From an abstract art point of view, I love this. From a practical part of view, I think it’s ludicrous… which, I guess, is another reason to love it.
The slowest and longest piece of music in the world
John-Cage-Organ-Project in Halberstadt, Germany
Since September 5, 2000, which is the 88th birthday of the avantgarde composer and artist John Cage, the slowest and longest concert that the world has ever heard has been playing: ORGAN2/ASLSP As SLow aS Possible that means this piece of music, for the organ, will be performed for 639 years in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt, Germany.
How slow is “As slow as possible”?
In 1985 ASLSP was created as a version for the piano, but in 1987 John Cage changed it for the organ at the suggestion of the organist Gerd Zacher. The question of how to realise the opus leads to the conclusion that “as slow as possible” can be thought and played indefinitely – at least as long as the life of an organ lasts remains and also as long as peace and creativity in the following generations exist. But the question remained: How long should the piece be? The first organ performance was 29 minutes. A recent recording lasts 71 minutes. From that question a project was developed over the time that caused a worldwide sensation.
But why Halberstadt and why 639 years?
Michael Praetorius, a composer of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, wrote that an organ with the first modern keyboard arrangement had been built in Halberstadt’s cathedral in 1361. This organ was the first one with a claviature of 12 notes and this claviature is used on our keyboard instruments today. So one can say that the cradle of modern music was in Halberstadt. Subtract 1361 from the millennial year 2000, and the result is 639.
Read more over at http://www.john-cage.halberstadt.de/
Now, that’s what I call a whole note… bah-dum chink…