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.