Made it to Unsilent Night last night. I love attending. If you haven’t ever, I do recommend looking at the schedule and seeing if it’s happening in your town: http://unsilentnight.com/schedule.html. I see it’s in Austin on December 17th, Manhattan on the 17th as well, Montréal on the 19th, and Colorado Springs on the 16th. If you’re not familiar, the short version is that 20-plus years ago the composer Phil Kline wrote and recorded four piece of ambient music, collectively titled Unsilent Night, that are meant to be played simultaneously. He then distributed these recordings individually to people, who put them on boomboxes and walked around lower Manhattan in a kind of secular carol for the holidays. Since then it’s been repeated every year in Manhattan, and spread to many other places, about 116 different cities according to the website. We went last night.
It’s a great experience. I try to go every year, but I don’t always make it.
Tempted to go to Montreal.
So you walk in the procession for a period of time while they play? Is it participatory in the sense that people are invited to bring their own, or in the sense that you walk as an ensemble?
The “they” in this case is everyone who attends. Everyone involved walks, carrying and playing their own copy of the music, so it is totally and inherently participatory. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. The idea is there are four layers to the 45-minute work, and you select one of them and play it for the length of the “performance.” They’re easy to pull up on the Unsilent Night SoundCloud account.
Very cool! Thanks for the clarification!
Totally. Do report back if you go.
The schedule for Unsilent Night 2018 is up. It’s in San Fransisco on December 15. Check to see if a city near you is hosting. I highly recommend attending and participating:
#toptip!! thx – I’ll be going to the one in NYC, and have forwarded link to my portland OR friends
phil kline kicks off unsilent night 2018 in nyc under washington square arch, sound gnomes gather: