longplayer live
Longplayer Live, the Roundhouse, 12 September 2009

Longplayer is the longest non-repeating piece of music ever composed. It is a one thousand year-long musical composition. It began playing at midnight on the 31 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 grew out of a conceptual concern with problems of representing and understanding the fluidity and expansiveness of time. More than a piece of music, Longplayer is a social organism and it will exist as a community of listeners spanning over centuries to come.

On 12 September 2009, Longplayer had its first-ever live performance, at the Roundhouse, London (photo above). This historic 17-hour event spanned 1000 minutes of Longplayer’s 1000-year duration, from 08:00 on the morning of the 12th until 00:40 on the morning of the 13th.

Why we like it:
Longplayer is composed in such a way that the character of its music changes from day to day. It works in a way somewhat akin to a system of planets, which are aligned only once every thousand years, and whose orbits meanwhile move in and out of phase with each other in constantly shifting configurations.

The original Longplayer installation, running continuously since 31 December 1999, is situated inside the 19th century lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. Longplayer can also be heard at several public listening posts around the world, as well as via an online live stream.

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