Xenon Pinball Tones


It was fun learning about this machine, Bally’s Xenon, from PAPA Team members Steve Eckert and Dave Baach. Steve, the game tech, hooked me up with the audio and actually played the game so I could get interesting bits, and Dave told me, “the sound for this game was made by a woman–an awesome electronics composer named Suzanne Ciani.”


Then my superbly informed project advisor (and awesome artist) Hyla Willis sent me a link on Facebook saying, “I love the Xenon ringtone. Was suprised to find that it was composed by an early female electronic music pioneer. Good video of the project here (check the fingernails!).”

I watched the video this morning and it is awesome. It’s from a 1981 television series called Omni:  The New Frontier with host (world class actor, now deseased) Peter Ustinov. If you want a good chuckle, make sure you watch it to hear Ustinov’s prediction at the very end of the story.  Gotta love those futuristic predictions! Especially about women’s jewlery…


I made some fab sounding tones from the game’s electro-synth-audio. The Xenon Pinball Melody Tone (so named cause it’s mostly the clunky-sounding melody from this early 1980s game plus the satisfying “aah” sound the game makes when you feed her quarters/tokens) and the Xenon (Pinball) Tone (including sounds from game power up, coin up, start up and play).

Pinball Art Card: Xenon Detail

Pinball Art Card: Xenon Detail

I also made two pinball art cards featuring the Xenon images–they’ll be distributed at the championships this weekend during my *mobile* ringtone performance scheduled (weather permitting) from 4-6pm.

Can you see the little curly lines on this Xenon Pinball Art Card?

Can you see the little curly lines on this Xenon Pinball Art Card?

BTW, the images from the game were challenging to photograph (even with the glass off–the board has such fine line detail on it). When I showed one of the Xenon cards to the game tech (Steve) today, he said that the tiny little curly looking lines in the photographic images were ball marks–“wear and tear” marks from the balls bouncing around and around the machine.  As my friend Justin Hopper would say, “How cool is that?”


Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Ringtones

3 responses to “Xenon Pinball Tones

  1. I was really hoping for the MP3 to have the female voice when you drop the quarter. Would’ve took me back to 8th grade at the 7-11 before school. Sigh.

    • Hi, James. Thanks for your comment.

      Ask (or give feedback) and (sometimes) ye shall receive. In the spirit of PAPA 2011 (last weekend), and in honor of the early female electronic music pioneer who composed audio for Xenon, I exported a ringtone for you. I went back and listened to the original audio file you recorded and the lady’s voice was there. I will post about this and twitter about it, too, once I upload to the site. Thanks for your input. Look for an email from me with the mp3 attached.

      Kind regards,

      T. Foley

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