Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night is a free outdoor participatory sound sculpture of many individual parts, recorded on cassettes, CDs and MP3s, and played through a roving swarm of boomboxes carried through city streets every December. People bring their own boomboxes and drift peacefully through a cloud of sound which is different from every listener’s perspective. Since 1992, this 45-minute work has grown into a worldwide annual communal event that has become an essential part of many winter holiday celebrations. The more participants the better, and all levels of audio fidelity are welcome (including MP3 players and phones). Please join us for this unusual sonic celebration of the Winter Solstice and the Seattle experimental music community. You can come for the walk, the party, or both. Here’s how to participate:
First, download an MP3 file of the music here. You will randomly get one of four possible parts. Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter which one you get; they are all similar and equally important.
Then, you’ll need to burn that to a CD-R or copy it to a cassette tape. (note: if copying to CD, be sure to convert the MP3 file to WAV or AIFF CD audio using iTunes or another music program – most boomboxes will not play MP3 files!)
Bring the CD/cassette, your boombox, and fresh batteries and you are ready to go! It does not have to be a fancy player – all levels of sound quality are encouraged.
Don’t have a boombox? You can also use an iPod or other MP3 device, such as a smart phone, with battery-powered speakers plugged in. If you are using an iPhone, you can download the special new app created by Josh Parmenter.
6:30 PM – Meet at the Chapel Performance Space up on the 4th floor of the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, where we will all load up our players and go over the route.
7:00 PM – We begin a slow-moving procession as a group through Wallingford, lasting about 45 minutes.
8:00 PM – Return to the Chapel for a “New-Music Holiday Office Party”, with hot cider, snacks, music, and prizes.