This Girl's Voice

Saturday, March 04, 2006  

tick tock, baby

As a musician who appreciates a great pop melody and has focused most of my career on expressing myself in the alternative genre, I draw the line here:

BBC NEWS: First Notes For 639-year Composition

The first notes in the longest and slowest piece of music in history, designed to go on for 639 years, are being played on a German church organ on Wednesday.

The three notes, which will last for a year-and-a-half, are just the start of the piece, called As Slow As Possible.

Composed by late avant-garde composer John Cage, the performance has already been going for 17 months - although all that has been heard so far is the sound of the organ's bellows being inflated.

The music will be played in Halberstadt, a small town renowned for its ancient organs in central Germany.

It was originally a 20-minute piece for piano, but a group of musicians and philosophers decided to take the title literally and work out how long the longest possible piece of music could last.

They settled on 639 years because the Halberstadt organ was 639 years old in the year 2000.
That BBC article was first published in 2003.

The 639 year old Organ in the 956 year old St. Burchardi church.

A recent search at Wikipedia discloses that since January 5th of this year, the organ in the town of Halberstadt has been playing a three note chord: "A" below middle "C", "C" above middle "C" and "F-sharp", which will conclude on May 5, 2006.

Additional notes and chords will be added on July 5, 2008, November 5, 2008, February 5, 2009, July 5, 2010, February 5, 2011, August 5, 2011, July 5, 2012, October 5, 2013 and September 5, 2020.

The performance is planned to continue until September 4, 2640.

I'd like to go on the record and say that the people of Halberstadt must be one hell of a patient lot, as will have to be their children, and their childrens' children and...

Only 634 years left to go.

posted by voxpopgirl | 3/04/2006