Free Audiobook: The How And Why Wonder Book Of Sound

Museum of Portable Sound Press has produced its first-ever audiobook, and you can listen to it for FREE on our Bandcamp page! You can also download a copy (and if you’d like to leave a donation, that would be swell!)

This 1962 children’s book makes for a great listen, especially with our Director’s annotations and some bells and whistles thrown in. Perfect for older kids or a refresher for adults, this audiobook covers the basics of acoustics in-depth in an accessible 90 minutes!

Here’s the full Table of Contents:

Part 1: A World Without Sound

Part 2: The Nature of Sound
What is sound?
How can you prove that sound is a form of energy?
How do we hear sounds that are far away?
How can we prove that sound needs a medium to travel through?
Sound Waves
What do we mean by compression waves?
What do we mean by rarefaction waves?
What do we mean by longitudinal waves?
Compression wave: How does it work?
Rarefaction wave: How does it work?
How can we make a vibration write its autograph?

Part 3: Measuring Sound
How fast does sound travel?
How can you use sound to measure distance?
How can you tell the distance of a lightning flash?
What is the pitch of a sound?
What do musicians mean by ‘tone deaf’?
How can you prove that pitch depends on frequency?
How do scientists give proof that pitch depends on frequency?
What is loudness?
How is loudness measured?
Why are farther sounds fainter?
What is resonance?
How did Joshua win the Battle of Jericho?

Part 4: Reflected Sound
What is an echo?
Do bats use their eyesight to find insects?
How do bats locate insects?
How do bats use sound?
How does the porpoise use sound to catch fish in the sea?
How do people who are blind locate objects?
How do ships locate enemy submarines?
How are echoes used to detect schools of fish?
How are echoes used to locate minerals?

Part 5: Musical Sounds and Musical Instruments
What is musical sound?
What is a musical scale?
What is harmony?
How do stringed instruments produce sound?
How do wind instruments produce sound?
How do percussion instruments produce sound?

Part 6: Living Sound Organs
What is the human voice?
How do we hear?

Part 7: Sound and Communication
How does a telephone carry sound?
How does a radio transmit sound without wires?
How can we record sound?
What is stereophonic sound?
How does a wire or tape recorder work?
How are sound movies made?

Part 8: Ultrasonics and Supersonics
What is ultrasonics?
How can you wash dishes with sound?
What is the sound barrier?
What is a sonic boom?

Part 9: Some Interesting Facts About Sound
Why are soldiers at the rear of a column sometimes out of step?
Why does an approaching automobile horn have a higher pitch
than usual?
Why is it easier to hear sounds from a boat during the day than
at nighttime?
When can you hear the ‘sound of the sea’ in a shell?
Your New World of Sound

Listen and get your copy today!

2019: Our Year In Pictures

Here are 12 highlights of our institution’s activities in 2019 – it’s been an eventful and productive year, and here’s to an even bigger and better 2020!

 

Sonic Boom at the V&A, London
We were honoured to be invited to participate in the Sonic Boom Friday Late at the Victoria and Albert Museum in February! Our Director gave a talk, then hosted visits to our museum inside one of the V&A galleries. A magical night! Many thanks to Eric de Visscher for inviting us to be a part of this massive night of museum sounds!

Continue reading

Unlocking Our Sound Heritage at The Keep, Brighton, UK

A collage of images from the Keep Sounds archive in Brighton, including reel to reel tape machines, a VU meter, micro cassettes, and the Director of the Museum of Portable Sound
Some images from our visit to the Keep Sounds offices in Brighton, UK.

Yesterday our staff had the honour of visiting The Keep Archives in Brighton, Sussex, home to one of the satellite offices of the British Library’s Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project is working to digitise analogue sound recordings for the UK-wide #SaveOurSounds archiving project.

Our Acquisitions Team collected several sounds of the Keep’s recording and playback equipment to add to our 20th Century Audio Equipment gallery, and our Director had a great time chatting with the staff about sounds as culture and their experiences working on this important sonic heritage project.

Follow Keep Sounds on Twitter

 

Celebrate Our Grand Re-Re-Re-Opening & 40 Years of the Sony Walkman at the National Science and Media Museum

40 Years of Portable Sound

On 1 July 2019, the Sony Walkman will turn 40 years old. We’re teaming up with the National Science and Media Museum to celebrate this milestone.

The Sony Walkman was a breakthrough in portable technology that changed the way the world listens. It allowed individuals to create their own sound environment, opening up a new, cinematic, and personal way of experiencing the world.

As part of this event, we’ll mark the anniversary by launching the newest redesign of our own permanent collection galleries—all of which exist on a single mobile phone! This groundbreaking personal museum listening experience builds on the history that the Walkman started.

