Best Not-Exactly-Christmas-Caroling Event (2008)

Unsilent Night

Every winter for the past eight years, composer Phil Kline has staged the marvelous sound-art event Unsilent Night, and every year it's gotten a little bigger. A few hundred people and their boomboxes congregate in Washington Square Park, and Kline hands each of them a tape that's a component of his instrumental piece. Everyone presses play at the same time, and the crowd moves around the park, then walks slowly through the East Village to Tompkins Square Park, creating a huge, sparkling field of tones that extends for blocks and snakes around corners. Passersby join in the procession, or just stand and marvel. This year, it's scheduled for Saturday, December 16. E-mail Kline at


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