On December 17, 2011 at 7pm, Phil Kline will lead a massive chorus of boomboxes from the West Village to the East Village in New York City in the 20th 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. Jeannie Hopper sat down with the composer and organizer to learn more.
Unsilent Night is an original composition by Phil Kline, written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December, and is realized in numerous cities around the US and the world. It takes the form of a street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Each participant gets one of four tracks of music in the form of a cassette, CD, or Mp3. Together all four tracks comprise Unsilent Night. The fact that the participants play different "parts" simultaneously helps create the special sound of the piece. Participants carry boomboxes, or anything that amplifies music, and simultaneously start playing the music. They then walk a carefully chosen route through their city’s streets, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture which is different from every listener's perspective.