Unsilent Night brought some unconventional Christmas caroling to the streets of downtown Charleston Sunday evening. The outing was the Holy City’s third go-round of the Phil Kline-composed participatory musical experience that began in New York City 16 years ago. Participants congregated at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park toting boom-boxes and iPods rigged up to portable speakers. Organizer Nathan Koci of the New Music Collective distributed CDs and cassettes containing one piece of the four-part composition to participants. A few folks simply whipped out their iPhones and quickly downloaded one of the tracks. The gathering hushed as Koci counted down to hit play, the seminal moment of the night. The ensuing procession down East Bay Street and along North Market to King Street was a barrage of ambient sound, with xylophonic crescendos and chiming bells interweaving with the carolers’ footsteps. The culmination of the 45 minute musical journey came under the Christmas tree in Marion Square, with the fading chimes piercing the newly crisp evening air.

Unsilent Night from Charleston City Paper on Vimeo.

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