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John Cage ASLSP


In early 2015, our dean of Arts at Butler University, Ron Caltabiano commissioned me to do an electronic orchestration of John Cage's in/famous piece 'ASLSP' (As SLow aS Possible), an eight movement work which was originally written for piano, and then allowed to be performed on organ. (notoriously, there is a current performance taking place at this moment in Germany which is supposed to last a few centuries...) Caltabiano's idea was that we could do an app for iPhone that played a small portion of the piece every day for a year, with the score realized/orchestrated by me.


If you are not familiar with the piece, each of the eight movements are laid out with no bar lines - (see the photo of the first line of score) - the instructions are to play seven of the eight movements, omitting one of them, and repeating another. Given the fluid nature of the notation, I divided each line of score into 23 sections (one for each day), and then planned my pieces to be programmed/performed into Digital Performer, then bounced to stereo and then converted to 320 kbs mp3 (arggh - not my favorite but it works), then uploaded to the developer's site via Google docs, so it could be parceled into ca. 30" chunks (with my specified fade times) that are made available each day for a little over a year.


This started during our last day of Butler Arts Fest 2014 (theme of the Fest: Outlaws/Outsiders - Cage would approve, I think) and continues into ArtsFest 2016 (theme: Time(less) ).

The app was available for iPhone at this point from the Apple app store as a free download, and originally additional plans were to also have it come out the summer of 2015 for the Galaxy, but I'm not certain that happened.

At THIS point, summer of 2019, I am planning to contact the John Cage Estate and explore the possibility of releasing all two hours-plus of the piece as a commercial recording of some kind - more on that as it develops.

Many thanks to Ron Caltabiano (dean, Butler University, Jordan School of the Arts), and to Jason Vasquez (Partner at DeveloperTown), and all of the folks who volunteered during a hack-a-thon or two to develop this whole project -


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