Saturday, January 07, 2006

Slowin' it down with the dead John Cage

Some folks in Germany are putting on a performance of a piece by John Cage entitled "organ2/ASLSP." The ASLSP stands for As SLow aS Possible.
In view of our fast moving age this plan is a way of trying to slowdown, the „discovery of slowness” and the planting of an „musical apple tree” can be understood as a symbol of confidence in the future.

According to this story in Yahoo news Cage wrote the piece in 1985 for piano- a twenty minute piece consisting of a few chords and some silence. Pretty cool eh? Well there was an organ transcription made a couple years later, then the folks putting on this performance in Germany got to thinking that since the piece is after all supposed to be played as slowly as possible, that it might be nice to stretch it out a bit and make a little ceremony to commemorate the building of an organ in Halberstadt. The catch is that the organ, which was apparently quite the organ in its day, was built nearly 650 years ago, and this performance of Cage's "organ2/ASLSP" is scheduled to last 639 years.

The performance began in September of 2001. The name of the project is The John Cage Organ Project. The website has some stunning photos of the old church where this is taking place.

This just says a lot about pace, a lot about history. A lot about stretching one note in music. That's one of the things I like the best in music; really long notes, which is why I like the bands Sun o))) and Earth so much!

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