Land Observations (aka the musician and artist, James Brooks) has unveiled the video for ‘On Leaving The Kingdom For The Well-Tempered Continent’, taken from his forthcoming album, The Grand Tour, out on 28/29 July 2014.
‘On Leaving The Kingdom For The Well-Tempered Continent’ opens the album and addresses the route from London, through the Kentish countryside on the Old Dover Road, towards the port and crossing the channel to Northern France. The video, directed by the artist Phil Coy (http://philcoy.info) tracks this route through beautiful use of film and still photography, watch it here:
The Grand Tour is the follow up to 2012’s critically acclaimed debut album, Roman Roads IV-XI. Where that was concerned with the roads of communication and conquest that stretched across the former Roman Empire and Republic, the new album creates an imaginary travelogue through Western, Central and Southern Europe with reference to the historic Grand Tour, a traditional rite of passage for wealthy University graduates, finding popularity in the 18th century.
On The Grand Tour, the landscape gives inspiration to the speed, pace and momentum of the journey – the swift ‘Flatlands And The Flemish Roads’ mirroring the horizontal unimpeded journey of the lowlands, slowing into ‘From The Heights Of The Simpson Pass’ as we climb up one of the highest mountain routes in the Swiss Alps; sweeping down and across to the majestic ‘Nice To Turin’ and meandering the elegant Strasses of Vienna, with its ornate, baroque architecture and streets infused with its musical history on ‘Ode To Viennese Streets’.
The record’s The Grand Tour continues through its itinerary to the cities of Venice, Florence, Rome before finally heading back. On ‘Return To Ravenna’, a beginning and an end is at once signalled. It’s the end of the tour, and the beginning of the journey home – a track with an intentional reference to Land Observations’ debut, album, where Brooks celebrated ‘Via Flaminia’, the Roman road between Rome and Ravenna, once a major city in classical culture.
As such, the album is not concerned with arrival, its concern is with the journey, the experiences, the momentum of travel through re-imagining a grand tour.
For the The Grand Tour’s artwork James Brooks has made a series of postcard drawings which utilise various found tourist and holiday postcards. Directly responding to each postcard’s unique design layout, he has produced a series of abstract, geometric drawings of only their specific surface areas and design skeleton.
You can pre-order The Grand Tour here: http://smarturl.it/LOGTiTunes
Following Land Observations’ recent appearance at the Shhh festival, Brooks will perform at Rough Trade East on Wednesday 30 July (stagetime: 7pm), full details at http://www.roughtrade.com/events/2014/7/591
Recently Brooks guested on Simon Fisher Turner’s Ivor Novello Award winning score for the BFI restoration of The Epic Of Everest (dir. Captain John Noel, 1924) and has performed the score live at the London Film Festival world premiere, Trento Film Festival in Italy and the Shanghai International Film Festival.
THE GRAND TOUR
On Leaving The Kingdom For The Well-Tempered Continent
Flatlands And The Flemish Roads
From The Heights Of The Simplon Pass
Nice To Turin
Ode To Viennese Streets
The Brenner Pass
Walking The Warm Colonnades
Return To Ravenna
LAND OBSERVATIONS ONLINE