Kötting’s work, there is a more or less active reclamation of deep strains of popular experience and folk memory for the digital age. At the same time, his oeuvre is underpinned by an instinctually psycho-geographical approach to place. The above has come together most winningly in his award-winning debut feature, the warmly experimental Gallivant. An unscripted camper van journey around the entire British coastline, in the company of his grandmother and his daughter Eden (then eight years old and suffering from the rare Joubert’s Syndrome) allows Kötting to excavate all his interests at length. Multiple filmstocks, found footage, non-synchronous sound, home movie reveries and encounters with a host of distinctive personalities all make for richly textured, humourous and fascinating viewing. At its heart however is the affecting relationships, across three generations, of family members learning both about the country they inhabit and themselves. A genuine one of a kind road movie and a unique British film.

It’s now been beautifully packaged by the BFI. With two fully illustrated booklets boasting insightful notes by Kötting, an extended treatment for Gallivant and a very fine essay by Iain Sinclair, this double disc set boasts nearly three hours of extra material. Eleven shorts, drawn from across Kötting’s oeuvre, are included. A two screen work, Visionary Landscapes, made from super 8 Gallivant outtakes in collaboration with musician and Pogues co-founder Jem Finer, is also included. All in all, as Sukhdev Sandhu has observed, ‘a tantalising vision of a parallel British cinema.’

Gallivant is released by BFI.

It is also out in France from ED Distribution. In an equally impressive superb four-disc overview of the Kötting project, it includes his feature This Filthy Earth, its installation version and the soundtrack CD, 16 shorts, magnificent print accompaniments and interior design.

Vertigo Volume 3 | Issue 6 | Summer 2007

Jem Finer And Andrew Kötting – Visionary Landscapes

Label: El Rino – 002
Format: Digital, CD, Album
Country: UK
Released: 2003
Genre: Non-Music, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Plunderphonics, Ambient, Traditional Folk Music, Interview, Field Recording, Spoken Word, Folk

1. Italy, Sicily, France And Spain, All Round England And Back Again 3:53
2. I Don't Know Where I Originated From 6:59
3. John Barley Corn 3:50
4. Away Birds Away 5:11
5. My Mother Killed Me 4:12
6. Rockaway 2:53
7. How Long Is A Piece Of String? 9:38

Recorded and mixed at Riverside Studios, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London Spring 2003

Summary: "Jem Finer and Andrew Kötting have come together to produce soundscapes for a triptych of Super 8 projections at Cecil Sharp House. The original Super * footage was shot during the making of the film Gallivant." Track 7 "Taken from a live performance at Cecil Sharp House on Friday 23rd May as part of a Folk Film Landscape event organised by the LUX".