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December 2, 2015
Aleba Gartner, 212/206-1450
“The effect of Kline's music is gorgeous, as bell sounds lap up against buildings and ricochet all around, and the nondenominational spirit of it can warm even the coldest of hearts.”
— The Wall Street Journal

Phil Kline’s 



Begins today, December 2 in Norfolk, Virginia
and tomorrow, December 3 in North Adams, Massachusetts

and in 35 cities throughout the month of December

Kline's ethereal, electronic soundscape is played by the audience on boomboxes and smartphones as it walks through city streets

How to Participate


Note: Complete schedule is updated daily at

(click on city name for details)
ATHENS, GA: December 5, 2015
AUSTIN, TX: December 13, 2015
BOWLING GREEN, OH: December 9, 2015
CAMBRIDGE, ONTARIO: December 10, 2015
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO: December 19, 2015
DELAWARE, OH: December 8, 2015
DENVER, CO: December 21, 2015
DETROIT, MI: December 11, 2015
EDMONTON, ALBERTA: December 20, 2015
FARGO, ND: December 4, 2015
HOUSTON, TX: December 10, 2015
JOHNSON CITY, TN: December 4, 2015
KANSAS CITY, MO: December 13, 2015
KNOXVILLE, TN: December 4, 2015
MOREHEAD, KY: December 8, 2015
MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC: December 15, 2015
NEW YORK, NY: December 12, 2015
NORFOLK, VA: December 2, 2015
NORTH ADAMS, MA: December 3, 2015
OBERLIN, OH: December 13, 2015
PHILADELPHIA, PA: December 15, 2015
PORTLAND, OR: December 17, 2015
RICHMOND, VA: December 12, 2015
RENO, NV: December 19, 2015
SAINT JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK: December 18, 2015
SACRAMENTO, CA: December 12, 2015
SAN DIEGO, CA: December 20, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, CA: December 19, 2015
SANTA MONICA, CA: December 6, 2015
SEATTLE, WA: December 19, 2015
TRAVERSE CITY, MI: December 18, 2015
WINCHESTER, VA: December 4, 2015

“Caroling has never been so epic.” — Flavorpill

The original flagship event in NEW YORK CITY
(every year since 1992):

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2015, 7:00 PM

Full Details at

START: Participants meet at 6:45pm at the arch in Washington Square Park
END: Tompkins Square Park by 7:45pm
WHAT TO BRING: Boombox or smartphone linked to portable speakers

Pre-download the tracks to your device at

In New York, Phil Kline will hand out a limited number of vintage boomboxes
from his collection—and cassettes and CD’s for those who bring their own
Unsilent Night 2013, Photo by Taylor Davidson
“One of the loveliest communal new-music experiences you'll ever encounter.” 
— Time Out New York

This December, Phil Kline’s luminous and shimmering mobile sound-sculpture UNSILENT NIGHT returns for a 24th edition in cities across the United States and abroad. Since its debut on the streets of Greenwich Village in 1992, Unsilent Night has grown organically as a true word-of-mouth phenomenon; it is now a worldwide annual holiday event and has been presented in over 100 cities and on five continents.

This year's flagship New York City event takes place on Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 7:00pm, when composer Phil Kline will lead a massive chorus of boomboxes from the West Village to the East Village. Hundreds of participants will gather at the arch in Washington Square Park, and less than an hour and mile later, end up in Tompkins Square Park.

Meanwhile, throughout the month similar parades will play out in over 35 cities as diverse as San Francisco, CA; Norfolk, VA; North Adams, MA; Houston, TX; and many others. The complete list of 2015 participating cities is updated daily


Unsilent Night is an original composition by Phil Kline, written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December, always as a free event. It takes the form of a street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer. Each participant gets one of four tracks of music. Originally the music was played using only cassette tapes in boomboxes, but as vintage boomboxes have become harder to find, more people use smartphones with portable speakers to blast the music (by streaming audio or using the free Unsilent Night app which randomly selects one of the tracks to play). Together all four tracks comprise Unsilent Night. Participants start playing their devices simultaneously, then walk a carefully chosen route through their city’s streets, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture which is different from every listener's perspective.

