Total Production

Legendary Composition Longplayer Available As iOS App

June 2015

Commissioned by Artangel in 1995, Longplayer is the legendary 1000 yearlong musical composition by artist, and Pogues founding member, Jem Finer.

Created in collaboration with sound artist Daniel Jones, the iOS app released today celebrates 15 years of continuous play, bringing the experience of listening to deep time, to everyone’s pockets.

Longplayer is a musical composition that has been playing since the beginning of the year 2000, and will play on, never repeating, until it reaches the point at which it first started, exactly 1000 years later. Until now it has only been possible to hear Longplayer on-line, at selected listening posts worldwide and at one-off live performances.

The piece that fuses art, music and technology together was the result of years of research into musical systems, cultural forms, and the physical basis of time itself. It is intended to force us to confront the reality of deep time, of environmental and social processes, which play out beyond the experience of any individual.

The Longplayer iOS app introduces a new way to listen to Longplayer, anywhere, at any time and without the need for a data connection. It will always play in time with all other instances of Longplayer - one point in a community of listeners stretching through time and space, across many lifetimes. The app displays a real-time graphic score and includes exhaustive information about Longplayer - the instrument; it’s history, composition and performance.

Implicit in Longplayer’s composition is the ability for it to be performed by any technology - a necessity given its duration and the future’s unpredictability. Inspired by computers designed for deep space missions, one of the original strategies for sustaining Longplayer was to make large numbers of small and cheap chips whose sole function would be its performance. Though the lifespan of an iOS device is limited to a few years, in a very real sense this is a first realisation of such a smallindependent computational device, piggybacking on the iPhone and iPad’s ubiquity, portability and computational power.

Longplayer app available from the App Store. Designed by Joe Hales, Jem Finer and Daniel Jones. Development by Daniel Jones.


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