The music project “The Long Now” represented the big finale of the international Festival für Zeitfragen “MaerzMusik” at the Berlin Festspiele – an interdisciplinary platform which probed our relationship to the phenomenon of time from an artistic, scientific, philosophical and political perspective. Featuring 30 hours of continuously performed live music, “The Long Now” created an extraordinary, boundless space of perception which focused on listening as an introspective, mental and physical experience. It invited audiences to mutually experience music and experiment with various perceptions of time. The project purposely exceeded the scope of conventional event formats. It strived to create a space of experience, in which the artistic measure of time in music, performance and film resonated with that of each and every visitor. Featuring concerts, performances, electronic live acts, sound installations and DJ sets, the project merged various artistic-musical worlds into one composition – from the musical avant-garde to experimental sound art to current trends in club music.
Performed at the Berlin Kraftwerk Mitte, whose monumental dimensions represent the spatial equivalent of this chronosphere, the artistic experience of “The Long Now” incorporated states of waking and sleeping. Concentrated listening and contemplation were as much a part of the performance as free movement and personal encounter. By highlighting problematic issues of modern life such as temporal fragmentation and social acceleration, the project created a time-space which resisted the clock-based measurement of time, offering instead an alternative temporality.
Artistic director: Berno Odo Polzer
Composers: Alvin Lucier (US), Catherine Christer Hennix (SE), William Basinski (US), Morton Feldman (US) and others
Musicians: graindelovoix (BE), Alvin Lucier (US), Catherine Christer Hennix (SE), Juliet Fraser (GB), Thomas Ankersmit (NL), Kobe Van Cauwenberghe (BE) and others