The John Cage Work Performed Over 639 Years 

Source: DW.

In the 639-year-long performance of Organ2/ASLSP (As Slow As Possible), a simple change of chords only happens once every few years. Each time, it’s an event that draws crowds — many of them fans of the late avant-garde composer John Cage — to the small town of Halberstadt.

The last time the notes changed, on October 5, 2013 (pictured above), around 1,500 people crammed into the church around the organ: “It was way too full, it wasn’t safe at all,” Rainer O. Neugebauer, director of the John Cage Organ Foundation Halberstadt, told DW.

So even before anyone had heard of the coronavirus, organizers of the project knew they’d somehow have to restrict access to the small St. Burchardi church for the next change of sound, planned for September 5, 2020.