As Slow as Possible

February 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm (music, odds) (, , , )

Ok. I am quite a fan of experimental music, but this is stretching even my credulity a little far.

This piece was on the news today. It is a performance of John Cage‘s ‘As Slow as Possible‘, which started with a rest. For 17 months. According to wikipedia, the first audible sound appeared in 2003 and there have been 7 changes of note todate, with the most recent being this month (Feb 2009) – hence the news item.

Actually, reading about it now, I am slightly more inclined to see this as a ‘bit of fun’ (albeit one that is scheduled to last 639 years). I quite like this quote from what I assume is a sort of fan website:

It was determined that as slow as possible would be to play the piece “at least as long as the organ remains and as long as peace and creativity in the following generations exists”.

There is certainly a curious appeal of a project that thinks in such, almost timeless, timescales.

So, why not I guess? For full details, see ‘The John Cage Project’ website.  I wonder what will happen in 630 odd years time, when the last notes dies.  What would they do as an encore?



  1. Faces in the Sand « Kevin's Blog said,

    […] being created December 1st 01999 – not many projects will list a 5 digit year! (reminds me of As Slow as Possible, but I could digress about such topics for ages, so I […]

  2. Long playing for 1000 years | Kevin's Blog said,

    […] project is great – a very long-term musical project (a bit like As Slow as Possible) conceived and composed by Jem Finer.  The one line summary is that he has recorded a sequence of […]

  3. Surfing on Entropy | Kevin's Blog said,

    […] it, you don’t really know what you will hear.  Or at the other end, is John Cage’s As Slow as Possible where you can go back after several months and the music is still exactly the […]

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