Joy Toujours’ Ukelele Tones

joy-train1

Joy Toujours programs Belvedere’s in Lawrenceville.  He lives on Polish Hill, has a 5-year old daughter, and lived as a hobo for six years.  He wrote into Locally Toned saying that his idea was “from a song I wrote with the ukelele and the clip says ‘If you dont like today there’s always tomorrow, if you don’t like the rain you’re always just a sunny day away.’  Pittsburgh = rain = I think this is local enough, plus it was written by a local songwriter, plus I busk on the streets of Pittsburgh frequently, so it is technically a sound you would hear in our ‘nature.’  If we record I would suggest somewhere downtown to catch traffic and conversation in the background.”

What does Pittsburgh sound like?  Someone busking downtown?  Awesome.

I met Toujours down in Market Square yesterday as the Penguins’ Rally was forming.  There was no way I could capture “clean” audio there (with loud recorded music being pumped through big ole sound speakers), so I suggested we go record in the Gateway Center subway station.  I heard they recently nixed the piped-in classical music there.

Here is Joy’s Pittsburgh = Rain Tone.  The second verse of his song has been excerpted into this O.K. Ya Subway Tone–it has particularly good city sounds in the back ground (if  that’s what you’re looking for).

Joy's Ukelele Is from Hawaii

Joy's Ukelele Is from Hawaii (Romare Bearden mural in background)

I requested that Toujours make some alerts for the project.  Here’s his Subway Whistle-Uke Alert and a shortened Edited Ukelele Alert.  These Toujours-tones very simply and beautifully capture the essence of location-specific field recordings.  Thank you, Joy, for proposing work that’s usually ephemeral.

joy-left-peop2

When I finished recording with Joy, as I was trying to capture the sound of a train arriving at the station, a very kind Port Authority Officer approached me, letting me know that post-9/11, folks could not record audio or video in the station without permission.  That’s when I packed up my stuff and headed over to the Penguins’ Rally.

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