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Let's face it, concerts can get a little boring especially, if one has to sit through an hour-long chorus or orchestra performance that they are not part of. So, you can only imagine how much patience it would take to listen to a concert that will go on for 639 years!
But that apparently, is the length of the Halberstadt Performance currently going on at Germany's St. Burchard Church. Scheduled to end in 2640, it is not being performed by humans, but an automatic organ, which was not even completely ready when the 'concert' first began in 2001. But thanks to the slooooooooooooow progress, there was plenty of time to add the pipes and also a blower that keeps the music steady, by providing a constant stream of air.
The musical piece chosen for this concert is appropriately entitled ASLSP (As SLow aS Possible). While the piece was composed by the late American musician John Cage to allow artists to pace themselves for as long as they wanted to when playing the piece, even he, would have never guessed that anyone would take his words so literally. Prior to this, the longest it had ever been stretched out was 79 minutes.
So how do you elongate a musical piece for that long? By waiting for months before making a chord change. In fact, they are so rare that in July 2008 over 1,000 people gathered at the church to witness the momentous event live! Why 639 years? - That how long the church organ has been in existance. Curious to hear what this concert sounds like? Check it out at www.john-cage.halberstadt.de.
And, if you think this will go down as the world's longest concert, think again. Longplayer, a computer concert that began in December 1999 is scheduled to continue until 2999 or, for a full 1,000 years! Unfortunately, none of us will be around to see if either will complete their tenure.
Resources: npr.org,longplayer.com, kiwikids.co.nz