Nick Krill’s Field Recording Tones (Wilmington, DE and Beyond)

Meet Nick Krill, folks–a contributor who sent some field-recording submissions into Locally Toned from Wilmington, Deleware. He sings and plays guitar in the spinto band–an energetic band with a very sweet sound. Nick’s been making audio field recordings “here and there” for the past few years. After listening to his five email submissions and visiting with him on the phone, I decided to publish three.

All of the drawings, inspired by the tones, are by Catharine Maloney.

The Brussels Accordion Tone “was recorded outside of a great venue called Botanique. It is a big garden with concert halls and the whole works. I couldn’t help but record the street musician sitting across from the venue.”

The Rotterdam Siren, said Nick, “Was a bizarre sound. The tone here is only one small snippet of the siren that actually went on for about ten to fifteen minutes. The wild thing about the siren was that is kept ascending in pitch as it went on, giving it a greater sense of tension or anxiety.”

The Joe Finger Ringtone “is [just] a sound that turned up during the recording of our new album. It’s just the sound of spinto band guitarist Joe Hobson absentmindedly plucking a banjo. I really liked the plunk resonance and the fingernail vibration.”


TERESA FOLEY (TF): How do you imagine folks will use these tones, for example do you think some are alarm or text-message worthy or appropriate?

NICK KRILL (NK): I think that “Joe Finger” could be a nice text message tone, and the siren would certainly get my attention as an alram setting. If I could, I’d set the accordian tone to come up whenever I get a “number withheld” call–usually those calls are from vagabonds, so it seems fitting.

TF: You don’t live in Pittsburgh, so how did you hear about Locally Toned?

NK: I was led to Locally Toned by our friend Dave Evans, who we affectionately refer to as “Pittsburgh Dave.” He introduced me to the site after seeing my sound blog:

TF: You’re in a band, so you’re used to making sounds, but how did you get into collecting these environmental audio files? What is it that
you like about doing field recordings?

NK: I started making field recordings as a way to challenge my ears. I read that the brain focuses in on the first few milliseconds of a sound and then relaxes. After these few seconds, the brain sorts the sound into familiar categories. So I wanted to try and train my ear to take special notice of what sounds and timbres I noticed and found exciting, and also to try and listen to parts of sounds that I might be normally missing.

The main goal was that when making recordings in the studio, I wanted to try and challenge myself to make each separate sound interesting in its own right. I wanted to try and make each track of a multi-track recording a sound you could enjoy on its own, rather than it being a sound that only works in the context of a song. If each sound was interesting on its own, it would lead to an even more interesting song when the sounds were all mixed together. This doesn’t always work, but it is a nice goal to keep in mind. I carried the field recorder around to encourage myself to listen carefully while I was out and about.

TF: Have you ever made ringtones for your cell phone? Or purchased any fancy ones?

NK: I’ve  never purchased a ringtone, but I recorded my current ringtone myself using my telephone’s little memo recorder. And this is the longest time I’ve had the same ringtone on my telephone (for about three and a half years)! The tone is the chorus to the Gypsy Kings’ song “Djobi Djoba.” My band mate Jon Eaton played this song in the tour van once and i loved it, especially the claps on the chorus, so I quickly recorded it off the van speaker, ha ha ha.

TF: Have you listened to any of the other tones in the project? What struck you–as surprising or interesting or annoying?

NK: I really like the sound of the foreign voices ring tone, because that seems like it could surprise bystanders! I also like the horse eating tone. Since these cell phones shoot out sound all over the place I really like the tones that could potentially make people jump back and ask, “What was I just hearing out of that telephone?!”

TF: Thanks for sending in your work to share with others, Nick!

NK: Thank you!

1 Comment

Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Ringtones

One response to “Nick Krill’s Field Recording Tones (Wilmington, DE and Beyond)

  1. Pingback: Links 26 – 54: Take The Skinheads Bowling « Disruptive Platypus

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