Longplayer (Project 2: Time and time-based media – Case study)

Case study Interpreting Sound – Longplayer

  • What is your initial reaction to the idea of this piece?
  • What do you think about the sounds in this piece?
  • Why do you think Finer has chosen these particular sounds?

Roundhouse Performance 2009 – Look at how it is presented to the audience. Think about:

  • Quality of the sound
  • Choice of singing bowls
  • Positioning of the bowls
  • Positioning of the spectator
  • Length of the piece
  • How it is performed

Write a short interpretation of Longplayer

1. Initial reaction

I think the idea is an interesting one. The thought that a piece can sustain itself without repetition for 1,000 years feels original. The website likens it to a planetary system where 1,000 years might pass before the planets return to their original alignment. Finer is quoted as saying that the preoccupations that led to its conception were not of a musical nature, rather “…they concerned time, as it is experienced and as it is understood from the perspectives of philosophy, physics and cosmology.” From a cosmological perspective, however, 1,000 year is no time.

My main reactions are questions. Does a good idea necessarily translate into an interesting piece of art? In a piece such as this, is the art the thought and/or conception? If so, does the idea actually need to be executed? If I were to be honest, I think I have more questions than opinions about this piece.

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