Much effort goes into preserving the visual aspects of our culture but far less attention is paid to the audio components. An online museum: “Conserve the Sound” is trying to change that by compiling a collection of dying sounds to preserve as part of history.

Initially, you may pause and wonder what kind of sounds are dying but once you start thinking about it dozens of examples come to mind such as manual typewriters, electric typewriters, adding machines, push buttons on the car radio, slide projectors, modems, etc. The museum features less technological sounds as well — goat bells, deserted sea shores and egg beaters – sounds that many will never hear in their lifetime but were commonplace at one time.

It reminded me of an interview by Sheryl Sanders after her husband died where she said: “I wish I had taken more video.” It’s one thing to have a photo, but another to hear someone’s voice, their laugh and all the nuances of speech that make someone come to life.

Think about the sounds of your family or organization – which ones are most meaningful and should be preserved? Raise the consciousness of all the sounds around you – pay attention so you can really hear the distinctions amidst the cacophony that make up the soundtrack of your life.

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