Got a minute? 1000-year-long piece plays on worldwide
By Chris Van Hof ~ Posted Mon, 09/14/2009 - 2:27pm
The BBC reports today about a performance of an excerpt of a piece of music today. Usually, this is not newsworthy. I, for example, performed an excerpt of Bruckner's 7th Symphony this morning in the shower, and nobody even bothered to show up (my cat even ran away). But this excerpt performance the BBC tells us about is a little different.
You see, this is a 1,000-minute long excerpt of a 1,000-year-long piece of music that is going on as I type. That's right, the piece began on December 31 of 1999, and will run right until December 31 2999 on a computer. It also broadcasts live at various listening stations throughout the world. It's written by composer Jem Finer (also a founding member of my fave angry-Irish rock band, The Pogues), and it wasn't until 2002 that he even figured out how to notate it for actual humans to play (in this case, a number of long-haired gents with beards, dressed in black). It lasted all of Saturday, and for a little bit of Sunday, but the real piece plays on for another 990 years, 3 months, 16 days, 20 hours, 39 minutes, and 20 seconds.
I realize this is an impressive feat, but all my lowly brain can think of is the time I tripped up the power cable to our old Brother Word Procesessor that contained--unsaved--my sister's senior thesis. I believe I was 7. Here's hoping nobody lets their little kids run around where the progenitor computer for this tune is housed...