American avant-garde composer John Cage is perhaps most famous for his notorious work 4'33". Written for any instrument, the score instructs the performer not to play and instead sit in silence for three movements and the duration of the piece. The idea being that whatever ambient noise occurs in the audience or performance space actually makes up the music. While a conceptual masterpiece and probably Cage's most important work, it is not his most ambitious.
Cage's piece Organ2/ASLSP (the second part of the title meaning "As Slow As Possible") lasts a staggering 639 years. You heard me correctly, 639 years! And astonishingly the piece is currently being performed in Halberstat, Germany. Supposedly, thousands of folks show up for the note changes that occur every month or so. From the Greenleaf Music Blog:
When checking out the score consider this: the smallest unit is one month. Each determined tone change takes place on the 5th day of the relevant month. ***Recommendation: quarter-note staccato: length 2 months, quarter-note without staccato: length 4 months.***
Is that fascinating or what? Kudos to anyone with the artistic commitment to put on this performance. I would love to see one of the note changes some day.
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