Longplayer – London, England - Atlas Obscura


Trinity Buoy Wharf

A musical composition 1000 years in length plays at the Trinity Buoy Wharf in London. 


Conceived by Jem Finer of London / Irish punk band The Pogues, Longplayer is a musical composition 1,000 years in length. Its first performance began at midnight on December 31, 01999 and will conclude at the end of 02999. It was composed for Tibetan Singing Bowls and is built around the application of simple and precise rules to six related pieces of music, each a harmonic transposition of an original 20 min. 20 sec. composition (the ‘source music’). Six 2-minute sections from these transpositions – one from each – are playing simultaneously at all times. Longplayer chooses these six sections in such a way that no combination is repeated until exactly 1000 years has passed.

The composition is available for listening on the web(http://longplayer.org/listen/download.php) and in several select locations around the world (http://longplayer.org/where/). The first is in the lighthouse on the Trinity Buoy Wharf in London. It can also be heard at the Royal Observatory in London, the Orangery in Nottinghamshire, the Bibliotheca Alexandia in Egypt, The Long Now Museum & Store in San Francisco, and the Brisbane Powerhouse in Queensland, Australia.

Until recently Longplayer has only existed in digital form - as a live stream on the internet - and at these listening posts. In September of 2009, Finer arranged the first live performance of Longplayer at the Roundhouse in London (http://longplayer.org/live/) where 1,000 minutes of the piece were performed on a custom built instrument.

The Longplayer Trust is an organization created and charged with researching and implementing the means to sustain, implement, and spread awareness of Longplayer for at least its first 1,000 year-long performance.

In conjunction with the Long Now Foundation. Modified from original video and text by Austin Brown at the Long Now Blog.

In partnership with KAYAK

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