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Stop gap




All is not lost for tourism workers who lost their jobs when the coronavirus pandemic shut down business establishments. Take it from former Boracay acoustic singer Jason Plaza who was forced to return home to Capiz.

Plaza used to make P2,500 to P3,000 per night singing in bars in Boracay. When community quarantine shut down the nightlife in the world-famous resort island, the cash flow stopped. Plaza eventually found his “voice” through online busking and harana.

From his home, Plaza sings live on Facebook and earns tips from online viewers worldwide. He now earns P10,000 per session. He also does online serenades at P400 per song. His earnings now sustain his family.

The good thing about Plaza’s means of livelihood, including his acoustic shows in Boracay, is that he gets paid at the end of every gig. The same goes for other musicians like him.

In the gig industry, the practice of “perform now and get paid later” is rare. If it ever happens, performers should avoid performing live the out-of-this-world piano piece titled “As Slow as Possible,” created by the late American composer John Cage in 1985; it also has an organ version written in 1987.

Cage is well-known as the composer of “4’ 33”” in 1952. The piece is plain silence for four minutes and 33 seconds.

“As Slow as Possible” is more unconventional than “4’ 33”” in that its performance will last more than several lifetimes.

The organ recital started at the St. Burchardi Church in Halberstadt, Germany in 2001 followed by an 18-month pause. It took another 12 years before a note changed.

The gap before the next chord change is long, but there is already a fan base waiting for it in February 2022.

Attendees to an organ symposium in the German town of Trossingen in 1997 decided that Cage’s piece should be performed for 639 years, the equivalent age of the world’s first large organ built in Halberstadt in 1361.

The performance, which is currently directed by Rainer O. Neugebauer with the help of other musicians, will end in 2640.