Tag Archives: *mobile* ringtone performance

*Mobile* Ringtone Performance at the 2013 Americans for the Arts Convention

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On Friday, June 14, 2013, I’ll be at the Americans for the Arts Convention in Pittsburgh doing a *Mobile* Ringtone Performance. My appearance is sponsored by the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, and I’ve prepared a very special series Pittsburgh ringtones for the event, featuring the above participants and/or sounds. The 10 new art cards include, from left to right: the Dilworth Drumroll Ringtone, Nermal’s Meow Tone, Erok’s Bicycle Bell Ringtone (2nd most downloaded tone in the project), Arrington de Dionyso’s Throat Singing Tone, the Uniontown Poultry Hall Ringtone, Balkan Babe’s Ja Posijam Lane Ringtone, the Welcome to Xenon Ringtone, Daniel Striped Tiger’s Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood Tone (most downloaded tone in the project), the Afro-American Music Institute’s Boy’s Choir Ringtone and the Homestead Train Whistle Ringtone.

What is a *Mobile* Ringtone Performance?

During this 100% *mobile* and self-contained performance, I use my cell phone and re-chargeable battery-operated equipment to broadcast and amplify select tones from my public art project, Locally Toned. I also pass out a limited number of art cards featuring photographs of tone collaborators on the front, and tiny URLs and QR codes on the back, so that users may download specific tones to their cell phones. All equipment (broadcast and visual media) for the performance is lightweight and “wearable,” allowing the me to traverse almost anywhere to perform.

Here’s a diagram of my ringtone performance get-up:

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Here’s a sample ringtone art card (front and back):

This art card features artist Casey Droge and her cat Nermal

This art card features Pittsburgh artist Casey Droge with her cat Nermal

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Housatonic Museum of Art: Work with Students

T. Foley with student workshop particiapants at The Barnum Museum Entrance

Last week I was invited to the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, CT, to give a talk about Locally Toned and to work with students and community members on a new series of tones. The museum is situated within the Housatonic Community College, and the museum’s curator, Terri C Smith, designed the group exhibition I was part of, IT’S FOR YOU: Conceptual and the Telephone, with students in mind.

Housatonic Museum of Art (gallery) – photo taken with cell phone

In the catalog, Smith writes, “The exhibition is, in part, a response to the wide-ranging use of phones in the hallways and other areas on campus. Each day students text, talk, surf the net, and listen to music on their phones. …With IT’S FOR YOU,” she continues, “the phone becomes a familiar point of entry that invites students to explore the often changing histories, processes and thinking that surround conceptual art practices.”

I opened the Tuesday evening talk with a mini- *Mobile* Ringtone Performance, fleshed out lots of details about Locally Toned, and closed with an invitation for students and community members to work with me on a Bridgeport tone series.

WORK WITH STUDENTS

Sergio Escobar came with a spoken word tone in mind–here’s his Tone of Art. Since he’s an apprentice tattoo artist, he also brought in some inking equipment for this ear-catching Tattoo Tone.

Dominic Maloney, a talented percussionist, brought in his practice drum pad to make this Rhythmatic Alert.

He also worked with his brother Nicholas to make a playful squeaky floor tone at the nearby (P.T.) Barnum Museum.

Nicholas (left) and Dominic (right) Maloney stand in front of a photographic mural on the 3rd floor of the Barnum Museum.

About a block away from the College, The Barnum Museum was hard hit by a tornado last June, and it’s presently closed to the public. But since much of the building restoration hasn’t yet begun, Kathy Maher, the museum’s director (and curator), kindly allowed us entry to try and capture what sounds we could. Thanks to a museum staff suggestion, the Maloney brothers’ improv skills, and the recording expertise of another student-participant, we walked out with this Barnum Museum Squeaky Floor Tone.

Left to right: workshop participants with IT’S FOR YOU curator, Terri C Smith

After the student workshop concluded, an audio enthusiast (who later requested anonymity) sent me this lovely Indigo Children Ringtone. Working with a Sony hand recorder to capture sounds in and around Bridgeport, he’s been making music out of environmental audio ever since he had a good listen to the band The Books. For this ringtone, he mixed Ukulele tracks with the sound of children playing outside. He edits audio using the shareware program Audacity. The ringtone sounds like spring and/or summer–makes you want to take off your shoes and go play outside. The enthusiast and I agreed, via email, that an image of grass would make an appropriate icon for his tone.

My apologies to Nicholas Maloney for the one “Missed Oppor-TONE-ity” of the day. We recorded his ringtone as we were setting up for the community recording session on Thursday, and I set the levels too high. Since his audio file was distorted, I didn’t include it in the project. Thanks for the effort and energy, though, Nicholas!

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Locally Toned Performs in Baltimore (Megapolis 2010)

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Xenon Pinball Tones

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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.”

MSxenonSITE

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…

xenonBOARD

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?”

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Preview of Pinball Art Cards for *Mobile* Performance at PAPA 12 World Pinball Championships (8/15/09)

Aces & Kings Pinball Art Card

Aces & Kings Pinball Art Card

I’ll be doing a *mobile* ringtone performance on Saturday August 15th from 4-6pm at the PAPA (Professional and Amateur Pinball Association) 12 World Pinball Championships in Scott Township.  Look for me somewhere outside the venue (rather than inside).  I’ll want folks to hear the tones as I broadcast them–that wouldn’t be possible inside… The best directions are here (PAPA recommends you do not follow the Google Maps route). If you want some cards, be sure to show up for that. Check out these beautiful Pinball Art Cards made specially (by me) for the  this weekend.

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Mata Hari Pinball Art Card

The back of the cards have texting codes so you can have these specific codes messaged back to your phone!

The back of the cards have texting codes so you can have these specific codes messaged back to your phone!

Xenon Pinball Art Card

Xenon Pinball Art Card

Thanks to PAPA for underwriting the printing of the art cards and thanks to Forward Litho for printing these lovely cards (truly excellent color copies) in a pinch!  Bill (at Forward Litho) helped me pick the final images from his computer screen just yesterday.

Here are the rest of the cards in the series (eight cards total):

High Speed Alert Signal Pinball Art Card

High Speed Alert Signal Pinball Art Card

Old School Pinball Tone Art Card

Old School Pinball Tone Art Card

High Speed Pinball Art Card

High Speed Pinball Art Card

"300" Bowling Pinball Art Card

"300" Bowling Pinball Art Card

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