Tag Archives: The Fine Foundation

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 Offtopic.com 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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Come Record Ringtones Saturday 19 Nov

Saturday Nov 19, 2011 12-4pm 

Location:  Assemble, 5125 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15224-1636

Artist T. Foley brings her public art/original ringtone creation project Locally Toned to Assemble on Saturday November 19, 2011 for a Community Ringtone Recording Session.

Open to the public–come join us!

What does Pittsburgh sound like? You! Bring your robots, moo-cow toys, drums, rattles, harmonica or voice, and your super-bad self, and MAKE YOUR OWN TONE! Assemble will provide the space and minimal collaborative support for the session; the artist will provide the technical know-how and all recording equipment. Audio content must be copyright free (i.e., original compositions or sounds which exists in the natural world). Tone duration will be 30 seconds or less. Participants at this session will be photographed for possible inclusion in project exhibitions and archives. Tones will be made available to the public (as MP3s) by the end of November 2011 at www.locallytoned.org. Collaborative experiences are documented on the project Blog, and tones are pinpointed on a Google Map embedded on the tone distribution website. Funding for this Community Ringtone Recording Session has been provided by The Fine Foundation.

Assemble, a new venue in the Penn Ave Arts District, is a place where one can engage their intrigue through hands on activities about art and technology. Physical and nonphysical social and creative connections are fostered through film screenings, happenings, workshops, lectures, and community activities. assemble will activate the community with the contributions and presence of the audience and makers. With specific times for young and old makers alike, learning or making does not have to end when the work or school bell rings, it can become integrated into every aspect of life and time in the day. Founded on the concepts of sustainability, community, science, architecture, new media, and lowtech/hightech art, assemble will be a place for CREATION!


Filed under Locally Toned (all posts), Project Updates

Coming Soon: A New Series of Pittsburgh Tones

Locally Toned wishes to thank The Fine Foundation for their generous grant in support of a brand new series of Pittsburgh Ringtones. Funding is expected by the end of this month. The new sereis of tones is already in the works!

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Photos from *Mobile* Ringtone Performance at the Gallery Crawl by Larry Rippel

Inside SPACE gallery with assistant Brittany Kennedy, Coutney Erlichman & Talulah

Inside SPACE gallery with assistant Brittany Kennedy, Coutney Ehrlichman & baby Talulah

Pittsburgh’s Larry Rippel took some excellent photographs documenting my performance at the Gallery Crawl last night.  Thanks, Larry!  Please visit his photoblog to see the full series.

Near 801 Penn Ave.  Photo by Larry Rippel

Near 801 Penn Ave. Photo by Larry Rippel

The short report:  I kept getting failed connection messages on Twitter, so couldn’t post my locations.  When the downpour began, we took shelter in SPACE gallery on Liberty Avenue.  That’s where I found out that BABIES LOVE RINGTONES!

Peter Kope and the Attack Theater Baby Love Ringtones!

Peter Kope and the Attack Theater Baby Love Ringtones!

Brittany Kennedy, my little sister, was my hired *Mobile* assistant for the evening, and I hired Keith Tassick to capture some video.  Thanks again to the Fine Foundation for the recent award!

Keith on Video; Emmett Frisbee & Meagan O'Toole Nearby

Keith on Video; Emmett Frisbee & Meagan O'Toole Nearby

James Gray welcomed us at the new Dozen Bake Shop Location, and then we scouted for a quiet location away from bus traffic where I could play the tones off the amplification belt pretty loudly.  We certainly had a fun time out near 801 Penn Ave.

Talking with a Crawl-Goer about Ringtones.

Talking with a Crawl-Goer about Ringtones.

The device around my waist that looks like a speaker is a waist-belted amplifier.  It worked pretty darn well!  The most popular tone distributed last night was Dr. Nelson Harrison‘s Trombetto Blue. That art card looked like this:


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