institute for transacoustic research
institut für transakustische forschung

silent night

the joseph boys: stille nacht / silent night

Since 1998 - the 180 year anniversary of the premiere of the song "silent night, holy night" - the joseph boys have dedicated themselves to this very first global pop song. translated into over 300 languages and sung throughout the world at Christmas, the song is an integral component and symbol of western tradition. The mass reproduction through countless recordings and its constant airplay in shopping malls and at Christmas benefit shows have made the song a permanent element of the collective sound memory. This icon is therefore a highly attractive object of investigation. At the centre of the research is the tension between the overused melody, or more precisely, the long series of innovation-less interpretation and a possible “re-flexiblisation” of the deeply entrenched tradition.


concept and realisation: nikolaus gansterer and jörg piringer