Endangered Sounds

I was listening to this piece on NPR this morning on endangered sounds – I just caught the tail end, but it did reference an intriguing place, the Museum of Endangered Sounds and it got me thinking about the sounds I’d preserve.

  • The sound of TILT on a pinball machine.
  • The swishing sound of the sliding doors on the Starship Enterprise and all the “ground breaking” side effects produced by those amazing gadgets like the communicator, the phaser, and the ever present device for field exploration on new planets, the tricorder.  Also the Enterprise had some brilliant ambient sounds emanating from all the computers and other communication and medical devices.
  • The Rebel Yell.  Has anyone alive ever heard one?  Howard Dean’s yell may have been close, so that might be worth preserving.
  • The burble of a water cooler.
  • Jack Goldstein’s Suite of Sound Effects.  It’s brilliant and definitely endangered. I heard it for the first time at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.  Some of the tunes include the sounds of a lost ocean liner, a barking German Shepard and three felled trees.

  • The sound of manual typewriter keys and the ringing return.
  • Fender Rhodes and Moog synthesizers of the 70’s, that helped create the groovy and funky sounds of Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul and so many other hip pioneers who played them.
  • Ed McMahon’s abrupt laugh.  Johnny Carson of the Tonight Show was funny, but lost without Ed who laughed at the right times.
  • Muttley’s laugh (Dick Dastardly’s dog from the Wacky Races).  For a sample of the snickering dog click:  SKm5xQyD2vE
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One Response

  1. That is an amazingly cool concept and I’m glad to know someone thought to preserve those sounds. I never thought of the importance of that…ever. Thanks for sharing!!

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