Sound artist Phil Kline’s been creating Unsilent Night every year since 1992, and this year its critical mass of sound collage takes place near The Grove. And you can be a part of it!
A beautiful, mobile piece of ambient public art, Unsilent Night can be compared to a holiday caroling party–except that participants each carry an ordinary boombox playing a separate cassette, CD or MP3 that becomes part of the piece. Kline and his co-performers become a huge, moving sound system. In the echo chamber of the city streets, Unsilent Night reverberates off cars and buildings, resulting in a drifting cloud of shimmering, echoing sound. The 43-minute piece includes sounds of chiming bells, choral voices and various electronic effects. (Kline cites Brian Eno and Charles Ives among his influences.)
Kline’s performed Unsilent Night in New York City every year since 1992. In San Francisco last year, some 500 people took part. And now you can too! Participants are invited to bring a boombox to Unsilent Night at Pan-Pacific Regional Park, 7600 Beverly Blvd., this Sunday the 16th at 7pm. After Kline distributes tapes and CDs among the players, the group will begin the piece, strolling a mile-long route though the Mission, Noe, and Castro districts. It’ll happen rain or shine.
“Unsilent Night immerses the listener in suspended wonderment, as if time itself had paused inside a string of jingle bells.” –Jon Pareles, The New York Times