Jem Finer / Lecture

Above Image – Overview image of Longplayer. Image Source.



Artist, Composer and Musician, Jem Finer presented at Transmission this week. Finer discussed several of his works but one piece that really stood out to me was his piece titled Long Player.

“Long Player” is a musical composition conceived and composed by Finer that is a 1000 year long music piece that began playing midnight on 31st December 1999 and will continue to play without repetition until the last moment of 2999, where it will have complete its cycle.  Such an extraordinary idea and involves dealing with something and planning for it when it will last way beyond his lifetime and through several generations.

The idea began for Finer when he thought of the idea of making a music piece that would last forever – this was in the mid 1990’s, so this idea was brought on by the looming Millennium hysteria.

I was so struck with this piece, from it being so ambitious and the idea of planning so far into the future to Finer having to pass it on for generations, such an amazing idea it questions whether it is possible or not but either way it is so impressive that its continued since before 2000, 16 years which is totally astonishing and also the science behind it and its conceptual background of science, mathematics, which I personally find quite baffling.  An article by the ‘Guardian ‘newspaper, that discussed the new app designed to allow anyone to play ‘Long Player’ described the musical piece; ‘each track moves in and out of phase with others, like planets and moons whose orbits gradually bring them closer together and then propel them apart over the course of years, decades even centuries’, which is reflective of the Long Player concept background.

Article Link:
It will be interesting to see if in 10 years the piece will still be playing but even that is still an extreme amount of time and an amazing achievement. My practice is inspired by my love of music and lyrics, to see this and know it’s completely taken over his life is incredible, Finer’s ambition is so admirable, a really striking and mind blowing piece of work, it’s just a pity that no one that is alive now, will ever know if he’s achieved it, quite daunting to think a song won’t finish, even long after we are gone.


Jem Finer –
Jem Finer’s Longplayer –


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