Do you have sounds? - Archives for endangered sounds

2 min read

Do you remember the clacking of an old typewriter, the hum of the modem when dialing, the rattling of a rotary phone or the typical Nokia ringtone?

Rotary phone

It's never really quiet around us - there is noise everywhere, but some of these sounds are critically endangered. Since many technical devices are no longer used nowadays, old video games are replaced by new ones and development continues to advance, some sounds that were once familiar to us will soon be forgotten. If it wasn't for the “Conserve the Sound” project and the “Museum of Endangered Sounds”, who have made it their business to preserve these retro sounds.

Conserve the sound

As part of the pilot funding program “Innovative Audiovisual Content” by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the free project “Conserve the sound” was created by CHUNDERKSEN from Essen. This is an online archive for disappearing sounds that is constantly being expanded. Over 120 sounds are already accessible to visitors. Including the sound of the three-engined Ju-52 aircraft from the 1930s - one of the most spectacular sounds from the archive. Anyone who has audio material at home can also send it to the museum for publication, but the list of criteria used to select the appropriate noises is strict. In addition to the sounds, the project provides text and video interviews in which the topic of disappearing sounds is examined in greater depth. In 2013, the project was also awarded the German Culture Promotion Prize of the Cultural group of the German economy BDI e.V..

► Conserve the sound

Collage: Radio, cassettes, Nokia phone, record player, typewriter

Museum of Endangered Sounds

Since 2012, those interested have been able to listen to a wide variety of sounds from digital and non-digital devices that are no longer manufactured in the virtual museum in an endless loop. The idea for this museum came from Brendan Chilcutt, who has already published more than 30 tones on his museum's website - from dot matrix printers and film projectors to the well-known Pac-Man sound. Visitors can listen to these familiar sounds as long as they want to and be transported back in time. Brendan Chilcutt wants to prevent precious sounds from disappearing from our everyday world.

Save the sound

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