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Slowest song ever

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Spectrum, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Just ran across this and had to share. Name of the piece is "As Slow as Possible" and it was written in 1987. A church in Germany is playing on a pipe organ so slow that it will take 639 years to finish! The last note played was in July and the next one won't start until October of next year! Take that, drone metal!

  2. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    John Cage being a weirdo. What some will do for fame.
  3. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    For example:


    Can't remember who, but someone was charged with plagiarism for a piece of silence 30 seconds long. The response was -paraphrased- "I said in 30 seconds what took Cage four and a half minutes to say."
  4. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Yikes! That's even longer than The Gates of Delirium by YES!
  5. Richland123


    Apr 17, 2009
    I always say that rests are put in songs for a purpose and should be used accordingly but this is ridiculous.
  6. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    I guess it has artistic merit - not IMO but I suppose someone considers Cage's "composition" to be "genius";)
  7. I don't think there are many rests; the note just plays for months on end. According to the article they put weights on the keys to hold the note and just keep the pumps running on the organ continuously.

    Personally, I think it's wierd but not very useful. Nobody is ever going to actually hear the whole song at this tempo, and even if it's recorded it will still take 639 years to play back. Even if you lived that long you have to take bathroom breaks and sleep sometime...
  8. pkstone

    pkstone Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2011
    Sometimes genius comes in the form of a serious shake-up to preconceived notions about what music is or "must be." I happen to think 4'33" is one of the most profound pieces of the twentieth century. Music is all around us, every moment of every day, and Cage pointed that out in a most elegant way.
  9. ...sounds like something from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy"
  10. Every time I've had to play it, "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" has seemed like the slowest song ever. YMMV.
  11. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    Truly/Lionel Ritchie for me
  12. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
  13. Sure, for some wishy-washy new-age definition of "music" that is so broad as to be meaningless for musicians and listeners to music.

    Music is purposeful and has structure. The sounds are not random and they are not presented in a random order.
  14. pkstone

    pkstone Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2011
    I am a "listener" to Cage's music (including his chance pieces, his prepared piano compositions, etc.), and it has made my life immeasurably richer. It in no way takes away from my appreciation of more traditional musical artistry; to the contrary, it enhances that as well.

    Music can have so many roles and purposes in life, and it comes in such a wonderful variety. I don't have much patience with those that need to pigeonhole it into a one-sentence definition, or feel threatened by new ideas about it.

    Also, I am about as far from "new age" as you can possibly imagine.
  15. BassChuck


    Nov 15, 2005
    I think of Cage more as a philosopher than a composer. But, one of the more important musical thinkers in recent times. When we open our mind and ears to sounds and include all sounds as music, the world becomes a more vibrant place. There is beauty in randomness... and once that beauty is found, structure becomes all the more meaningful.
    Some of Cage's work was intended to remove the 'feelings' we put on sounds and give us a clean slate to work with musically. I highly reccommend "Silence" as reading for all people who are serious about the art of music. When I was in music school is was required reading theory class BEFORE word one was spoken about chords and scales. I am deeply thankful for that.
  16. That doesn't sound (excuse the pun) very meaningful. If all sounds are music, what distinguishes music from noise, or speech?
  17. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Why is there a need for such distinction? The universe operates on harmonic principles.
  18. Bloodhammer

    Bloodhammer Twinkle Twinkle Black Star

    Jul 7, 2009
    Shreveport, Louisiana
    You don't listen to Throbbing Gristle, huh? :D
  19. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    I'll remember that next time I'm in the bathroom. :D
  20. What is on your music player? Why do they even exist when all this music surrounds us all the time?

    If your amp develops a fault that causes it to buzz really loudly in the middle of a set, do you jump up to fix it, or sit back and enjoy the accidental harmony the universe just delivered to you and your audience?