New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

Jem Finer’s 1,000-Year MP3

Once upon a time, a concert premiere in Europe meant waiting a few days for a news report. Now it means waiting a few hours before someone uploads a recording.

Case in point, Longplayer, an ongoing project by musician and artist Jem Finer (best known as a founding member of the Pogues), who hosted a performance of it last weekend at the Roundhouse in London, on September 12. The Roundhouse appears to be a place where old punks go to make sound art; it was the site of the recent installation of former Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne’s Playing the Building.

Finer’s Longplayer, inspired by the Long Now Foundation (which has inspired music previously by both Brian Eno, who was part of the think tank that helped Finer at the early stages of the Longplayer project, and Neal Stephenson, in his novel Anathem), is a 1,000-year composition, segments of which were performed on endlessly resonant Tibetan prayer bowls (MP3), as shown here:

[audio:|titles=”Longplayer (Excerpt)”|artists=Jem Finer]

The above photo and MP3 (along with an even higher-definition FLAC audio recording) were posted by Tim Ferguson at More on the project at, including an explanation of its graphical score, depicted here:

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , / Comments: 2 ]


  1. Jem Finer
    [ Posted March 21, 2014, at 3:22 am ]

    Hi there, just came across this. To be clear – Longplayer was not inspired by the Long Now. I’d never heard of it when I conceived and started work on Longplayer. Having said that, when I did hear of it it was (and continues to be) inspiring and exciting and felt like finding a kindred spirit . And Danny Hillis’s thinking about how one plans for the long term was most helpful. Hope you’re well. Jem

    • Marc Weidenbaum
      [ Posted March 22, 2014, at 9:15 pm ]

      Thanks so much for the clarification, Jem. Things are good here. That’s fascinating you weren’t yet aware of Long Now when starting Longplayer. Definitely kindred spirits.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe

  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly ( at Gray Area (
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0548 / Drone Vox / The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice.
    0547 / Genre Melee / Combine two seemingly different genres.
    0546 / Code Notes / The Assignment: Make music that includes a secret message.
    0545 / Unself-Awareness / The Assignment: Learn from feedback intended for others.
    0544 / Feedback Loop / The Assignment: Share music-in-progress for input from others.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 548 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts