On the back of a bus in 1995 a guy called Jem Finer had an idea. Nearly five years later in 1999, on the verge of the third millennium that idea came to life as a thousand year long musical composition was set into motion.
Longplayer is a piece of music that’s been playing since 31 December 1999 and will keep playing until 31 December 2999. The composer Jem Finer created it in such a way that it will never, ever repeat itself and an organisation called The Longplayer Trust was created to ensure the music continued to play through the coming centuries.
For the last five years there have been a handful of dedicated listening posts around the world – but on 12 September 2009 they’re attempting something completely new: a 1000 minute section performed live by a relay team of musicians in the aptly circular setting of the Roundhouse in North London. It will run from 8.20am that morning until 1am the next.
At the same time, elsewhere in the building a historic relay conversation will be taking place between 24 leading writers, filmmakers, scientists, academics and technology activists, inspired by the philosophical implications of long time. Participants include Jeanette Winterson, Cory Doctrow, Rachel Armstrong and Andrew Kotting.
Artangel, who initially commissioned Longplayer almost ten years ago, have asked me to use social media to document the day live. This to me is an amazing concept in itself. How will the 1000 minutes of the 1000 years be remembered. Assuming the data survives who will be around to review any captured content? What will they think of the technology involved? How could i say no?
I’ll be doing whatever I can to ensure plenty of live material is streamed on the day. Using Qik, Audioboo, 12Seconds, Twitter, Flickr and as many other platforms as I feel necessary to share the moments as they happen with those outside of the Roundhouse walls. I feel this will be one of the most extraordinary musical events I will ever get to see and am really excited about exploring some of the ideas, concepts and conversations that spring up around the day. This one day in 365,000.
Fancy coming along? Artangel have also kindly allowed me to give 20 tickets away to others willing to tweet, blog or just share the moment so please drop me a comment/email/tweet or call if you’d like to come along as well.
See www.longplayer.org for the official project website, and if you miss out on the free tickets you can still book discounted tickets direct from this link http://bit.ly/2EJDzJ (use the promo code ‘144’ to get a third off the face value).
Hope to see you there.