Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Sound's Good

I was listening to NPR the other morning (…wait… Andrea… NPR… I know.  That’s a whole ‘nother tangent, and I’m not ready to get distracted just yet…) and I learned something brand new to me.  The Library of Congress preserves sound.  Intentionally.  There is a committee that chooses which sounds have earned the honor of being on the registry and intentionally preserved for future generations.  The concept here is far more interesting to me than the actual list of sounds they’ve chosen this year, but if you want to climb down that rabbit hole, begin here.

What makes a sound important?  The question has been ruminating in my brain for about 72 hours, probably making it more likely that I would click a link to a video posted by a Facebook friend.  I can't seem to find an embedable version of the full video, but here is a small clip:

The full video featured the stories of two individuals who had chosen the sound clips to help remember their deceased parents and to keep their voices with them at all times.

There is something about this idea that just resonates with me.  (Pun intended for sure, but not at all for comedic impact.)  As someone who has a difficult time wearing a t-shirt with words on it or choosing art that I like enough to display it on my wall, visual imagery just isn't my thing.  Sound, however, has an ability to cut right through me.  If I am every going to well up with emotion, it will be the result of the incomparable feelings generated through a beautiful sound.

The other thing that I love here is the subtlety.  A moment is captured and permanently displayed, but not just anyone has access to the full meaning.  And when someone asks, that all important sound gets to bounce around again if even for only a moment.

And that leads me to wonder:

If I had to choose one sound to carry around with me forever, what would it be?

Would I choose a clip from Twas the Night Before Christmas, a sound recording my Grandma Casdorph made for me a few Christmases before she died.  Maybe even just the first word she recorded, "Andrea."  Even now, I can hear her voice in my mind.  Would I carry that around to share with those bold enough to ask?

Maybe the moment in my family's recording of "Prayer of the Children" when my sisters and I start a unison line with a crisp, explosive "c" then carefully control our vibratos and vowels to match each other as perfectly as possible.

The distinctive sounds of each boy's laughter?  Dylan's giggle; Adam's chortle, Alex's maniacal mischief? 

What would I want to hear?  What would I want to share?

It takes 17 board members to make the decisions for the Library of Congress.  Perhaps I just don't have enough resources!