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Time for John Cage

By jo

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As Slow as Possible/ASLSP

The world’s longest performance of a piece of music is being played in Germany, and it will go on playing for another 639 years. John Cage's composition ASLSP, or to give it its full title As Slow As Possible, is part of what organisers have described as ‘a revolution in slowness.’ But can this really be taken seriously or is it simply a publicity stunt? Arts In Action reports.

Throughout his life, the experimental American composer, John Cage, was celebrated for his various efforts to subvert audiences’ conventional concepts of what music is, and should be. Famously quoted as saying, ‘if my work is accepted I must move on to the point where it isn’t’, Cage continually pushed back artistic boundaries and led audiences to the edge of reason.

Much of his theory of art was based on random events. Whether he used conventional percussion instruments or tinkered with audio frequencies, performances of Cage’s work always sparked conversation. In 1952 he hallenged every musical assumption with his most notorious piece entitled 4'33". Here players sat silently for the allotted time, allowing the ambient noise to fill the void. This quite literally was the sound of silence. more [via netbehaviour]

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