“Unsilent Night is like a Christmas caroling party except we don't sing, but rather carry boomboxes,” says composer Phil Kline. “We're each playing a separate audio track which is part of the piece. In effect, we become a city-block-long stereo system.”

The media has caught on to this growing cult-phenomenon, with coverage and critical praise from NPR, Channel 13 Metrofocus, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, The Village Voice, Flavorpill, New York Magazine, New York Post, among many others.
Photo by Tom Jarmusch


In winter 1992, Phil Kline ( had an idea for a public artwork in the form of a holiday caroling party.  He composed a four-track electronic piece that was 45 minutes long (the length of one side of a cassette tape), invited a few dozen friends who gathered in Greenwich Village, gave each person a boombox with one of four tapes in it, and instructed everyone to hit PLAY at the same time.  What followed was a sound unlike anything they had ever heard before: an evanescence filled the air, reverberating off buildings and streets as the crowd walked a pre-determined route. The piece was so popular that it became an annual tradition, and then an international phenomenon. 

While technological advances allow the piece to be played through a multitude of devices, Kline originally designed the piece in 1992 to incorporate the unreliability, playback delay, and quavering tones of cassette tapes.

“Today most people have digital audio players, so I make the audio available in that format as well—but there's something about the twinkling, hallucinatory effect of a warbling cassette tape that I enjoy,” says Kline.
The studio recording of UNSILENT NIGHT is available on Cantaloupe Music (CA21005)

Photos/Videos from 2014

Take a peek at last year's Unsilent Night in New York City

For high-resolution photography and video please contact
Phil Kline, Photo by Lovis Ostenrik

Phil Kline

“Magic was happening as you sat there. Here was a true original.”
— The New York Times
Phil Kline is a creator of songs, choral and chamber music, orchestra and theater pieces, guitar noise, electronica and sound installations. His early work often used massive numbers of boombox tape players as a medium, most notably in the outdoor Christmas piece Unsilent Night, which is now performed annually in dozens of cities around the world. Other compositions include Zippo Songs and Rumsfeld Songs, The Blue Room and Other Stories for String Quartet, Exquisite Corpses for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, the mass John the Revelator, written for the early music vocal group Lionheart, and the song cycle/monodrama Out Cold, written for Theo Bleckmann. Since 2012 he has hosted a popular weekday radio program from 11am to 1pm on Q2 Music—WQXR's new-music radio station—in New York City. He is currently collaborating with director Robert Wilson and filmmaker Jim Jarmusch on an opera, The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla

In the Press

NPR on Unsilent Night: one of the great American symphonies?

"During the procession, the sense of wonder spreads outward as onlookers are enveloped in a nebula of phosphorescent sound. The piece also fosters a sense of community because each person carries only one part of the music."
— The New York Times 

“The most eccentrically beguiling experience of the holiday season.” — Toronto Life

"a dreamy fruitcake of parts, tranquil even through its anarchy." â€” Los Angeles Times

“A single musical movement in literal movement, Unsilent Night is a spectacle of tintinnabulation to delight participants and bystanders alike.” — The Village Voice

“It's a 44-minute exercise in musical democracy and Christmas cheer. It's a tradition for our times, a modern twist on strolling minstrels and caroling parties.” — Baltimore Sun

“Gorgeously ambient.” — New York Magazine

“Immerses the listener in suspended wonderment, 
as if time itself had paused inside a string of jingle bells.” â€” The New York Times

“It's the caroling of the future.” — San Francisco Weekly

“There’s more here besides fun and friendliness—Kline’s score, like toy chimes floating on the cold air, brings magic to the long, dark winter nights.” — New York Post

“A shimmering sound-wall of bells and chimes that is dreamlike
to wander through in the December nip.”
 â€” The Village Voice

For further information, press tickets, photos, and to arrange interviews,
please contact Aleba & Co. at 212/206-1450 or

Copyright © 2015 Aleba & Co., All rights reserved.

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