A festivity for Calliope, Chief of the muses, muse of epic poetry, and mother of Orpheus

In the form of a marathon performance by Joe Drew

On the first day of Artsaha, on the 6th day of September

At half past three in the afternoon Until the stroke of midnight.


In Which He Will Play:


John Cage, ASLSP


Written in 1985 for the University of Maryland International Piano Festival and Competition, ASLSP stands for “As SLow(ly) and Soft(ly) as Possible”. The title also refers to the opening line in the final paragraph of Finnegan’s Wake, “Soft morning city. Lsp!”.


Bearing in mind the utter tedium of competition judging, John Cage thought his open score would be as much a challenge for performers as it would be a change of pace for the judges. The piece consists of eight small movements, one of which is to be omitted, and one of which is to be repeated at the performer’s discretion, a format which insured the competition judges would never hear the same performance twice.


ASLSP is currently being performed in Halberstadt, Germany over the course of 639 years. In the same epic tradition, Joe Drew, a veteran of long form improvisation and performance with groups like numun and Loop 2.4.3, offers an experimental reading of the piece, which explores the full timbral range of the SPAC organ.