Beach Ave. and Bidwell St.
Vancouver, British Columbia


Presented by Cryptic Music
Saturday, December 17 at 7:00 pm
English Bay to Robson Square, Vancouver, BC
FREE to all participants
Info: 604.875.9522 [email protected]

New York composer Phil Kline created Unsilent Night as an electronic music carolling party, and for over ten years it has been an annual event in downtown Manhattan, making it a new music holiday classic. For the fifth year it will be performed in the streets of Vancouver,
starting at the Alexandra Park bandstand on English Bay and winding through the streets of the West End to Robson Square.

Unsilent Night is an audience participation work, an outdoor ambient music piece for an INFINITE number of boom box tape players. It's like a Christmas carolling party except that we don't sing, but rather carry boom boxes, each playing a separate tape which is part of the piece. In effect, we become a city block long stereo system! Last year's performance included twenty boom boxes, but performances in New York have been using hundreds of participants. The more people that are involved, the more joyous a sound we can create.

This year the piece will happen on Saturday, December 17. We will meet at the Alexandra Park Bandstand on English Bay (Beach Ave. @ Bidwell St.) at 6:45pm, and starting at 7:00pm walk through the residential streets of Vancouver's West End down to the shopping district on Robson Street, finally gathering to end the piece at the outdoor ice rink in Robson Square. The whole walk takes about 40 minutes.

The more people that are involved the more beautiful and festive it will be! Phil Kline's ambient soundscape becomes more magical and unpredictable with more tapes being played, filling the air and seeming to come from all directions at once. Listen to some sound clips here:

"It was one of those experiments that worked beyond expectation. The music spread and filled the air in such a way that it was difficult to pinpoint where it was coming from even when in the middle of it. The sound mass seemed alive, blurring and oscillating due to slight variations in speed and pitch, and a constantly evolving polyphony was created in the moving throng as one could hear individual machines suddenly coming into focus, then receding back into the overall cloud of sound." -- Phil Kline (composer)

"...the music is undeniably lovely. From electronic drones, bells, and sampled choral singing, Kline has wrought a piece that evokes the Christmas season without ever sounding tawdry or overfamiliar..." -- Alex Varty, The Georgia Straight

All you need to join in the sound is a portable tape player with fresh batteries, and I will provide you with a cassette tape of the music. Just send me an email so I can know how many copies to bring on the 17th. If you don't have a tape player you are still welcome to join the procession and just enjoy the music. Unsilent Night is also kid-friendly, so bring the whole family!

If you would like to take part in Unsilent Night, contact Colin MacDonald at 604.875.9522 or [email protected]

Added by taikotea on December 3, 2005