Special Reports

Last updated: 24 july, 2009 - 15:10 GMT

Desperately Seeking Sounds

Sound plays such an important part in our lives - and certain sounds can evoke powerful memories of places, people and moments in time.

As part of Save Our Sounds, we would like to hear about the sounds that mean something special to you.

With Desperately Seeking Sounds we aim to reunite you with sounds that you miss.

Are you living away from home and missing the sounds of your city?

Perhaps you remember something from your childhood that you'd like to hear again?

Let us know which sounds you long to hear, what they mean to you - and we will do our best to matchmake you with them.

If you can help us find sounds that others are looking for - please get in touch.

You can email us at: click saveoursounds@bbc.com

Think of it as lonely-hearts with sound and let us be your audio cupid!

Grace Morgan, Norwich, UK
I live in Norwich, Norfolk but I grew up in a small town called Mittagong about 70 miles from Sydney in Australia. From age seven or eight my best friend and I would spend our time roaming around her parents 10 acres, getting into all sorts of trouble, knowing it was time for lunch when her mum rang a big cow bell from the back door! One of the sounds I miss the most is kookaburras 'laughing', they are usually loudest in the morning and when I hear them I know I am home.

Grace, excellent news! One of our Sound Scavengers has found what you wanted. Many thanks to Jane Ulman who sent in these Kookaburras, recorded at Bundanoon on the Shoalhaven, NSW, Australia in March 2009. Enjoy!

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players


Sara Martinez-Alonso, Boulder, Colorado, USA
When I was a child living in Barcelona (Spain) I used to hear the whistle announcing the "afilador", a gentleman who would go around sharpening knives, scissors, and the like.

I think most afiladores came from Galicia; they all had a moped with a small sharpening wheel attached to the seat. To announce their arrival they would play a few notes (not a real song, just ten notes or so) in a small flute or whistle. The ladies in the neighbourhood would then gather any tools in need of sharpening and bring them downstairs to the afilador, who would fix them on the spot.

I often think of those sounds: the afilador's whistle, the wheel against metal. Can anyone find them?

Sorry Sarah - we've not managed to capture your sound yet - but we did get this email from Jenny Cox, Bristol, UK:

Late morning on 23rd June 2009 I was on the main street heading west in the busy coastal town of Llanes, Asturias, N. Spain, when I heard a few notes on a whistle and a jangly noise and a street cry coming nearer. A man was pushing a bike with two grinding wheels fixed one each side on the hub of the front wheel. He was walking, stopping, making his shrill distinctive sounds, waiting a short while looking for customers, then moving on. An "afilador" just as Sara Martinez-Alonso described!

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.