My Unsilent Night

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So, Christmas caroling is great, a personal fave, but in my experience doesn't go over half as well as, say, Karaoke. Enter Phil Kline's Unsilent Night, a holiday tradition involving hundreds of revelers carrying boomboxes blasting parts of an ambient, festive, twinkly, wintry score created by the composer in 1992.

Played traditionally by audio cassette on portable boomboxes, Kline has made versions for CD and mp3. "But," he says, "there’s something about the twinkling, hallucinatory effect of a warbling cassette tape that I enjoy."

Last year I had the privilege of attending this unbelievably fun and festive event. They actually blocked off St. Marks Place for our band of giddy participants, and several people lay down in the middle of the street to let the full, ultimate surround effect literally wash over them. Of all the holiday activities in which I have participated (and boy howdy is that a lot) this is among my favorite. There's something amazing about hanging out with a bunch of like-minded strangers and actually making some art.

Have you participated in Unsilent Nights past? Are you planning on attending? This year, Q2 will be collecting your stories and images from Unsilent Night gatherings around the world. You can get more info on participation right here.