foone Profile picture
6 Apr, 17 tweets, 2 min read
Fun fact: European colonization of North America hasn't even lasted the length of one John Cage song.
The Spanish founded St. Augustine in 1565, 465 years ago.
One version of his 1987 work "Organ2/ASLSP (As Slow as Possible)" is currently being played at a church in Germany and will last 639 years.
They're currently 20 years and eight notes into the performance
My favorite part is that they officially started the project on September 5th, 2001, but the first note was in February of 2003.
The composition starts with a rest, you see.
A 17-month long rest, in this case.
This is the pipe organ playing it.
(as of 2005, it's different now)
They're playing so slowly that there are no controls. There's no need for controls. They basically just build note changes into the organ itself.
It's less a human performance and more plumbing. Disconnect this pipe, attach this one.
In any case, they specifically started the project in September of 2001 (knowing they wouldn't have to play any notes until 2003) because that would have been John Cage's 89th birthday.
Although I said it wasn't a human performance, in a very real way it is. See, it's a pipe organ because with automated bellies it can play virtually forever, but they didn't build a machine to play the whole song
They instead have a machine that plays the current notes, and a human rebuilds it every time it changes
And that's how they're going to play a song for seven centuries :
With lots of humans, over a long time.
The people who are going to play the last notes haven't been born yet. Their parents and grandparents haven't been born yet!
But the project can live on, far longer than the lifespan of any one artist.
So it's appropriate that it's in a church. The longest projects humanity had ever undertaken have been the construction of cathedrals!

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8 Apr
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7 Apr
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