Tuesday, 2 February 2016

HAVE YOU HEARD THE MUSEUM OF ENDANGERED SOUNDS?

TECHNOLOGY TUESDAYS

BY: MADELINE SMOLARZ

Yesterday, I stumbled upon the Museum of Endangered Sounds and spent a full half hour immersed in nostalgia for the auditory past. As I wrote when I posted this in the MMSt student Facebook group to share it with my peers -- yes, it's as great as it sounds (pun intended)!

The logo of the Museum. Source.

The Museum has lived online since it's inception in 2012 and consists of a single web page curated and managed by Brendan Chilcutt. In the short "About the Site" section at the bottom of the page, Brendan makes a provocative argument for the existence of the Museum:
"Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I'm gone? These questions and more led me to the undertaking that is The Museum Of Endangered Sounds."

Some of the many sounds you can listen to alone - or all at once! - are:
1. Pay Phone
2. Tamagotchi
3. VCR Rewinding
4. Typewriter
5. Space Invaders

The sounds of the classic game "Space Invaders" are featured in the Museum. Source.

The website clearly aims to serve a wide age range as some sounds will be more familiar to members of certain generations than to others. It's also highly entertaining in general.

I have some questions for you now, all inspired by my discovery and exploration of the Museum of Endangered Sounds:

- Are there sounds that the Museum doesn't currently preserve that you would like to see them host? 
- Why do you think preserving the sounds of our past is important? Or not important?
- How is sound important to you in your own life?

Please respond in the comments, I would be very interested to hear what you think.

Until next time, happy listening!


2 comments:

  1. Hi Madeline- great find! I adore the project, and I hope that it will continue to grow. It will be important for us who remember black and orange computer screens and payphones to be able to show our kids/future generations what that horrible dial-up tone sounded like. The Microsoft 95 start-up brought back some memories. I'd love to add to the collection both the sounds of a Pokemon evolving on Gameboy colour and the noise of someone using a rotary phone. There was a great gag on the animated Netflix series "F is for Family" where a boy calls his friend on the wall-mounted rotary dial phone and one is forced to painfully watch him slowly dial each number.
    Nostalgia is a funny thing!

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    1. Glad to hear you liked the post as well as the Museum itself! I absolutely agree - the dial-up tone has played a very large role in my life personally, and I'd love to be able to share that with younger family members during bouts of nostalgia in the future. I actually think the rotary phone is already featured on the page - take another look :) But your suggestion to have an evolving Pokemon is quite excellent! I'd absolutely vote for that. Gaming culture growing up as a member of our generation featured Pokemon so prominently.

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