Jem Finer Talks About Longplayer, Shortplayer, and The Pogues
There are not many people in the world who can be considered punk legends and masters of algorithmic composition, but Jem Finer is definitely one of them. One of the founders of legendary Celtic Punk band The Pogues, Finer is also the composer of Longplayer, a process composition for singing bowls that will play for 1,000 years before repeating.
On Friday, October 1, Pittsburgh will become the only city between London and San Francisco to host a Longplayer listening post. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Justin Hopper and the artistic vision of Wood Street Galleries, Pittsburgh’s Longplayer listening post will be be active, at Wood Street Galleries, through December 31.
Wood Street Galleries will inaugurate the listening post with a concert featuring the premiere of Shortplayer, a composition that uses a similar process as Longplayer, but with a one hour duration. Shortplayer will be performed by Finer and Roger Dannenberg on trumpets, Mark Fromm, Ben Opie, and Brandon Masterman on Reeds, Lou Stellute on tenor sax, and Roger Day on Tuba. Dave Bernabo played a major role in organizing the ensemble.
Jem Finer was kind enough to talk with me at Wood St. about Longplayer, Shortplayer, and some of the significant connections he sees between his process oriented compositions and his work with The Pogues. It’s fascinating to hear him describe his thoughts about each of these projects, and I know you’ll enjoy what he has to say.