Jem Finer

Sonic Ray

River Thames
SOON 30 October 2020 - 06 December 2020
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A powerful beam of light projects the sound of Longplayer, a 1000-year long musical composition, across the river Thames.

Sonic Ray encodes the sound of Longplayer into the light source and transmits it at the speed of light from the Faraday lighthouse on Trinity Buoy Wharf, to the opposite bank of the river, creating a new temporary listening post aboard Richard Wilson’s nautical sculpture Slice of Reality, on the Greenwich peninsula foreshore. A short ferry ride connects the two locations, allowing visitors to experience Longplayer as a bridge of light across the Thames. You can begin your journey at either location and will be transported between both sites, and returned to your starting location.

From 30 October to 6 December 2020. 

All viewing sessions will take place after dark, from dusk until late.

Please note, current Covid19 safety guidelines will be observed at both locations and on the ferry-boat. Find out more in our visitor access statement ahead of your visit.

Image: Graphic design by Rose Nordin.

About Jem Finer

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Jem Finer

Jem Finer first collaborated with Artangel on Longplayer, a one-thousand-year-long musical composition that began playing at midnight on 31 December 1999. This collaboration has continued throughout the years marked by events including Longplayer Live 2009, the ongoing Longplayer Conversations series, and, most recently, with the Longplayer Assembly and Sonic Ray

Known as an artist, musician and as a mathematician, Jem Finer is also an award-winning composer whose works include Score for Hole in the Ground, in which underground falling water plays on hidden percussive instruments; Landscope, an inverted pylon that detected storms on Jupiter, and The Centre of the Universe, a spiral tower that ‘listened’ to the cosmos. Finer was a founding member of the band The Pogues.


Images: (left) Jem Finer during the performance Longplayer Live, September 2009 at The Roundhouse. Photograph: Bruce Atherton and Jana Chiellino; (above) Jem Finer, 2020.


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Who made this possible?


Sonic Ray is a new project by Jem Finer. Commissioned and produced by Artangel.

Supported by the Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust. Presented as part of the Totally Thames Festival 2020. 

With particular thanks to Kieran O'Keeffe and a Special Angel who prefers to remain anonymous.

Artangel is generously supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and by the private patronage of The Artangel International CircleSpecial Angels and The Company of Angels.