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Published: 2003/12/12

An Unsilent Night in NYC and SD

This year, avant-garde New York composer Phil Kline will take his
holiday-time sound experiment, Unsilent Night, on the road. Since
1992, hundreds of participants have gathered annually at the arch in
Manhattan’s Washington Square Park in late December, armed with boomboxes.
There, Kline distributes tapes of his ambient composition. On his count, the
participants hit ‘play’ on their tape decks march out of the park and
through Greenwich Village – creating a gorgeous, moving cloud of shimmering
sound, enthralling participants and confusing the bejeezus out of civilians – as they make their way to Alphabet City’s Tompkins Square Park.
‘It’s like a Christmas caroling party, except that we don’t sing,’ Kline has
written of the hour-long piece. ‘[Rather, we] carry boom boxes, each playing
a separate tape which is part of the piece. In effect, we become a block
long stereo system!’
In addition to Manhattan, where Unsilent Night will be ‘performed’ on
December 13th, the piece will also be presented in San Diego (also December
13th), Philadelphia (December 19th), Vancouver (December 21st), and San
Francisco (December 22nd). Check Kline’s website for more

details. Trust us, it’s trippy as hell. Reporting by Jesse Jarnow

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