Today sees the launch of Obsolete Sounds, the biggest ever collection of the obsolete and disappearing sounds of the world, covering everything from dusty VHS cassettes, vintage video games and old mobile phones to melting glacier ice and endangered traditional songcraft.
The project documents not just the much-missed sounds that evoke memories from the past, but also highlights some that we’re in danger of losing. It aims to draw attention to the world’s disappearing soundscapes, and what we can do to preserve and save socially and culturally important sounds for future generations.
Explore the project in full at citiesandmemory.com/obsolete-sounds
The collection includes:
– Obsolete home entertainment such as VHS tapes, Walkman cassette players, video games consoles and film projectors
– Vintage military equipment like World War II codebreaking machines, warplanes and air raid sirens
– The evocative sounds of old typewriters, Teletype machines and printing presses
– The world of transport – steam trains, vintage racing cars, 100-year-old farm equipment and London Underground C-stock
– Domestic appliances from the past including hand mixers, Bakelite switches, fans, shavers and coffee grinders
– Reflections on the disappearing sounds of the natural world, industrial processes and cultural traditions.
Taking the world of disappearing sounds to an entirely different place, each recording has also been reshaped and reimagined as a creative composition by more than 150 musicians and sound artists from all over the world, in turn reflecting on the memories and feelings those sounds evoke as they think back to hearing them throughout their lives.
You can also download a free album of highlights from the project, available from our Bandcamp.