A Digital Museum Catalogs The World’s Endangered Analog Sounds
This website's mission is to keep nostalgic sounds of old technology from becoming extinct.
The Museum Of Endangered Sounds, created by Brendan Chilcutt in January 2012, is a repository of analog nostalgia. For anybody who remembers not being able to check their email because an important call was expected on the landline, Mr. Chilcutt’s mission to collect the sounds of obsolete technologies might be a welcome venture–or at least a fun distraction.
Visitors to the site can listen to a selection of aural memorabilia like the default ring on an old Nokia 3310, the dial-up reveille of a 56k modem, or Brian Eno’s classic 1994 composition: The six second Windows 95 Start-Up Sound.
With the rapid advancement of modern technology there are bound to be sensorial artifacts that are commonplace one day and gone the next. While we don’t have a way to capture the chemical smell of a video head cleaning cassette swabbing the grime off our once precious VCR playback heads, we can at least record the “textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR.” Along with other online sound banks such as the BBC’s Save Our Sounds initiative, Brendan Chilcutt’s admirable goal will ensure that posterity will know what it sounds like to play Tetris on a Gameboy.
For now the exhibit is small with only fifteen entries, but Chilcutt hopes to finish the collection over the next three years. In pre-emptive defense from those who would question his endeavor, he states:
If you don’t understand my passion and the significance of my work, you probably never will. But if you do, then you’ve come to the right place.