Come listen to selections from the 300+ sound objects we’ll now permanently have on display, and learn more about our mission to bring the culture of sound to the world… one listener at a time!

EVENT PROGRAMME

18.30–19.10

19.15–20.30

  • John Kannenberg, Director of the Museum of Portable Sound, will talk about the history of the Sony Walkman and how it has influenced our lives, as well as the development of his own museum
  • Experience a sample of the vast array of sounds curated by the Museum of Portable Sound
  • Q&A on sound in museums with John Kannenberg, Annie Jamieson (Curator of Sound Technologies at National Science and Media Museum) and James Mansell (University of Nottingham, author of The Age of Noise in Britain)

Many thanks to Annie Jamieson and the National Science and Media Museum for hosting this event!

Photos from the V&A Sonic Boom Friday Late, February 2019

Appearing at V&A Friday Late: Sonic Boom, 22 February

Friday Lates-colour3

Our Director and Chief Curator will be appearing twice at the upcoming Sonic Boom Friday late at the V&A museum in London on 22 February!

First, Director Kannenberg will be participating in a panel discussion, ‘How Do You Listen In Museums?’ alongside V&A visiting researcher Eric de Visscher and V&A Senior Curator for Contemporary Design Corinna Gardner.

Following the talk, the Museum of Portable Sound will be available to be visited in one of the V&A’s galleries for the remainder of the evening. We will provide headphones for up to five people to listen to the museum simultaneously!

Find more information about the event at Facebook.

Coming soon: The Record that Went to Space

We are thrilled to announce that this autumn, thanks to the cooperation of Ozma Records, we will present SOUNDS OF EARTH: THE RECORD THAT WENT TO SPACE. This special exhibition will consist of the twelve minute long montage of field recordings that was intended to represent what Earth sounds like in the event that extra terrestrials might someday find either of the Voyager space probes.

Launched in 1977 by NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to this day these craft, now outside out solar system, each carry with them a Golden Record – an LP containing this montage as well as greetings in dozens of languages and music from around the Earth.

Compiled by the likes of Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Jimmy Iovine, this montage of sounds is a fascinating document of what sounds a select group of humans thought best represented our planet.

This autumn, you’ll be able to hear this dazzling historic recording when you visit the Museum of Portable Sound. Stay tuned for information on the official exhibition opening date and other events by following us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter, and by signing up for our mailing list.

OUT NOW: The 4′33″ Museum book & audio box set!

We’re pleased to announce the release of a new printed book and digital audio box set, The 433” Museum! This deluxe printed book and digital audio set includes nearly 4 hours of sounds from 50 different museums around the world, and the book contains full-colour photographs, notes, and an essay on collecting. Our Director and Chief Curator John Kannenberg has been collecting these recordings for more than a decade, and we’re proud to be able to bring this stunning collection to you as part of our new publishing branch, Museum of Portable Sound Press.

Buy The 4’33” Museum at johnkannenberg.com!

Museum of Portable Sound Press

 

 

In Our Magazine: Ana Paula Santana

In Our Magazine: Ana Paula Santana's Resiliencia

We’ve launched a new online magazine over at Medium.com! And our first article is by our own Curatorial Assistant, Cristina Sousa Martínez. In ‘And So Their Scars Turned to Gold’, Cristina interviews Mexican artist Ana Paula Santana about her current sound installation project entitled ‘Resiliencia’, a collaborative activist work that’s bringing to light the stories of rape survivors in Mexico.

If you are interested in contributing writing to our magazine, please get in touch – we have a wide remit, looking for stories about the culture of sound, in all of the many forms it takes.

Read the article!

Buy our Gallery Guide Book!

Buy our Gallery Guide!

Our Gallery Guide is now available for purchase! This is the complete printed edition of the official Gallery Guide for The Museum of Portable Sound! This is a high-quality, collectible facsimile edition of the very same Gallery Guide the Museum’s visitors use every day. Lavishly illustrated, featuring a record of every object label, every didactic text, every guided tour, a complete walk-through of our Physical Object Collection, and two bonus essays: “A Brief History of Field Recording” and “Echoes of an Exhibition.” Also features writing contributions by Cristina Sousa, Khaled Kaddal, and Mike Hallenbeck. Check out the preview on the book’s Blurb page, then get your own copy!

Buy our Gallery Guide!

Londonist Review!

We're in Londonist!
See us? We’re right there, in the upper-right corner, just two stories above urine deflectors!

