It goes on a bit…

Longplayer by Jem Finer @ Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse

Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse

Trinity Buoy Wharf Lighthouse

“Longplayer is a 1,000 year long musical composition which began to play on January 1st 2000 and will continue without repetition until the last moment of 2999 , at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again.”

Although there are now locations around the world which are all simultaneously playing out Longplayer, the origional listening post is located at the top of London’s only lighthouse.  Trinity Buoy Wharf”s Experimental Lighthouse was built to test out new lighthouse technologies and from 1836-1855 it functioned as workshop for the renowned engineer and experimentalist Michael Faraday.

When you climb to the top you are greeted with a panoramic view of the river and a very eerie soundtrack:  The sound of Tibetan singing bowls ambiently whirring and humming interspersed with sudden, loud crashes and chimes.

Although Longplayer is currently being played by a computer there are plans for a live performance of a 1,000 minute excerpt to take place in September of this year.

The live performance will to be played by 6 musicians on 234 Tibetan Singing Bowls laid out in 6 concentric circles, the largest of which will be 25 metres wide.

The graphical score for Longplayer

The graphical score for Longplayer

After the initial challenge of composing a tune with a 1,000 year duration was overcome the main problem the team behind Longplayer have been tackling is the technological difficulties of keeping a piece of music playing for 1,000 years.  Part of that has been the formation of the Longplayer Trust, a lineage of present and future custodians invested with the responsibility to research and implement strategies for Longplayer’s survival.

You can listen live to Longplayer and read details about the piece’s composition at www.longplayer.org

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One response to “It goes on a bit…

  1. 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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