Assemble Tone Series Part II (Pittsburgh, PA)


Bobbi Williams is a regular at Pittsburgh’s maker space, Assemble, and a “performance artist supernova from the planet of Venus.” Williams, who lives in Forest Hills, is a Reiki Master and playwright. Here’s her beautiful a capella Morning Star Ringtone, which she described as a “transmission from the intergalactic planet of love.” The general vibe at Assemble is its positive energy. And that energy is clearly apparent in Part II of their tone series.



Garfield resident Ben Saks stopped by our Community Ringtone Recording Session with his guitar to offer this Out Of Tune Tone. Saks, a filmmaker, said that the idea being “out of tune can help us to think about things that are in tune.” Harmony as a goal is a good thing, right? See what I mean about the tendency towards positivity?



Jason Harlait showed up with a very clear goal in mind–to make something musical out of everyday items. Here’s his The Jar Has a Lid Tone. In it, Harlait makes the jar lid “pop” while he taps out a rhythm on the glass jar with a plastic spoon. A resident of Squirrel Hill, and a frequent maker of things at Assemble, Harlait told me he enjoys stopping by the space where he can get in touch with his creativity.



Near the end of our Saturday session, two little girls, Kennedi and Deziree popped in to contribute their Divas = Dance Tone. Nothing like the audio in the Diva Dance sequence from the movie The Fifth Element, this track includes sounds of the girls using their voices and stepping or cheerleading footwork. Deziree and Kennedi told me they wanted to surprise their families with the gift of this ringtone. Their sound reminds me of the kinds of cheers that the little girls used to learn from the older girls at grade school.



It’s so appropriate to have Kennedi’s spoken-word Peanut Butter Jelly Time Tone as the Assemble finale–after all, the recording session took place in an art and technology space. What sounded to me like a jump rope song turned out to be an Internet Meme (thanks for clueing me in, Nick Pozek!). As one of my favorite Web sites, Know Your Meme reports, “The first Peanut Butter Jelly Time flash animation was created by Ryan Gancenia Etrata and Kevin Flynn under the screen names RalphWiggum and Comrade Flynn, and posted onto the forums in early 2002.”


You got it–during a Locally Toned community recording session a little girl came into an art and technology space to perform a spoken-word treatment of an Internet Meme as a ringtone (to be shared with others free of charge online). From the Internet, and back to the Internet, O, Peanut Butter Jelly Time, you have returned!



Thanks to Kennedi for winding down the series with her vocal exuberance and smart concept, and thanks to all the participants at Assemble’s Community Ringtone Recording Session!



The tone series created at Assemble was made possible by a generous grant from The Fine Foundation.








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Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Ringtones

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