Unsilent Night offers a breath of fresh air when it comes to holiday tunes

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Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night”, 5:45-6:45 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free, unsilentnight.com. - TAYLOR DAVIDSON
  • Taylor Davidson
  • Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night”, 5:45-6:45 p.m., Bancroft Park, 2408 W. Colorado Ave., free, unsilentnight.com.
Music this time of year can get tedious, and I’m not just talking about the annual “Baby It’s Cold Outside” controversy, or the tension between those who hear and appreciate Mariah Carey’s anti-capitalist messaging in “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and those who don’t. Matter stands, these days we hear the same 30 songs on store speakers each time we go shopping. That’s why Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night” offers a breath of fresh air when it comes to holiday tunes. Experimental electronic composer Phil Kline created this unique listening experience in 1992, when he wanted to organize a mass caroling march as a kind of art installation. He composed a 45-minute soundscape for the season and copied it onto cassette tapes (remember those?), which were then distributed to friends with boomboxes. They then pressed play in tandem and walked the streets of Greenwich Village with speakers blaring, subjecting everyone within earshot to the sound. To participate in this now-annual event, you can still order one of four cassettes (each containing one part of the full soundscape), and load it into your old-fashioned boombox, but you can also stream the tracks on SoundCloud or download them directly to your phone. Then, with the aid of Bluetooth speakers or other amplification, you can join one of the 40-plus processions participating in this event throughout the country. Our local branch will gather in Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City. While the visual effect may not be the same with folks holding iPhones or Amazon Echoes over their heads in lieu of boomboxes, the sound experience should prove magical in its own way. “It’s the kind of event where more people [is] much better,” says local organizer Mark Jakusovszky. “It sounds incredible!”

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