It's been a long time coming but finally I have a cool blog that I can call my own. Most people reading will already know who I am. Discussions of hip hop and life will usually take place here when I have things to talk about.

Monday, May 17, 2010

For the Attention Deficit

Apparently the worlds shortest song. Just so you know, the world's longest song is open to some debate so I will list a few of them that are long. For those with a lot of time and patience.

The Mars Volta have a song known as Cassandra Gemini that runs over 33 minutes long, which is a fair chunk of seconds. Pink Floyd and Genesis have had songs run into the 20 minute range. Jethro Tull had Thick as a Brick which is over 40 minutes. Goldie has a song called Mother that runs over 60 minutes. Chris Butler has a song called the Devil Glitch that runs over 68 minutes that was recognised by the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest POP song. Several classical movements have gone over multiple hours. I've heard of improvised Jam's going on for days and sometimes weeks, but I haven't come across any physical evidence. Which leads us to......
Longplayer is a one thousand year long 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, and is now in the care of the Longplayer Trust.

Longplayer can be heard in the lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London, where it has been playing since it began. It can also be heard at several other listening posts around the world, and globally via a live stream on the Internet.

Longplayer is composed for singing bowls – an ancient type of standing bell – which can be played by both humans and machines, and whose resonances can be very accurately reproduced in recorded form. It is designed to be adaptable to unforeseeable changes in its technological and social environments, and to endure in the long-term as a self-sustaining institution.

Longplayer is composed in such a way that the character of its music changes from day to day and – though it is beyond the reach of any one person’s experience – from century to century. It works in a way somewhat akin to a system of planets, which are aligned only once every thousand years, and whose orbits meanwhile move in and out of phase with each other in constantly shifting configurations. In a similar way, Longplayer is predetermined from beginning to end – its movements are calculable, but are occurring on a scale so vast as to be all but unknowable.

So apparently this piece of music has been playing for over 10 years now, and it is simply not a loop as the pitch, timing, and strike impact all change slightly. I've heard bit's and pieces of it (obviously it's a little difficult to listen to it in it's entirity). If it stops now I think it's record is pretty safe, if it keeps going for 1000 years.....well.....hard to fathom. Apparently you can visit it in London, too bad I discovered this after I was there.


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