This concert will last 639 years and all without any intervention from the people

The long and slow performance of a piece by the American composer John Cage is scheduled to run until 2640. On Saturday, the German public heard a change of sound, the first in 2013.

After the vast majority of concerts were canceled this year, only one, in a dilapidated medieval church in eastern Germany, could not be canceled, as it had already begun, more than 18 years before pandemic. And it is not scheduled to end until 2640.

On Saturday, a small crowd of music enthusiasts gathered in the church, St. Burchardi, in the town of Halberstadt, about 200 kilometers southwest of Berlin. The occasion was the first sound change in nearly seven years of the world's slowest concert: an organ recital of a piece by American composer John Cage.

It was the 14th string change since the concert began on September 5, 2001, at what would have been Cage's 89th birthday. He died at the age of 79, in 1992.

Rainer Neugebauer, a retired professor of social sciences who leads the John Cage Foundation in Halberstadt, the organization that organizes the show, said Saturday to the crowd that unlike the Olympics or the World Economic Forum in Davos , we couldn't have postponed it.

Cage first wrote the piano piece in 1985; The tempo instruction was: â € œHow slow as possibleâ €. He then rebuilt it for organ in 1987 and became known as “Organ” / ASLSP.

But that raised questions. On the piano, the sound fades after a key is hit; on the organ, the notes can be kept indefinitely. Or can I? But when does the organist have to eat or go to the bathroom? Or does he die?

These questions occupied a group of composers, organists, musicologists, and philosophers, some of whom worked with Cage at a conference in the southern German city of Trossingen. n 1998.

With the number of people allowed in the church restricted, some followed on a large screen in the outer courtyard. At 3 p.m., composer Julian Lembke and soprano Johanna Vargas, both wearing white gloves, lowered two new pipes onto the organ's body, which sounded in Ground and Mi.

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