Sounds of an Era: A dusty reel of magnetic tape in a school's audio-visual closet or a home-recorded wax cylinder on a shelf might contain just the right sounds to bring a previous decade to life.
That's the hope of producers at National Public Radio, who recently put out a request to listeners to dig into their audio archives to find sounds that reflect life in the United States during the century now ending. The initiative is called the "Quest for Sound."
Selected recordings will be featured as part of an ongoing radio series titled "Lost & Found Sound," intended to capture the rituals and sounds of everyday life throughout the 20th century.
The series airs every Friday through January 2000 as part of Washington-based NPR's "All Things Considered," broadcast by public radio stations nationwide. (Check local listings for air times.)
Sounds from schools--whether of a vintage marching band or a graduation speech at a signal moment in history--will be considered for the series, an NPR publicist said.
The producers ask that people proposing submissions call (202) 408-0300 to record a message describing their "sonic heirlooms."
Already, more than 600 listeners have called in submissions. They include a 78 rpm home-recorded disc of a man describing his memories of Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg address; dozens of personal recorded reflections on the wars of the century; and the recordings of a parrot with a heavy German accent, who learned to talk from the family's immigrant grandfather.
For information on the Quest and "Lost & Found Sound," visit the World Wide Web site www.lostandfoundsound.com.
'Student Voices': Opportunities continue to appear for student journalists to present their work to a national audience.
Early last month, the New York Times Learning Network, an online service for classrooms of the New York Times Electronic Media Co., began publishing selected stories by student journalists from around the nation. The Web address is http://www.nytimes.com/learning/students/writing/index.html.
Editors of the "Student Voices" section pose a monthly topic. Student journalists submit their articles through Highwired.Net, a network of online school newspapers, at www.highwired.net. The first topic was how the impeachment of President Clinton affected students' communities.
Last fall, Turner Broadcasting Inc., a subsidiary of Time Warner, started the CNN Student Bureau, which submits student-produced video stories that could be aired on CNN networks.
--Andrew Trotter [email protected]
Vol. 18, Issue 25, Page 8