Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oh Such Big Ears! What Are The First Sounds You Remember?

When I was born, everyone commented "Oh! Such big ears!" I began to listen. The first sounds I remember were the train whistles and the various chirpings, tweetings, twitterings, cawings, hootings, shriekings, and melodic singings of birds. Sound fascinated me.
When I saw someone winding up the Victrola "talking machine" & placing the needle down on the disc whirling about at 78 revolutions pr. minute I knew that heaven was about to enter the room-through my ears.

What were the first sounds you remember hearing?
Please comment.


  1. Solveigh Calderin said...
    The first sounds I remember was burbling water in a boat on a river and the chuggle of the motor...

    The next I remember is "Solveig's song"... At a late evening, when I was three of four, my father awakened me to listen "my" song in the radio...

    Being each summer in nature as long as I can remember back in my childhood, I have, of course, heard all the sounds of it at day and night and I learned to love their harmony and beauty very early...

  2. I asked my young daughter Lily this question and her answer was:
    "Music - always music!"
    Lily heard music in everything. She sang before she could speak & we always had an audience when I walked her in her stroller as she was constantly humming, singing or listening to the sounds around her...
    I remember when she first heard the haunting notes of 'The Swan' on the cello. She was 3 and we were in the car waiting for her sister, listening to the radio, when she stopped mid-sentence, listening intently. She asked what instrument made that music and then begged to learn the cello...
    She was tiny and even the smallest cello was huge so we started her on the piano, but she pleaded with us for years until we bought her a cello at the age of 9.
    She is now 15 and still hears music every moment of every day! She is in her first year of her Bachelor of Performance Music degree at the Conservatorium of Music University in Brisbane as an early entry student & will audition for Curtis or Julliard in 2 years. She has already performed the Haydn Cello Concerto in C in China, Spain, Estonia and at Carnegie Hall in 2009 at the age of 13.
    Lily's music comes from within and she is detemined to be a soloist so that she can share that music with the world...

  3. Neat question -- I hadn't thought about this before! If I think about it, I believe my first aural memory is of my mother singing to me: "Hush little baby don't say a word, Mamma's gonna buy you a mockingbird...." I have no visual associated with this memory. (Maybe because my eyes were closed at the time?)

  4. There was a bird making a racket outside a window. My mother recited this poem, "A birdie with a yellow bill, hopped upon your window sill, cocked his shining eye and said,'Ain't you ashamed you sleepyhead' "

    As a small child I remember my grandfather playing Ragtime on the upright piano at their house. Also he played Gospel Hymns on his harmonica. I tried to play them too.

    The sounds coming out of a Philco bentwood radio fascinating me. I wondered how the sounds could travel through the air so my father took me to the KTHS station in Hot Springs, Arkansas where Lum and Abner were making their shows. I marveled at how two men could create the illusion that seemed to be so real. I was fascinated by all the equipment used to transmit the sounds.
    Other programs were a childhood treat, Red Ryder and Little Beaver, The Lone Ranger, Sky King, The Shadow, Jack Benny, Amos and Andy, Our Mrs Brooks, and Corliss Archer. Sometimes the whole family would gather around the radio with it's glowing tubes. Sound effects were a big part of these programs such as creaking or slamming doors, the noises that came forth after these Fibber from "Fibber McGee and Molly" opened his overstuffed closet. "Hoof clops, the baying of the huskies from Sgt Preston of the Yukon, Silver, Champion, Trigger and Belle, Champion and other horses neighing, the hand cranking of a car, train whistles. The images created in these early radio studios seemed more real to me than they ever became on television.

  5. Some sounds I have heard but will likely never hear again: Sonic boom caused by a jet plane or Space Shuttle re-entry, tredal sewing machine, atomic test blast, hand cranking a car engine, spinning wheel, Victola, steam locomotive, 12 cylinder automobile engine screaming at 140 mph (oboe like), noise of a hand cranked ice cream maker, voice of a human on the moon, hiss of a DDT canister, sounds of milk bottles being delivered to the front porch, wringer washing machine, cherry bomb firecrackers, home movie projector, typewriter, push lawn-mower, model airplace jet engine, CO2 model plane engine, telegraph key, wild wolf call, eagle screaming, manifold vacuum powered windshield wiper motor, Whizzer motor bike, movie news reel, Polaroid camera processor, Saturn V rocket engine being tested on a stand or flown into space, Good Humor man, turbine powered race car. @Eddissimo

  6. The weight and darkenss of the sound of my mother's heartbeat, indiscernable from pressure in the watery place of origins where I nestled securely and unaware of light. The puffing sound of the wet warm breath of the beloved pet dog lying beside me before I knew I could walk around like him. And Chopin, mother playing Chopin.