Unsilent Night is by far my favorite (and surrealist) holiday activity. Phil Kline composed a song in 1992, and each year he comes out to Washington Square, with a bunch of boom boxes and cassettes to meet up with hundreds of people.
You can download the song or grab a cassette (yes, cassette) and everyone starts the song at the same time. Because of the beautiful humanity of it, the song isn’t ever perfectly in-sync across the sea of people, and the resulting sound is a cacophony of bells, chants and holiday cheer. From the square we walk across the village to Tompkins Square, in complete silence, taking in the city as a slow moving, unrelenting serpent, drowning out the normal chaos of NYC with our haunting procession.
Passersbys watch slack jawed not knowing if they are witnessing a silent protest, a cult suicide or a pure form of holiday reverence. It’s powerful, simple, weird and wonderful just like the holidays should be. Much love to Phil who does this just for the love of doing it, without charging a penny, or requiring an email address or a like to a Facebook page. It’s purely about magic, and pure NYC. #unsilentnight #philkline #nyc