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 Post subject: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:48 am 
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Crowds gather tp witness chord change in John Cage's composition, Organ/ASLSP. Mind you, the first chord change in six years and 11 months, the piece to last for 639 years in all. Next chord change planned for 5 February 2022.

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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 1:56 pm 
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Yeah, I saw a similar article on this earlier today. Philistine that I am, my response had been a resounding "Meh." I suppose, though, that one could give this installation credit for having taken the hyperbole "can't live through it" and made it actual reality. Providing, of course, that it goes on long enough, never mind all the way to its intended completion. I wonder if the bookies are taking odds.

Is this where we have a spirited discussion on the nature of art? Good! I'll start: Let's consider the relationship between work and audience (is there any other basis for art?). Curiously, here the audience's attention and appreciation are clearly no longer relevant, at least in the usual way; in fact, after not much time at all the piece repels, inevitably becoming mere one-dimensional noise pollution. True, this lessens the would-be aesthete's guilt over intrusions such as one's bowels churning or taxes needing to be addressed - after all, a lamppost is just as likely to still be there whenever you revisit it - but are we to be grateful for that? I can look at my watch while paint dries, too. And at such a scale, compositional context is utterly lost. Sorry, I'm old-fashioned that way - we are not Ents. The Great Coming of the Node is instead reduced to a fashionable "happening" where people gather to babble over their wineglasses in the shadow of a years-long drone they would otherwise never even be there for - and that is the point: One is tempted to conclude that the piece is meant, by design, to incorporate audience fickleness into the total performance. One shouldn't be surprised, then, at the uncharacteristic hubbub in the midst of what is more or less supposed to be a "concert"; by design, it's inevitable. They're so distracted by each other that they'd be unready for the change were it not for the more overriding, stentorian voices haranguing the event, like street hawkers, to remind the attendees that there's a countdown, that they should give the appointed moment its deservedly reverent hush, appreciatively sigh "Ah!" when it manifests, and give each other knowing looks in its aftermath. One senses that the joke's on them.

Of course if everyone's in on the joke, that's one thing. But I expect there's always someone who's going to take it seriously. OTOH and in all fairness, I must salute the project's cohorts for their rash and lofty vision which, by the same token, affords them scads of time in which to do other stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:00 pm 
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I wonder what it would be like to live next door to that church. I'd assume you'd hear an organ tone that went on for years.


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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2020 6:37 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
I wonder what it would be like to live next door to that church. I'd assume you'd hear an organ tone that went on for years.

And that's another thing: Did they take the neighbors into account?

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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:36 am 
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If Kloster St Buchardi had any near neighbours 4'33'' may have been a better pick for a Cage recital. But, as it is, I don't think it's a worry.

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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:08 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
And that's another thing: Did they take the neighbors into account?
Wikipedia wrote:
Because the instrument sounds constantly, there is a cube of acrylic glass encasing it to reduce the volume.


It looks like the previous change didn't make the Chiffboard. I wonder if this discussion will get a red mod revival alert next time.


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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 12:18 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
And that's another thing: Did they take the neighbors into account?
Wikipedia wrote:
Because the instrument sounds constantly, there is a cube of acrylic glass encasing it to reduce the volume.

It looks like the previous change didn't make the Chiffboard.

No, my mistake. I'd read this detail somewhere but promptly forgot it. I do recall thinking, Okay, so you've got this organ sounding a single note for years, and if the soul-crushing monotony weren't enough, you enclose it so it can't be heard. If that's performance art, it's got to be the loneliest ever.

david_h wrote:
I wonder if this discussion will get a red mod revival alert next time.

If someone feels like reviving it, then sure. It's what we do. Are you volunteering?

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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2020 3:30 pm 
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There was a modern music show (all post-WWII) on a college radio station that I used to listen to. I remember it being mostly piano music. A lot of stuff that went on for five or six minutes with a note or chord changing now and then. I didn't really get it. I have since discovered some rock-oriented minimalist music that I really like. Most of it involves Robert Fripp or Brian Eno.

I love some of John Cage's stuff. I had one album that was made by putting microphones with tape recorders in different parts of New York City. I don't remember how long he had them turned on, but he mixed them, supposedly in some pattern, to make about an hour-long sound collage.

Even I think this one takes minimalism way too far. Maybe at some point someone will "prepare" the organ and toss in a few Coke bottles or hacksaw blades.

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 Post subject: Re: Slow Music
PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:10 pm 
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I submit that 639 years is not as slow as possible. I've got it beat: My installation is so slow that I haven't even gotten around to starting yet. :twisted:

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