CITY residents are being urged to join an orchestra of sound systems for an addition to Oxford’s Christmas lights switch-on.

The Unsilent Night event will run for the second year and feature hundreds of people playing a piece of pre-recorded music for 45 minutes.

People can get one of four parts for the piece ahead of the event on Friday, December 2, to play on a sound system like a ‘ghetto blaster’ or mobile phone.

The project was devised 19 years ago by New York musician Phil Kline and has spread throughout the world.

Mr Kline said: “When I created Unsilent Night it was meant to be a party, so when people said ‘let’s do it again next year’, it seemed reasonable.

“But I never imagined that it would travel and take root all over the world.

“I am wildly happy to know that it’s happening in Oxford, and I truly wish that some evening in the future I can come and experience it there.”

People can turn up on the night and be given a cassette or CD to play for the procession, to leave Radcliffe Square at 8pm.

It is described by promoter Oxford Contemporary Music (OCM) as a “spine-tingling” piece of “twinkling percussion, ethereal voices and resonating bell sounds”.

Victoria Bosher, OCM general manager, said: “We had some fabulous feedback from last year that we decided to do it again.

“We had quite a lot of people, about 200. There was a crowd gathering and people decided to join in.

“It is quite an uplifting piece. It is not just the music, it is the fact people are coming together and doing something in the community.”

The night will begin with a children’s lantern procession from the Old Fire Station in Gloucester Green at 6.15pm.

It will then go down Cornmarket, St Giles and Queen Street.

There will also be dance, live music, street performance and late opening for shops, museums and galleries.

Email to take part in Unsilent Night, or call OCM on 01865 488369.

Those taking part will be sent a free CD or cassette or asked to download an MP3. The company is also looking to borrow ghetto blasters for the event.

See Monday’s Oxford Mail for dates and times of Oxfordshire Christmas lights switch-ons