Montclair, NJ – It’s a first for Montclair — and New Jersey — and you are invited to commune with music and connect with community. Experience a unique music in the streets experience when Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night, an interactive soundscape promenade, comes to Crane Park on Tuesday, December 21 at 6 p.m.
Unsilent Night, an original composition by Phil Kline, is a luminous soundscape played by participants on Bluetooth speakers carried through the streets. It is a celebration of the season, community and joy, somewhat like caroling but profoundly immersive and inclusive of everyone. Written specifically to be heard outdoors in the month of December, Unsilent Night takes the form of a street promenade in which the audience becomes the performer.
Artist Charlie Spademan, who you may know from his contributions to Fresh Air Montclair, “Point of Action” at Crane Park and Montclair’s new sculpture park, is a longtime friend of Kline’s, and has organized Unsilent Night Montclair.
Spademan says he has attended Unsilent Night events, most recently with his family last February, and is always struck by the vibe that the celebration creates. The music composed by Kline creates a unique listening experience where the sound bounces off the streets and walls of the town. The 45‐minute‐long composition first debuted as a public artwork event in 1992; Unsilent Night is now performed regularly in 30 cities around the world. Spademan is excited to bring Unsilent Night to Montclair and hopes to make the event an annual one and have the tradition continue. Here’s what to expect:
Each participant downloads one of four tracks of music in the form of an Mp3. Together all four tracks comprise Unsilent Night. The fact that the participants play different “parts” simultaneously helps create the special sound of the piece. Participants carry boomboxes, speakers, or anything that amplifies music, and simultaneously start playing the music. They then walk a carefully chosen route through their city’s streets, creating a unique mobile sound sculpture that is different from every listener’s perspective.
Spademan encourages people to come and bring speakers [louder is better — Spademan has seen families bring wagons to hold speakers or boom boxes], but says you can come listen and be part of the event even if you aren’t able to download the music. Be sure to listen at the end: a favorite moment of Spademan’s is when the music fades out, leaving you with a sense of stillness.
Phil Kline’s UNSILENT NIGHT
Tuesday, Dec 21 at 6:00 pm
5:30 pm Organizers for the event are available to help participants in Crane Park
6:00 pm: Participants gather in Crane Park and the procession is organized
6:15 pm Procession begins route towards the Wellmont Arts Plaza
To participate in Unsilent Night Montclair: Everyone is invited to download one of the four tracks
at unsilentnight.com/participate onto their phones. Bringing a synced battery‐operated Bluetooth speaker to amplify the track is ideal, but not required. Then, participants should bundle up in cold weather holiday gear (lights and glow sticks welcome) and meet up at Crane Park on Tuesday evening at 6 pm. Organizers will direct everyone to start their music at 6:15, then lead the way slowly through the streets of downtown Montclair. The promenade will end approximately 45 minutes later at the new Wellmont Arts Plaza, a short distance away. Joining will be cyclists from Bike Walk Montclair, who will ride alongside with lights and festive attire.
Unsilent Night Montclair culminates the Make Music Winter celebrations from Montclair Make Music Day. Special thanks to the Montclair Center BID, Montclair Make Music and Bike Walk Montclair.