The way that sound can transport us to another time and place in an instant is an incredible phenomenon. What these sounds are will be different for everybody – it’s entirely dependant on where and when you grew up, and the technologies that shaped your existence.
What’s interesting though is that that technology, in many ways, is getting quieter. With the demise of the analog and the reign of digital, there is less and less technology that is inextricably linked with sound.
Get lost in Conserve The Sound, an online museum archiving “vanishing and endangered sounds” from bygone eras.
Sure, new sounds replace the old – the clicking of buttons on a smartphone, the dulcet tones of your Google Home, the ear-pricking sound of Facebook Messenger – but it seems to be that as digital technology amalgamates analog technology there are simply fewer things that produce sound. If that makes sense?
Conserve The Sound is an online museum we just stumbled across that aims to preserve “vanishing and endangered sounds” from bygone eras: “the sound of a dial telephone, a walkman, an analog typewriter, a pay phone, a 56k modem, a nuclear power plant or even a cell phone keypad,” and other noises that have either partially or completely disappeared from our daily life.
Going back as far as the 1910s and stopping in the 2000s, the project has archived a staggering amount of technological artefacts and the sounds they produce. Funded by the Film & Medienstiftung NRW in Germany, the archive focused more on European-made products, but the sounds they produce are universal.
Take a look at a trailer for CTS below and browse the website in all its nostalgia-inducing glory here.