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At Leisure

Horticulturial Music: Cosey Fanni Tutti On Gardening
Luke Turner , August 17th, 2018 11:42

In the latest Quietus At Leisure film, we visit Cosey Fanni Tutti's Norfolk garden to find out about her love of getting her hands dirty in the natural world

One of the biggest misconceptions about the music that emerged from Throbbing Gristle’s Hackney Studio in the late 1970s is that is it limited to harsh, urban sounds. Yes, they might inadvertently have spawned an entire genre called ‘industrial’, but TG’s music more often than not evoked places beyond the boundaries of the city - just think of the unsettling photograph of the group on the cliffs of Beachy Head on the cover of 20 Jazz Funk Greats. And then, of course, there’s what happened next. Coil’s music, especially in the later years, was marked by an evocation of a misty, eroticised and supernatural landscape. Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter left London for the flatlands of rural Norfolk, where they converted an old school into a home and studio, demolishing the tarmac of the playground to create a garden. Indoors, their music evolved into Carter Tutti - the Fenland skies and waters imbue Cabal and Feral Vapours with a reflective ambience. It’s that garden that we find Cosey in the latest Quietus At Leisure video. She puts her inspiration to garden thus: “I think it goes back to having nothing when I was 17, being thrown out and having to provide for myself from the ground up. I don’t rely on anyone in case they let me down”. In the film she discusses her dislike of using pesticides and chemical fertilisers, favouring companion gardening and homemade compost, and reflects on why working in her veg patch has such an appeal. “You get the seasons, working with nature and the weather. It gives me a lot of enjoyment, I switch off from everything else, music business and all that - I come out here and get real, get down on the ground and it’s fantastic. It’s a simple ecoysystem, whereas the way we live is so complicated - it’s stressful and it drains the energy out of you, psychically and physically”

The Quietus at Leisure was produced by Luke Turner and shot and edited by Ethan Reid. The series is produced in association with Lush. Read our profile of Cosey at Lush here. Cosey will be appearing at next weekend's Sea Change Festival in Totnes, for more information go here.