Dreaming of a Boombox Christmas

Could this be the start of a new, loud, and possibly exciting holiday tradition downtown that does not involve light bulbs or decorated trees?

Andy Bliss of the Nief-Norf contemporary music ensemble is organizing a night of boombox caroling featuring a recording of Phil Kline’s “Unsilent Night.” The composition was written to be heard outdoors in the month of December as a sort of public artwork/boombox parade, and 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,” according to unsilentnight.com.

Participants are to register online and then bring a boombox, cassette tape player, iPod/iPhone/iPad with speakers, or any other media playing device to the Sunsphere on Friday, Dec. 7, at 8:45 p.m. Bliss and company will supply a CD, cassette tape, or digital download of one of the four parts of the piece.

“We all press play together, and walk through the streets of downtown Knoxville, creating a cacophony of bells, voices, and reverberant joy that will make heads turn on every corner,” writes Bliss in an e-mail press release. “We will create a roving sound installation, where boomboxes replace voices in a holiday caroling event like no other!”

The walk will begin at 9:15 p.m., and will not wait for latecomers. Bring your best ’80s, block-rockin’ gear.

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