Unsilent Night

, the yearly parade in which participants blast compositions by experimental composer Phil Kline on boomboxes through the streets of downtown Manhattan, will start tonight at Washington Square Park. Starting at 7 p.m., the group will make their way toward Thompkins Square Park, each participant playing a piece of the ambient piece, creating a "city-block-long stereo system."

Kline will be handing out a limited number of boomboxes, and CD and casettes for anyone with their own system. You can also download the music on the website. Tonight will mark the 19th year of the tradition in New York, but in that time the tradition has expanded. Unsilent Night marches will take place in Charleston, Dallas, and San Francisco tonight.

So why ring in the holiday with a boombox parade? Kline told the Wall Street Journal, "For me personally, the piece is both about addressing Christmas and trying to find a cure for it. Living in New York, you can often find yourself in that horrible situation of feeling depressed and anxious and lonely when there are millions of people running around at least pretending to be happy. In a way, I thought of this piece as a little bit of relief—just 45 minutes of 'ahhhhh.'"