Sabine Liebner, Cage: ASLSP

Seth Colter Walls

By Seth Colter Walls

on 10.09.11 in Reviews

“ASLSP” stands for “As SLow aS Possible,” which communicates Cage’s compositional ideas circa 1987 clearly enough. Starting in 2001, the better to oblige the master of conceptual classical music, a church in Germany devoted its organ to playing this piece…at a rate that will see it completed in 2640. (People gather in town and listen to the live online stream, in the rare event that a chord changes. Seriously.) But for the rest of the world, Sabine Lieber’s 64-minute account of the very spare piece will have to do. Her playing is the farthest thing from stunt-like or joke-y: the spaces in between the notes feel deeply considered, and in tune with Cage’s Zen spirituality. Despite its laggard approach to revelation, this is no mood- or background-style music. It is, instead, sound that deserves (and repays) rapt attention.