Architectural Spotlight: Designing the Museum of Portable Sound

The sounds we exhibit in our Permanent Collection Galleries are stored on a single iPhone 4S. It is this single iPhone that all our visitors – online and in-person – listen to when accessing our collections of digital audio files, which are not available to stream online nor in a mobile app they can listen to on their own time.

But why? Why would a 21st century museum keep a collection of digital audio offline and inaccessible? Isn’t online access the only thing that keeps museums relevant in the digital age?

Now you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the design of our museum’s conceptual, performative architecture in our new architectural spotlight essay.

Seismograf.org Interview with Our Director

Screenshot of the Seismograf interview

Denmark-based music and sound studies magazine Seismograf has published an extensive interview with Dr John Kannenberg, our Director and Chief Curator, conducted last summer by writer Julie Hugsted.

The interview covers the history of our museum, highlights from the Permanent Collection, and many of the influences and strategies that have helped shape what our museum is today.

The Haunted Museum of Portable Sound is back!

The Haunted Museum of Portable Sound is being re-opened for the Halloween season this year! The mysterious PHANTOM CURATOR is unlocking his online crypt of cacophony to explore spooky sounds specially selected for either adult experiences or family outings via Zoom!

Adults will get a deep dive into the world of EVP – Electronic Voice Phenomenon – recordings of what are alleged to be voices of the dead, dating all the way to back to 1959. They’ll also be able to listen to the final seance held by Bess Houdini, the widow of world famous illusionist Harry Houdini, in which she attempted to contact his spirit every year for a decade on the anniversary of his death – Halloween!

Kids & families will be able to enjoy field recordings of bats and crows from our Permanent Collection, hear the first ever recordings of talking dolls made by Thomas Edison (and which sound downright chilling!), as well as listen to one of the most spine-chillingly frightening sounds ever: a dialup modem!

The Haunted Museum of Portable Sound will be open for visits from Wednesday 27 October through Monday 1 November – purchase your tickets and get in touch to schedule your online experience.

Ecsite 2021 Conference Appearance

Earlier today our Director & Chief Curator appeared as part of The Power of Sound, a panel session that took place at the Ecsite European Network of Science Centres & Museums 2021 conference.

The session was convened by Michèle Antoine of Universcience in Paris, and also featured presentations about sound-based exhibitions by Mark Read of Universcience and Christian Rohr of Museum für Kommunikation in Bern, Switzerland.

The Power of Sound was attended by an impressive crowd of 115 people from Ecsite’s extensive network of science and technology professionals – breaking our record for the most number of visitors to our museum in a single day!

Our Director’s 10-minute presentation – which includes a short guided tour of our museum – is available to watch for a short time on our YouTube channel: