New York City’s preparing for an Unsilent Night

Composer Phil Kline hands out tapes to Unsilent Night/NYC participants in 2005.

New York, it’s time to get ready for Unsilent Night!

This musical happening, composed and orchestrated — in every sense of the word — by Phil Kline, returns to its roots in New York on Saturday, Dec. 18. It kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Washington Square Arch in Greenwich Village.

This is the 19th year for Unsilent Night in New York, where it all started in 1992.

It’s an amazing experience in which every participant is responsible for part of the music by carrying a boombox or other speaker-equipped music playback gadget to sent Kline’s ethereal composition through the cold night air.

There’s nothing specifically religious or sectarian about the music or the event, but it generates a warm, holiday spirit for most participants.

Be sure to arrive early and bring your own boom box. Dress warmly and prepare to have a great time!

You’ll save time and be better prepared if you bring your own CD or MP3 file to play on whatever system you’re using. Click here to download your part. CDs will also be available at the start.

Here’s  this year’s instructions, direct from the Unsilent Night website:

On December 18 at 7:00pm, Phil Kline will lead a massive chorus of boomboxes from the West Village to the East Village in the 19th annual holiday presentation of Unsilent Night. People will gather in Washington Square Park, and less than an hour and mile later, end up in Tompkins Square Park.

In NYC, it is recommended that participants arrive by 6:45 pm at the arch in Washington Square. 
Phil Kline will hand out a limited number of boomboxes—and cassettes and CD’s for those who bring their own players. The public is strongly encouraged to bring their own boomboxes and hold them high as they play the music. Mp3 downloads of the individual tracks will be available on this website after November 27, so pod-docks and other sound-blasters can be carried . People have even brought their laptops hooked up to large speakers mounted on a wagon.

“Unsilent Night was designed in 1992 to withstand the unreliability, playback delay and occasional quavering tones of cassettes, “ said Phil Kline in an interview with the San Francisco Examiner. “About 90 percent of people have CD players now, so I make CDs available as well, but there’s something about the twinkling, hallucinatory effect of a warbling cassette tape that I enjoy.”

The event is free, and will be held rain or shine.

Participants can e-mail for information.

The growing list of U.S. cities presenting Unsilent Night this year:
Asheville, Baltimore, Boulder, Charleston, SC, Charleston, WV, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Traverse City and beyond the U.S.:
Hong Kong, Oxford, UK | Cambridge, Ontario | Vancouver, BC | Fredericton, NB.

More cities to come!

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