Sunday, November 20, 2016

Winter Walk: Unsilent Night

You don't have to sing or dance, juggle, do magic, or don a costume to be part of the performance at Winter Walk this year. If you have a boom box, an MP3 player, or a smart device that can play an app, you can be part of the infinite orchestra that will move up Warren Street during Hudson's most beloved community event.

This year, for the first time, Winter Walk will feature Phil Kline's Unsilent Night, described by Time Out as "one of the loveliest communal new-music experiences you'll ever encounter." Everyone is invited to participate in the performance, playing Kline's four-part composition on their own devices--boom boxes, smartphones, MP3 players, whatever else that can be devised--to create "a unique and luminous soundscape." NPR said of the experience, "Over the course of 45 minutes, chiming and chants bounce off walls and windows transforming the coldest urban area with the warmth of musical fellowship." Warren Street during Winter Walk hardly falls into the category of "coldest urban area," so imagine the warmth and spirit that will be created here!

Unsilent Night, which was written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December, was first performed in 1992 in Greenwich Village. Since then, it has been performed every December somewhere--from New York to San Francisco, from Brussels to Saskatoon. You can see all the places where it will be performed this December, by clicking here. To learn more about Unsilent Night, you can click here to listen to Ellen Thurston and Tom DePietro talking with Phil Kline last Thursday on WGXC. You can also visit the Unsilent Night website, where you can get more information about how you can participate.

On Saturday, December 3, the night of Winter Walk, Phil Kline himself will be in Hudson to orchestrate the event. In preparation for the performance, he will meet with participants at 4 p.m. at Basilica Hudson. A few vintage boom boxes and audio cassettes will be available, but participants are urged to bring their own devices and to download one of the four tracks in advance. From the Basilica, participants will proceed to Front and Warren streets, where at the stroke of 5, the music will start and the parade up Warren Street will begin, arriving for its crescendo at Seventh Street Park. This promises to be an experience you won't want to miss, but in case you can't be there in person, WGXC will be broadcasting it live at 90.7 FM and online at

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