Jem Finer

Long player

Longplayer is a one thousand yearlong musical composition. It began playing at midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without repetition until the last moment of 2999, at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again. Conceived and composed by Jem Finer, it was originally produced as an Artangel commission.

The music is created in real time from a 20-minute recording of 234 Tibetan Singing Bowls and intervals of silence. Every two minutes Longplayer takes six different excerpts from the recording which is modified in pitch and then played back simultaneously by SupperCollider software-a dynamic language running on a computer. This application of simple and precise rules to the source music works in such a way that no combination is repeated until exactly one thousand years has passed.

The exhibition aims to trace how Longplayer, both in the process of its creation and its life, has sought to address Finer’s conceptual concern with the problems of representing and understanding the fluidity and expansive of time. Through selected archive material including videos, texts and sound pieces, the show invites the visitors to explore and investigate questions and fantasies that Longplayer inspires.

The achieve show at Azad Art Gallery marks the beginning of a yearlong tour of Longplayer to nine cities in Iran including Rasht, Tabriz, Sanandaj, Zanjan, Amol, Sari, Mashhad, Isfehan and Tehran. In each city, Longplayer would encourage discussions and interaction in relation to notions of time, sound, local dialects, and co-existing temporal times through public events.