I have posted this info on Longplayer because I liked the idea of an ongoing piece of music that is part of a community. A sound which last for many years and slowly develops. I suppose its a bit like what we do here at Artlink. We keep going, slowly evolving, changing projects and ways of working in response to the people we work with.
Soon I will start to post information on individual projects. As part of these postings I would like people to add to and change what we post, allowing the ideas to develop and change over time. A bit like long player!!!! BUT please try to respond quickly, as a thousand years is a bit long to wait for a response.
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.
The Long Term
Longplayer grew out of a conceptual concern with problems of representing and understanding the fluidity and expansiveness of time. While it found form as a musical composition, it can also be understood as a living, 1000-year-long process – an artificial life form programmed to seek its own survival strategies. More than a piece of music, Longplayer is a social organism, depending on people – and the communication between people – for its continuation, and existing as a community of listeners across centuries.