Sunday, January 08, 2006

In which Music Moves Slowwwly

This just in: some music takes a long time. But in a world of 2 minute pop songs (and 30 second music spots), you would think there are limits to the length of one piece, right?

I guess not. A performance in Germany of a John Cage organ piece is taking an absurdly long time - this story will tell you about all the latest (chord) changes.

When I checked the ASLSP home site I discovered that the article was slightly misleading. Yes, the F-sharp diminished chord will last until 2012, but other tones will come and go during that time. One or two.

The whole project has just under TWENTY BILLION SECONDS remaining. Still it will come to an end -- eventually - in 2639. The choice of 639 years commemorates the building of an organ in 1361.

How different will life be in 2639? A good clue might be to consider how different now is from 1361. If the Cage actually finishes to the end - it will only be because it will have transformed into a religion.

But 639 years is real, actual clock time. Perceived Time is different. Beethoven's Ninth Symphony never ends when I listen to it. Click here to prolong that experience.

Music Reviews

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