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Thread: As Slow As Possible

  1. #1
    Strongly Ambivalent Array Ivy's Avatar
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    Apr 2007

    Default As Slow As Possible

    As Slow As Possible - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    This is a John Cage piece for organ, written in the 80s. He didn't specify how slowly it should be played. Typical performances last between 20 and 80 minutes, but at a church in Germany, a performance is underway that will last a total of 639 years. You can hear a webcast of the piece here.

    The piece began with a pause that lasted almost a year and a half. The last change took place on July 5. The next change will take place on November 5.

    For some reason that I can't articulate, I am finding this fascinating. It seems so beautifully pointless. I also think it's a neat tribute to Cage who was never afraid of crazy experiments. It is literally being played as slowly as possible, since the length of the piece was based on the expected life of the organ.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array
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    Jun 2008


    Interesting and strange.

  3. #3
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    One sx/sp


    More existential despair-compliments of an organ.
    Go to sleep, iguana.

    INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp.
    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  4. #4
    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    4 sx/sp
    INFp None


    Thanks for sharing, Ivy. Cage is interesting as a philosopher of sound and aesthetics. One aspect of that piece that is fascinating is that it challenges our assumptions about time. Music is one art that explores the passage of time. Especially in our world of prepackaged, fleeting radio spots, knowing that someone is exploring the relationship between time and sound in a way that challenges assumptions and calls to mind a sense of longevity, is refreshing, and even brings me some sense of peace. It makes me think about how many generations will listen to the same piece. Such a piece cannot be experienced by an individual, but by a progression of generations. That opens the door to much fascinating thought and questions.
    The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas. H.G. WELLS
    The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. FEYNMAN

    If this is monkey pee, you're on your own.SCULLY

  5. #5


    Cage was just an opportunist who saw that he could sell one album's worth of music as a 57-CD boxed set by playing it as slowly as possible! Fight the power!
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.


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