Unsilent Night


We are thrilled that we do NOT have a Mister Saturday Night this weekend, not because we like a Saturday off (which we do), but because we get to take part in ‘Unsilent Night’, a tradition that is not just our favorite holiday happening of the year, but one of our favorite New York City experiences, period.

Created by composer Phil Kline, ‘Unsilent Night’ is a carol for boomboxes. Hundreds of people show up underneath the Washington Square arch, with CDs, mp3s and tapes cued up on their various players, and with a countdown, Kline has them press play. Thus ensues a parade that wanders through the East Village to Tompkins Square Park, where different movements of the ambient masterwork take over entire city blocks, with the sound changing depending on where you stand. The best is when, as everyone congregates at the end, the piece comes to a staggered end, thanks to people late in pressing the start button and low batteries that cause the tapes to run more slowly than their digital counterparts. It’s beautiful and wonderful, and you absolutely should not miss it.

Unsilent Night begins at the Washington Square Arch in Manhattan at 7:00pm on Saturday, December 18. Meet under the arch at 6:40pm. Kline hands out a few boomboxes, tapes, and CDs to first folks who arrive. You can bring your own playback device, and you can email to find out about getting the mp3 for download in advance. If you don’t have a boombox, don’t worry. It’s plenty of fun to walk with the group.

5 Comments

  1. Posted December 17, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I went on this once, and found it quite authoritarian — if sort of pleasant in a submissive sort of way. The music isn't good, rather it's totally removed from the experience of people: lowest-common-denominator stuff, as it has to be a crowdpleaser suitable also for families and people from New Jersey who feel like they want to be edgy. Ultimately, I felt alienated.

  2. Posted December 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous, you are such a suffering artist, alienated from the rest of society.

    -Santa

  3. Posted December 17, 2010 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Ho ho, yup. I'll take my Christmas cheer somewhere else.

  4. Posted December 18, 2010 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    yo, anon #1, you sound like a LOT of fun…in a pathetically self-involved and miserable sort of way.

  5. Posted December 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    I think you are all missing the point; look at the picture, that dog is def. sniffing her butt, & that makes the baby happy!

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  • Upcoming Parties & Gigs

    Official Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday parties are in bold below. Other dates are tourdates for Eamon and/or Justin.

    Friday, December 2nd // Planetarium with Josh Dunn, Justin Carter and Live Musical Guests // $25 // Secret Loft Location Revealed to Ticket Holders On Day of Session // advance tickets and more info

    Sunday, December 4th // Mister Sunday London with Eamon Harkin Solo All Evening at Village Underground // 54 Holywell Lane, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PQ // £8 and £12 early birds // £15 otherwise // tickets and more info

    Saturday, December 10th // Mister Saturday Night with Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter All Night // at Silent Barn, Brooklyn // $20 // advance tickets and more info

    Saturday, December 17th // Mister Saturday Night with Beautiful Swimmers and Eamon Harkin // at Silent Barn, Brooklyn // $20 // advance tickets and more info

    Sunday, January 1st // Mister Sunday: New Year's Day with Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin // at a secret but familiar location // $20 // advance tickets and more info