Originally posted on December 10, 2007
When it comes to the subject of holiday music, it depends on what mood you are in. If you are filled with the holiday spirit, almost anything will do. If not, maybe you don’t even want to listen to any of it at that point.
Then there are those in between sorts of musics, things that are quite different than the average fare, musics without those carols you might not be in the mood for. Of course, there are the Trans-Siberian Orchestra CDs. Some of them are better than others. Then there’s something by New York downtown Bang-on-a-Can composer Phil Kline called Unsilent Night (Cantaloupe). Essentially Kline composed a piece with collages of bells, some vocals and other resonant tones and loaded them onto multiple cassettes. On a winter’s night in the Village he assembled some friends, each with a boombox containing one of the cassettes. They all started their tapes running at the same time and proceeded to wander around the neighborhood, the audience being passers by. Kline did this for several years and gradually added to the number of boomboxes and parts. The audience grew. Finally, he assembled this CD from a couple of such performances and through partial recreations in the studio. It is a piece of music that grows on you upon repeated hearings. It’s quite different and you may or may not take to it. Again, this will appeal to those with big musical ears.