Home World Organ playing 639-YEAR-LONG piece of music changes chord for the first time in two years

Organ playing 639-YEAR-LONG piece of music changes chord for the first time in two years

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Performance of the Organ²/ASLSP composition (As Slow As Possible) began in September 2001 in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt and is supposed to end in 2640, if all goes well (pictured above: a change of chords in 2020)

An organ playing a 639-year-old piece of music has changed strings for the first time in two years.

The performance of the Organ²/ASLSP composition (As Slow As Possible) began in September 2001 in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt and should end in the year 2640, if all goes well.

American composer John Cage’s musical piece is played on a special organ inside the medieval church.

So far, the chord has been changed only 16 times since then; The last time the sound changed was two years ago, in February 2022. The new tube added ad’ to the previous six-note chord.

Hundreds of spectators, who supposedly reserve tickets to the vent years in advance, gathered around the mechanical organ as volunteers added another pipe to the instrument to create another sound, the bbc reports.

Performance of the Organ²/ASLSP composition (As Slow As Possible) began in September 2001 in the church of St. Burchardi in Halberstadt and is supposed to end in 2640, if all goes well (pictured above: a change of chords in 2020)

Hundreds of spectators, who reportedly reserve tickets to the vent years in advance, gathered around the mechanical organ as volunteers added another pipe to the instrument to create another sound (visitors photographed at the chord change in 2020)

Hundreds of spectators, who reportedly reserve tickets to the vent years in advance, gathered around the mechanical organ as volunteers added another pipe to the instrument to create another sound (visitors photographed at the chord change in 2020)

A chord change means that the sound of the organ pipes changes because new sounds are added or existing sounds end.

The piece consists of eight pages of music by avant-garde composer John Cage, whose instructions were to play the 1985 composition as soon as possible, although he never clarified the exact tempo.

The first performance of the piece lasted about 30 minutes.

After Cage’s death in 1992, a group of philosophers and musicians who wanted the concert organ to last hundreds of years found documents in 2000 claiming that the Buchardi Church once housed the oldest organ, back in 1361.

Since 639 years had passed since then, they decided that the piece of music should be played during the same period of time.

While the organ currently plays the piece with seven pipes, Cage’s original composition called for an organ with 89 pipes, which would have been too expensive to build. The mechanical organ can contain a maximum of nine pipes.

After a chord change in 2020, organizers said the performance is

After a chord change in 2020, organizers said the performance is “one of the slowest realizations of an organ piece of music.”

The chord changes have since attracted several thousand visitors to Halberstadt, even during the pandemic, when the number of spectators allowed was limited (pictured above)

The chord changes have since attracted several thousand visitors to Halberstadt, even during the pandemic, when the number of spectators allowed was limited (pictured above)

A compressor in the church’s basement generates power to blow air into the organ while sandbags press down on the keys to create a continuous sound. When a chord change occurs, it is done manually.

After a chord change in 2020, organizers said the performance is “one of the slowest realizations of an organ piece of music.”

The next chord change is scheduled for August 5, 2026.

When the piece officially began on September 5, 2001, it began without any sound.

It was not until February 5, 2003, the day of the first chord change, that the first organ pipe chords could be heard inside the church.

Since then, the chord changes have attracted several thousand visitors to Halberstadt, even during the pandemic, when the number of spectators allowed was limited.

After the sound change, visitors usually listen in amazement and silence for five minutes before bursting into enthusiastic applause.

Visitors stand in front of the Burchardi Church to experience the John Cage Halberstadt Organ Foundation sound change inside the Burchardi Church in Halberstadt, Germany, on Saturday, September 5, 2020.

Visitors stand in front of the Burchardi Church to experience the John Cage Halberstadt Organ Foundation sound change inside the Burchardi Church in Halberstadt, Germany, on Saturday, September 5, 2020.

“It is a concert that does not meet conventional expectations of what a concert should be,” Rainer Neugebauer, a member of the foundation organizing the show and its de facto artistic director, told the conference. guardian.

‘There is a long-standing debate about whether concert is the right word. There’s definitely a certain madness to it.’

St. Burchardi’s Church has a long and checkered history. It was built around the year 1050 and was used for more than 600 years as a Cistercian monastery.

It was partially destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, then rebuilt, at some point secularized and over the centuries also served as a granary, distillery and pigsty, the John Cage Organ Project said on its website.

Cage was born in Los Angeles in 1912 and died in New York in 1992. He is known not only as a composer, but also as a music theorist, artist and philosopher.

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