1 November 2019

Unwanted sound effects

Walking quietly around a gallery or historical location, enjoying looking at the exhibits and reading about them, your ears are suddenly assaulted by music or loud booming voices. Someone has pressed the button for audio, and not only do they hear it, so do you and everyone else in the room, for as long as it goes on and often into the next room and beyond. Finally it fades. Then someone presses it again, and all hope fades of being able to concentrate.

A number of museums and places of interest provide personal audio devices to take around with you, but many do not. Instead, there are buttons to press (a magnet for children, usually repeatedly) or a constant background of sound effects 'appropriate' to the exhibition in question. What does this add? We know what a storm sounds like, or gunshots, or a marketplace. We don't need to hear a letter read out, we can read it ourselves.

Please, no more.

No comments:

Post a comment