Longplayer is a piece of music that is designed to last for one thousand years. It started to play on 1 January 2000, and if all goes as planned, will continue without repetition until 31 December 2999, at which point it will restart.
Longplayer is based on an existing piece of music, 20 minutes and 20 seconds in length, which is processed by computer using a simple algorithm. This gives a large number of variations, which, when played consecutively, gives a total runtime of 1000 years.
The original music was composed by Jem Finer, who was also one of the founding members of the group The Pogues. It uses Tibetan singing bowls and gongs, which are able to create a range of sounds by either striking or rolling pieces of wood around the rims. This source music was recorded in December 1999. It was commissioned by Artangel.
Longplayer could be heard in the relaxation zone of the Millennium Dome in London during its year of opening in 2000. The piece was also played in the 19th century lighthouse at Trinity Buoy Wharf and other public listening posts in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and Egypt, where it can still be heard today