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Long Now, The

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Joseph C. Phillips, Jr.

Joseph C. Phillips Jr.

General Info

Year: 2009
Duration: c. 7:55
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Numen Music
Cost: Score and Parts - Contact composer


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra-Alto Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cabasa
  • Claves
  • Crotales
  • Frame Drum (2: large and small)
  • Glockenspiel
  • Hi-Hat
  • Marimba
  • Ride Cymbal
  • Shaker (large)
  • Sizzle Cymbal, suspended
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal (large)
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Tom-toms (3)
  • Triangles (2: large and small)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Wood Block (high)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

I first heard of the Long Now Foundation when a friend of mine in 2001 worked a summer "internship" on one of their projects: The Rosetta Project, an attempt to create a publicly and easily accessible on-line library of all documented human language. The Long Now Foundation, founded in 01996, is a California based organization whose goal is "to provide counterpoint to today's faster/cheaper mind set and promote slower/better thinking" and "to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years." The term long now, which connotes a stretching of what people consider as now, was created by composer/producer Brian Eno, a founding board member of the Foundation.

One of the things that fascinated me about the Long Now Foundation and, subsequently became its most mainstream and well-known concept, is The Clock of the Long Now. Sometimes called the 10,000 Year Clock or the Worlds Slowest Computer, the final monument sized, all-mechanical Clock will be built to last about the same length of time (10,000 years) as human technological progression to date. The concept of the Clock reminded me of the awe the near-mythological 30-foot-tall astronomical water clock of Sun Song must have instilled in the 11th century Chinese who were lucky enough to see it. To me, just the idea of some distant post-human, 10,000 years from now, stumbling upon a still functioning 21st century Sun Song clock, a mysterious artifact from our own times, is quite an intriguing, inspiring, and beautiful thought. My composition The Long Now is inspired by the wonder and hopefulness of that thought.

The Miles Johnson Endowment commissioned The Long Now for the 2008-2009 St. Olaf Band, Dr. Timothy Mahr, director. This work was also funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center.

- Program Note by composer


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer


  • The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 442-443.
  • Joseph C. Phillips Jr. website Accessed 11 March 2021