Hidden City Philadelphia Presents
A New & Old Philadelphia Holiday Celebration
6:00 – 7:30pm
Unsilent Night by Phil Kline
Meet at the Ethical Society of Philadelphia, 1906 Rittenhouse Square [map]
A magical, seasonal soundscape, created by a procession of “boombox”-toting “carolers”
An annual tradition in Philadelphia for nearly a decade!
No musical ability required – just BYOB (bring your own boombox)
7:30 – 10:00pm
Old Philadelphia Holiday Party
Historic Orpheus Club of Philadelphia, 254 South Van Pelt Street [map]
Join us after the walk for Plum Pudding & Wassail, Stilton & Madeira, & Other Fare
ADMISSION: $30 Hidden City Members / $40 Non-members
In the spirit of Hidden City and the end of the calendar season, we’re pleased to celebrate
the season with an unusual mix of new and old Holiday traditions.
THE NEW: Unsilent Night is an original composition by Phil Kline, written to be heard
outdoors in the month of December. It takes the form of a street promenade in which the
audience becomes the performer. Each participant gets one of four tracks of music in the
form of a cassette, CD, or 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, 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 which is different
from every listener’s perspective. It all started in winter 1992, when Phil had an idea for
a public artwork in the form of a holiday caroling party. Unsilent Night has become an
annual tradition, and then an international phenomenon. It has been presented in over 50
cities and four continents, drawing crowds of up to 1,500 participants in cities like New
York and San Francisco. Some boomboxes will be on hand, but we suggest you bring
your own. Cassettes and CD’s will be available.
THE OLD: Join us after Unsilent Night for some “Old Philadelphia” seasonal cheer
at the historic home of the Orpheus Club. In the spirit of the season, Hidden City has
provided will be serving Traditional Plum Pudding with Wassail Punch, Stilton Cheese
with Madeira Wine, and other savory fare in the resonant halls of the Orpheus clubhouse.
This year the Orpheus Club celebrates 139 years of Orpheus concerts. It all began
with the first presentation given by the twenty-two original members at The Musical
Fund Hall on December 7, 1872. Founded with the purpose to “attainment of the
greatest possible excellence in the performance of part songs for male voice,” and later
developing a tradition of performing for charity benefits, it is the oldest men’s singing
club in the United States. During the Orpheus Club’s first season, headquarters were in
a room in the A.P.A. building at 1415 Locust Street. Subsequently, in 1928 after several
moves, Orpheus settled permanently in its present clubhouse on Van Pelt.
Read more about “Unsilent Night” HERE.
Or watch a great summary of the event from Baltimore HERE.
Find more information on the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia HERE.