Inheritance Projects


Longplayer Live : Artangel


Lasting 1,000 years, Jem Finer’s Longplayer is the longest non-repeating piece of music ever composed. Originally commissioned by Artangel, it’s been playing continually at listening posts around the world since the first moments of the millennium.

Claire Louise Staunton worked as Associate Producer for Longplayer Live, a 1000 minute performance of Jem Finer's 1,000 year musical composition alongside a marathon conversation focusing on temporality and alternatives to linear time.


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On Saturday 12 September, Finer directs Longplayer’s spectacular first-ever live performance: a 1,000 minute section from its 1,000 year duration. A tiny fragment from its great expanse, Longplayer Live will be played by a 26-strong all-star orchestra on a unique 20-metre wide instrument – effectively a giant ‘bronze age’ synthesizer, with highly resonant singing bowls for tone generators and humans for power.

In parallel with the live performance in the Roundhouse’s Main Space, the Artangel Longplayer 2009 Conversation an epic relay of one-to-one conversations inspired by the philosophical implications of long time – will be in the Studio Theatre. Writer Jeanette Winterson will begin the 12-hour talking marathon of 24 leading writers, filmmakers, scientists, academics and technology activists.

Jem Finer is an artist, musician and award-winning composer whose recent works include Score for Hole in the Ground, in which underground falling water plays on hidden percussive instruments and two sculptural observatories; Landscope, an inverted pylon that detected storms on Jupiter, and The Centre of the Universe, a spiral tower that ‘listened’ to the cosmos. Finer was also a founding member of The Pogues.

Longplayer began at midnight on 31 December 1999 in the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, East London.

Musicians and Long Conversation Speakers

Longplayer Musicians

Douglas Benford

Steve Beresford

Gina Birch

John Bisset

Ansuman Biswas

Tom Chant

Richard Cripps

Peter Cusak

Rhodri Davis

Ben Drew

Jem Finer

Iris Garrelfs

Darryl Hunt

Ivor Kallin

Andrew Kotting

Kaffe Matthews

Graeme Miller

J Maizlish Mole

Hayley Newman

Michael Ormiston

Spider Stacy

Emma Stow

David Toop

Candida Valentino

Laura Williams

Long Conversation Speakers

Rachel Armstrong

Charles Arsène-Henry

Cory Doctorow

Marcus du Sautoy

Sophie Fiennes

Daniel Glaser

Bonnie Greer

Mark Haddon

Lisa Jardine

Andrew Kotting

Mark Lythgoe

Mark Miodownik

Susie Orbach

Ruth Padel

Robert Peston

Steven Rose

David Toop

Vincent Walsh

Jeanette Winterson

Lewis Wolpert

and more…