We’re absolutely thrilled to report we’ve been reviewed by Londonist, the arts & entertainment website! The review does a great job of introducing our museum to a wider public, and summarises our somewhat arcane and complicated visiting policies in a clear, thoughtful manner. If you’re looking for a place to start learning about what we do here at The Museum of Portable Sound, you’ve found it!

Read the Londonist review!

Listening to Culture: Public Talk in Rome, 10 April

John Kannenberg Public Talk in RomeOur Director and Chief Curator John Kannenberg will be giving a public talk and hosting a listening workshop at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy on 10 April. The talk will cover his work as an artist interested in the sound of museum environments as well as his work establishing The Museum of Portable Sound.

The talk is free and open to the public. RSVP is required: email rsvpevents@johncabot.edu to reserve your place!

We’re Coming to Rome!

Rome's Number 1 Portable Museum (from 9-15 April 2017)

The Museum of Portable Sound will be traveling to Rome from 9-15 April – we’ll be participating in a public talk and workshop on the evening of the 10th (details to come) and will have an extremely limited number of visit appointments available during the rest of our time there! If you’re in Rome and want to take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit our Museum, make sure to book your visit early to avoid disappointment!

Book your Rome visit now!

Listening to Museums – the video!

Our first course, Listening to Museums, concluded this month at the Science Museum and the V&A in London. We’ll be offering a new section of the course soon, but until then you can read more about it in our Education section – and watch this space, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, to find out when we’ll be offering it again!

Listening to Museums – Sign up for our new course today!

We love our visitors!
We love our visitors! These are just some of the people who stopped by the Museum of Portable Sound at a recent event at The Dolls House in Islington hosted by Foolish People.

Beginning in January 2017, we will begin offering courses through our new Education Department – and our first course is entitled Listening to Museums! This course features visits to three different museums in London – the British Museum, Tate Modern, and the Science Museum – each with its own unique sonic atmospheres. You’ll learn different soundwalking techniques, how to become a ‘performative listener’, and how to actively explore museums beyond just looking at them. This three-month, three session course is a bargain at £15 – but if you enrol early, you can take the entire course for just £10!

Enrol in Listening to Museums today!

New Gallery Guide Now Available For Download

Gallery Guide Autumn/Winter 2016-2017

Our current season’s Gallery Guide is now available for download! This free PDF is an edited version of the printed guide that we offer our visitors. You can now view all of the object labels for the newly expanded permanent collection galleries, as well as read the all-new information about our Physical Objects Collection! You’ll want to use this free Gallery Guide to help plan your visit!

You can also download the mini-catalogue of our current temporary exhibition, Daniel Toca’s Transitivity of Implication, on view in our Exposition Space.

Finally, make sure you pick up the PDF version of our Museum Map!

Daniel Toca’s Catalogue d’oiseaux performed by Cristina Sousa Martínez & Viv Corringham

At our recent Grand Re-Opening Event at London’s Chalton Gallery on 4 November, we also held a private view for Mexican sound artist Daniel Toca’s exhibition, Transitivity of Implication, currently on view in our Exposition Space temporary gallery. As part of Daniel’s exhibition, its curator Cristina Sousa Martínez commissioned him to write an exclusive new text score. Catalogue d’oiseaux was read aloud at the private view by Martínez, and subsequently performed by sound artist Viv Corringham. You can watch a video of the performance above. The performance was audio recorded, and has been added as the final piece of Daniel’s exhibition in the Exposition Space. Make an appointment to visit the Museum and listen to Transitivity of Implication today!

GRAND RE-OPENING EVENT

Grand Re-Opening Event: Chalton Gallery London, 4 November 2016, 6-8PM, featuring Viv Corringham

The Museum of Portable Sound announces its Grand Re-Opening event, celebrating the recent expansion of its permanent collection galleries and a new temporary exhibition curated by Cristina Sousa Martínez.

The Museum will hold an exclusive listening event at the Chalton Gallery in London, beginning the evening at 6.00pm when our Director John Kannenberg will play excerpts from our newly-expanded permanent collection galleries, which now contain over 100 objects that explore the culture of sound.

Then at 6.30pm, we will listen to an entire exhibition by emerging Mexican sound artist Daniel Toca:

‘Transitivity of Implication’ is Daniel Toca’s first real approach to sound. It’s about the causal chain that he’s created by transubstantiating his own words into spoken word and sound pieces (with the collaboration of Mexican improviser and musician Carlos Edelmiro), like in a hypothetical syllogism that leads us to conclude that from P we can infer ‘infinite.’

Daniel has also written a text score exclusively for this event, which will be performed live by renowned sound artist and vocalist Viv Corringham.

Copies of the Museum’s brand new guide map will be available for free, and our all-new Gallery Guide will be on display.

For more info, see the Facebook Event.