Longplayer: un brano lungo 1000 anni

Categories: Elettroacustica
Comments: 2 Comments
Published on: 28 August 2009

Longplayer is a one thousand year long musical composition. It began playing at midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without repetition until the last moment of 2999, at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again. Conceived and composed by Jem Finer, it was originally produced as an Artangel commission, and is now in the care of the Longplayer Trust.

Longplayer can be heard in the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, where it has been playing since it began. It can also be heard at several other listening posts around the world, and globally via a live stream on the Internet.

Longplayer is composed for singing bowls – an ancient type of standing bell – which can be played by both humans and machines, and whose resonances can be very accurately reproduced in recorded form. It is designed to be adaptable to unforeseeable changes in its technological and social environments, and to endure in the long-term as a self-sustaining institution.

At present, Longplayer is being performed by a computer. However, it was created with a full awareness of the inevitable obsolescence of this technology, and is not in itself bound to the computer or any other technological form.

Although the computer is a cheap and accurate device on which Longplayer can play, it is important – in order to legislate for its survival – that a medium outside the digital realm be found. To this end, one objective from the earliest stages of its development has been to research alternative methods of performance, including mechanical, non-electrical and human-operated versions. Among these is a graphical score for six people and 234 singing bowls. A live performance from this score is being prepared for September 2009. See here for more information.

Longplayer was developed and composed by Jem Finer between October 1995 and December 1999, with the support and collaboration of Artangel.

  • A 56kbps live stream can be heard by clicking (or right-clicking) here:
    Per ascoltare un live stream del brano, cliccate qui:

2 Comments
  1. Continuo says:

    This is beautiful. Finer also created the Score For A Hole In The Groundt. For a guy who used to play bass in The Pogues Irish rock band, he’s quite an interesting figure. Thanks for the link.

  2. AC says:

    A 1000-minute long section of this piece is going to be played by live musicians for the first time on September 12th 2009 at the Roundhouse in London. It will be performed on a massive 20-meter wide instrument by 25 musicians. Here’s the link: http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/whats-on/book-tickets/longplayer-live-3543/3544

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