Composer John Cage, who died in 1992, is perhaps best known for his musical piece 4’33":
It consists of the pianist going to the piano, and not hitting any keys for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. (He uses a stopwatch to time this.) In other words, the entire piece consists of silences — silences of different lengths, they say.
(Click here to see and hear a performance of 4’33" as performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra).
[NOTE: 4’33"is a piece that’s hard to get out of your head. As I lay in bed late last night trying to get some sleep, I swear I heard this being performed]
But John Cage also composed a piece called "ASLAP", which is short for "as slow as possible". It was originally scored for piano, but Cage reworked the piece for organ (renaming it "organ2/ASLAP"). The point of the piece, Cage said before he died, was that it should be played as slowly as possible.
In 1997, a group of musicians in Germany got together and formed The John Cage Organ Project. They decided they would perform "organ2/ASLAP" as Cage intended — i.e., it would be played "as slow as possible".
The concert began on September 5, 2001 in an abandoned Buchardi church in Halberstadt, eastern Germany. A year and a half later, the first chord of the piece was played on an organ specially built for the Project.
Today at 5:00 pm GMT, the second chord (comprising A, C and F-sharp) is being played. Weights will hold the organ keys down until it is time to play the next chord, sometime in late 2007. Read more.