Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Recording: Unsilent Night

Artist: Unsilent Night Toronto

Songs: [sound montage from Unsilent Night performance, in three parts] [Composer: Phil Kline, arranged collectively by the participants]

Recorded in and around The Grange neighbourhood, December 19, 2014.

Unsilent Night Toronto - Walk Montage Part 1

Unsilent Night Toronto - Walk Montage Part 2

Unsilent Night Toronto - Walk Montage Part 3

As an excellent alternative to more traditional holiday celebrations, the Music Gallery hosted a performance of Phil Kline's ambient sound sculpture. A "multi-track electronic piece" conceived in 1992, Unsilent Night is a group outing that serves as an alternative to carolling, with participants instead playing a component of Kline's composition of a boombox, phone speaker, or any other portable music-playing device. the result is a beautifully-spacialized sound, with bells and choirs moving in and out of sync.

This first try by the Music Gallery had enough participants to conjure that magic as the procession snaked its way along McCaul, Dundas and Spadina, but a larger group would create an even more immersive environment. We'll see if there's an agitation to build on this and create a new local tradition. As a document, here's a trimmed-down excerpt from my recording, which is very much "in the rough", with cars and conversations (along with shuffling footfalls and mic bumps!) making their way into the sonic environment.

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