Now when I say “winter outdoor group participation experimental Christmas art music”…what comes to mind?
Nothing, you say?
Well, to the cross section of you who haven’t thrown up a little (I admit, I get queasy at the “group participation” part), you should all be alerted to and excited by the concept that is Unsilent Night. The event is the brainchild of Phil Kline, a longstanding NY artist who works most frequently with music. Since 1992, he’s lead his own kind of interesting Christmas celebration which centers around one of Kline’s own musical compositions: a drone based swirl of chimes and other vaguely Christmas related tones. It’s kind of a chorus line that both Fennez and The Flaming Lips (remember Zaireeka?) would enjoy, as folks snag their copy of the composition from the website and the living sound sculpture begins as the group walks together playing the piece from home brought boom boxes, iPhones, and hopefully some of those lovely bike audio rigs I’ve seen at Critical Mass. Given that the composition is an abstract one coming from multiple moving sources, the work evolves as the crowd passes through the given city, forming something fluid and unique each time. Ultimately, a weirdo holiday tradition I can get behind.
This year has some new cities, including Chicago and if you attend NYC’s 18th annual Unsilent Night this Saturday, you’ll get to be lead from Washington Square Park to Thompkins Square Park by Kline himself. Last year’s reported attendance for the New York event was around 1500, so that’s probably the best bet for the most epic scale of holiday drone.
Unsilent Night is happening in 25 cities this year: Albuquerque, Asheville, Baltimore, Berlin, Boulder, Cambridge (Ontario), Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, East Lansing, Fredericton (New Brunswick), London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Milledgeville, Missoula, New Haven, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Vancouver.
Many of the events are happening this weekend. Check out Unsilent Night to find out when and were it’s going on in each city.