Graeme Shields

Edition Peters

Graeme Shields, co-founder of the Vital Organ Project, will offer a free public performance of Organ²/ASLAP (As Slow As Possible) at First Congregational Church of Kalamazoo on Saturday, Jul 27, beginning at 1 pm. (The public is free to come and go at will during the performance.) Shields has trained himself to stretch out the four-page piece into an 8-hour performance, which, he tells Cara Lieurance, isn't the longest performance that has been attempted. There is an on-going performance in Halberstadt, Germany at St. Burchardi Church that began in 2001, and is expected to last 639 years.

Shields talks about John Cage's groundbreaking, visionary works which changed our perception of music, and about how he has learned to hold the sonorities of As Slow As Possible for durations of 15 and 20 minutes before changing to the following notes. When changes happen that far apart, they become extremely potent. He suggests that people drop in as they can, and listen for at least one sonority change to see what it's like.


Graeme Shields, a composer and organist who recently completed a master's degree in composition at the Western Michigan University School of Music, tells Cara Lieurance about his upcoming solo recital at Milwood United Methodist Church, at 3 pm on Sunday, Sep 30. 

It's a showcase for two of his current passions: new music written for organ, including the premiere of his work "...And music shall untune the sky", and a recently-developed "kid's organ." The Orgelkids instrument is a build-it-yourself organ that allows children and anyone to gain an understanding of how the "king of instruments" really works.

Shields will feature the Orgelkids instrument in his Milwood recital and on Friday, Oct 5, in an Art Hop event at Sarkozy Bakery.