Thursday, September 3, 2015

Long Music

Max Richter releases a new album tomorrow. It's called Sleep and appropriately it's around 8 hours long, designed to be listened to (or at least subliminally perceived) while you're in dreamland. You can download the whole thing here or there's a truncated vinyl version, which perhaps should be called Snooze or Cat Nap. There'll also be a concert version in Berlin later this month.
This sort of thing isn't new. La Monte Young and Terry Riley used to perform for hours and hours in the 60s, and Robert Rich did the same with his Sleep Concerts in the 80s. And then of course there's Jem Finer's Longplayer which is designed to play for a 1,000 years. 
But the piece I like (the idea of) best is John Cage's As SLow aS Possible which can last as long as you like. One performance in Maryland, US in 2009 was a mere 15 hours. Another version, played on an organ in a church in Halberstadt, Germany, is designed to last 639 years. The first chord was played on 5 September 2001. The weights holding down the pedals were then shifted and another chord was played on 5 January 2006. And so on. The next chord (or possibly just a single note?) will be performed on 5 September 2020. So if you're around in five years time, do drop in. 

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