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London’s Only Lighthouse

By Linda Tancs

Built in the 1860s, London’s only remaining lighthouse in the Docklands is of interest not only for its historical use as a testing facility for lighthouse technology but also for its current use as the musical home of a composition destined to last for 1,000 years. Known as Longplayer, the score is a continuous 1,000-year-long piece of music performed with Tibetan singing bowls conceived for the turn of the millenium in 1999. The music will run uninterrupted (and without repetition, thanks to technology) until midnight on December 31, 2999, when the music will start anew. There’s a listening room in the lighthouse itself as well as an installation of 234 Tibetan singing bowls that were part of a live performance of part of the score, which lasted for 1,000 minutes. The lighthouse is located at Trinity Buoy Wharf, just minutes from Canning Town Underground station.

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