Phil Kline on “Unsilent Night” in New Haven

Unsilent Night was originally created as the ambient soundtrack to a Christmas party, a quasi-carolling thing that about 50 of us did in Greenwich Village in 1992.  Everybody had such a good time that it was suggested we do it again the next year, and it kept on going, year after year, with the crowd gradually growing to hundreds, then booming up to a thousand or more..  In 2000, a new music collective in Tallahassee asked if they could present it.  when we made the commercial recording the next year, there was a note that said if you want to do this in your town, give me a call.  The next year it started in San Diego and Vancouver, then Philly and San Francisco, and now several dozen cities every year.  The event has developed on its own, far beyond the modest ambitions i originally had for it.  I think it succeeds so well because the modest ambition, to have a party, becomes universal so easily at this time of year.  It's dark and cold and everyone is stressed out.  And here's this free, low-key thing that makes the air vibrate in a way that's wonderful, relaxing and invigorating all at once.

It's been a pleasure to watch it start in New Haven the last two years, despite the worst weather conditions imaginable, a blizzard the first year and a nor'easter the next.  This year will be dry and clear and I hope to see you all there.

Phil Kline