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And in neiboring Germany... After a decade, the world's longest concert is just getting started. The performance is giving the word "slow" a new meaning. In fact, it isn't expected to end before the year 2640.
After a decade, the world's longest concert is just getting started. The performance is giving the word "slow" a new meaning. In fact, it isn't expected to end before the year 2640.
Welcome to the Church of St Burchard in the small German town of Halberstadt.
This organ is playing a C and a D flat, one of the first chords of American composer John Cage's piece "As Slow As Possible."
The organizers of this performance have taken the name of the piece and interpreted it to its limit.
As a matter of fact, the performance has been going for over 10 years and the chord has only changed 11 times.
In total the piece is due to go on for another 629 years - or as long as someone makes sure the electricity stays on in the old church.
The American composer John Cage wrote the piano piece in 1985 and adapted it for organs two years later.
The piece is seven movements long and Cage specified that each performer could choose which movement to start with and which to repeat - all this to avoid having the exact same piece played twice.
But up until his death in 1992 he never told anyone how slow the piece should be.
After some debating it was decided that the piece could go on for hundreds of years, or infinitely if the organ was serviced.
A foundation was set up to organize a performance and the abandoned church in Halberstadt was chosen as a location.
The performance started on September 5th 2001 with a silent pause that lasted until February 2003.
Each time a new tone or chord is added the organ is expanded and new pipes are added.
So... what does it all mean?
Rainer Neugebauer, Board Chairman of John Cage Organ Foundation, said, "Modern society is very hectic. Every day, it becomes even more hectic. For example, these days if you don't check your email every day then you're not up to date. But here you can feel something that we urgently need - serenity. Everything does not need to happen so fast. If something needs a bit longer then it can give us an inner calm that is rare in normal life."
Each year around 10-thousand people visit the church to watch, and listen to, the performance.
But even a fast version, lasting only a few minutes instead of centuries, does not offer an easy listening experience.
The performance is free to the public Tuesdays through Sundays at 12 noon to 4pm.