The sound of an E and E-sharp rang out of an abandoned German church yesterday. They were the latest organ notes in a musical piece that will take another 636 years to finish playing. Avant-garde composer John Cage (1912-1992) composed Organ2/ASLSP in 1985. The title comes from the tempo Cage had in mind when the work would be played: "as slow as possible." This performance at St. Burchardi Church in Halberstadt began September 5, 2001, but until last February the only sound was the building's natural ambience. Since then, a total of five notes have been played. National Public Radio has a page about ASLSP, including audio samples and an "All Things Considered" radio piece from last fall:
In a 1982 interview with NPR, John Cage revealed that he wanted to make his "music so that it doesn't force the performers of it into a particular groove, but which gives them some space in which they can breathe and do their own work with a degree of originality. I like to make suggestions, and then see what happens, rather than setting down laws and forcing people to follow them."Link (to NRP site) Link (to AP article from yesterday)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.