sunny.png
Monday April 19th, 2021 7:58AM

Slow music: Chord change in Germany of 639-year organ piece

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HALBERSTADT, Germany (AP) — Hundreds of fans attended a special kind of musical happening Saturday at a church in Germany: a chord change in an organ piece that is supposed to last for an entirety of 639 years.

The performance of the “ORGAN/ASLSP,” or As Slow As Possible, composition began in September 2001 at the St. Burchardi Church in the eastern town of Halberstadt and is supposed to end in 2640 — if all goes well.

The music piece by the American composer John Cage is played on a special organ inside the medieval church. The last sound has been the same one for the last six years and 11 months, and therefore the chord change Saturday was a big event among fans of the John Cage Organ Project.

A chord change means that the sound of the organ pipes changes either because new sounds are added or existing sounds end. On Saturday, two new organ pipes were added.

Organizers say the performance is “one of the slowest realizations of an organ musical piece."

A compressor in the basement creates energy to blow air into the organ to create a continuous sound. When a chord change happens, it's done manually. On Saturday, soprano singer Johanna Vargas and organist Julian Lembke changed the chord.

The new sound reminded some listeners of the metallic buzz inside a big ships's engine room.

The next chord change is planned for Feb. 5, 2022, the German news agency dpa reported.

When the piece officially started on Sept. 5, 2001, it began without any sound. It was only on Feb. 5, 2003, the day of the first chord change, that the first organ pipe chords could actually be heard inside the church.

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

The St. Burchardi church has a long, checkered history. It was built around 1050, and was used for more than 600 years as a Cistercian monastery. It was partially destroyed during the Thirty Years' War, later rebuilt, at some point secularized and over the centuries also served as a barn, a distillery and a pigsty, the John Cage Organ Project said on its website.

Chord changes usually draw several thousand visitors to Halberstadt, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of guests allowed into the church was limited this year.

—-

Kirsten Grieshaber reported from Berlin.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, AP Strange News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Slow music: Chord change in Germany of 639-year organ piece
Hundreds of fans attended a special kind of musical happening at a church in Germany
10:21AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Erdogan raises rhetoric in Greece standoff in Mediterranean
Turkey's president has warned Greece to enter talks over disputed eastern Mediterranean territorial claims or face the consequences
10:18AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Typhoon Haishen approaches Japan packing powerful winds
A powerful typhoon, the second in a week, was barreling toward the Okinawa islands in southern Japan on Saturday, prompting warnings about torrential rainfall and fierce wind gusts
10:07AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Environment activists blockade UK newspaper printing plants
Police arrested more than 70 environmental activists who blockaded two British printing plants, disrupting the distribution of several national newspapers on Saturday
8:34AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Judge: Stop detaining immigrant kids in hotels
A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to stop detaining unaccompanied immigrant children in hotels
8:27AM ( 2 hours ago )
Pope set to make first trip since pandemic to saint's town
Pope Francis is next month set to make what would be his first visit outside Rome since Italy was put under lockdown in early March when it became the first country in Europe to feel the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic
7:28AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Quarantine a small price to pay for Australian in Venice
Roderick MacKay had to get government approval to leave Australia, spent two weeks in preventive quarantine in Italy and will be locked up in a hotel back in Australia for another two weeks upon his return
7:45AM ( 2 hours ago )
Turner's HR lifts Nats, forces DH split with Braves
Trea Turner gave Washington the lead by hitting a sixth-inning home run off Will Smith and the Nationals held on in the seventh to beat the Atlanta Braves 10-9 and split a doubleheader
11:35PM ( 10 hours ago )
Column: New England's Odd Couple writes a post-Brady script
The Hoodie and the Fedora
5:26PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
'Whip/Nae Nae' rapper charged in attempted hatchet attack
Silento, the rapper known for the 2015 hit “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” has been charged with trying to hit two people with a hatchet in their home
7:52PM ( 1 day ago )
BTS on gaining respect in the US: ‘We definitely feel that’
Loud and happy screams erupt in unison from the seven-member pop stars BTS when they hear they have notched their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart
4:43AM ( 2 days ago )
Lawsuit seeks to ban Kanye West from Arizona ballot
An Arizona resident has asked a judge to bar Kanye West from appearing on Arizona’s Nov. 3 ballot
9:29PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Erdogan raises rhetoric in Greece standoff in Mediterranean
Turkey's president has warned Greece to enter talks over disputed eastern Mediterranean territorial claims or face the consequences
10:18AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Typhoon Haishen approaches Japan packing powerful winds
A powerful typhoon, the second in a week, was barreling toward the Okinawa islands in southern Japan on Saturday, prompting warnings about torrential rainfall and fierce wind gusts
10:07AM ( 20 minutes ago )
The Latest: Italy leader to virus deniers: Look at numbers
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says he has no words for those who deny the coronavirus pandemic – except to look at the numbers
9:41AM ( 46 minutes ago )
Harris' mostly virtual campaign to get Wisconsin road test
It's been a mostly virtual campaign for Sen. Kamala Harris in the three weeks since she became the Democratic vice presidential nominee
9:40AM ( 47 minutes ago )
Child care crisis pushes US mothers out of the labor force
Research is increasingly pointing to a retreat of working mothers from the U.S. labor force, as the pandemic leaves parents with few child care options and the added burden of navigating distance learning
9:15AM ( 1 hour ago )