In a chaotic world, where the pace of life gets faster every day, there’s a small church in Germany which is bucking the trend.
Rainer Neugebauer, the Chairman of the Board of the John-Cage-Organ-Foundation in Halberstadt explained: “Modern society is a very hectic society. And it becomes more and more hectic every day. Now, for example, if you don’t check your emails every day then you are not up to date. But here you can feel something that we urgently need today – serenity.”
In the church of St Burchard in Halberstadt, they are playing John Cage’s piece “As Slow As Possible”. In fact, they’ve been playing it for the past ten years, although they’ve only changed chords 11 times since they began. The American avant-garde composer wrote this piece in 1985 and this performance of it is due to last for 629 years – until 2650 in fact. Each year around 10-thousand people visit the church to watch and listen to, the performance.
Rainer Neugebauer said: “Most people are fascinated because they could not imagine this. When you hear that someone is playing a piece of music for 639 years and that the tone changes only every few months or years – that sound incredibly boring. But then when you are at the church you realize that it is not boring. It is constantly changing, the light is different, the sound is different, it is not boring – it is very exciting.”
The next chord change is due in July 2012.
For more information see