Caleb Foss is a young filmmaker who presently attends SUNY Purchase. He is a former student of mine. I worked with him while he was in high school, during the time I ran the media literacy program at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. We keep each other updated on our creative work, and when he returned home from college this summer, I invited him to make a tone for the project.
I drove out to Mt. Lebanon to get Caleb’s tone. He asked me if I knew he played the accordion. I didn’t, but I thought it would make a great Pittsburgh tone. When I arrived at his family’s front porch, a couple of other people were there–Caleb’s friend Tierney Baxendell and his neighbor, Andrew Wleklinski.
Caleb said, “I thought about what wouldn’t be an irritating ringtone, and my answer to that is the accordion and the clarinet. Both are full and easygoing instruments. By easygoing, I mean that there’s a softness to the sounds made by these instruments. I suppose I’ve romanticized accordionists–I think of them playing on streets and in open spaces–I think it’s a good choice if a ringtone’s heard in a public space. I work in a coffeehouse and sometimes it’s annoying when ringtones go off. Heck, if someone’s ringtone was an accordion, I’d probably go propose to them!”
Caleb got his Warren off of Ebay. He invited his neighbor over to play with him on his neighbortone (nice word, Caleb!). Andrew Wleklinski used to play clairnet semi-professionally in Texas. As Caleb said, “Andrew’s sound just wafts out the windows here on this street–it’s a very musical street.” When I recorded this porch tone, it was the first time that Caleb and Andrew played together.
Here’s Caleb’s Porch Tone. Set this on your phone when you have a hankerin’ to hear something sweet, neighborly and kinda romantic. Not quite as gruff in style as Tom Waits might compose, but certainly as wonderfully soulful. Thanks Caleb and Andrew for this first neighbortone.