Friday, February 07, 2003

And the Beat Goes On...and On....and On...and On....and On...

     In what has to be the most ridiculous waste of time ever, avante garde composter...ahem, I mean composer John Cage's 639-year-long musical composition was begun on a German church organ Wednesday. Yes, you heard that right. The piece lasts 639 years. Currently, the first three notes of the late author's piece, called As Slow As Possible are being played and will go on for a year and a half.
     I have to confess here, I don't know much about John Cage's music, other than the fact that his estate/record company sued a guy awhile back for stealing his brilliant idea for an album track of just minutes of silence, entitled 4'33", which he released in 1952. Look, I dig the whole "avant garde" thing and maybe this is just some sort of Warhol-ish prank Cage played on the world. If so, hats off to the guy, it's gotta be the greatest practical joke in history, 'cause hundreds of years after the guy's dead some moron's liable to be sitting in a church in Germany waiting for the last note of this song to finish so he can clap and stomp his feet and that's pretty funny, but It's hard for me to believe that even he could have taken this seriously enough to expect someone would ever play the thing in it's entirety. There's a huge difference, to me, at least, between something being art and being novel and I think this is merely a cute idea taken to ridiculous extreme and I have to question the sanity of the folks behind this.
     Have to admit, though, I'm curious as to whether the whole song will ever be played out, a lot can happen in 639 years.

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