The Museum of Found Noises

The Museum of Found Noises is a new venture opening in Salisbury this month. Funded by a Lottery grant, it's the brainchild of Graham Dali, a lifelong collector of random, unusual and unexpected sounds.

"We're constantly surrounded by unwanted and unintended noises," Graham explained. "The irritating whine of a drill, the backfiring of a car, the tinny overspill from a fellow commuter's headphones or the involuntary grunt we find ourselves emitting when we bend down to pick something up. These sounds are unloved, unappreciated and are often perceived as a source of irritation. But they have a particular beauty all of their own and my mission is to help people appreciate the hidden splendour and poetry of these discarded gems."

Visitors to the museum will be able to wander through several galleries containing a wide range of aural exhibits - everything from dogs barking and creaking floorboards to aircraft noises and the distant slamming of car doors late at night. There will also be an exhibition of unidentified shrieks and whistles and a special 'quiet room' where people will be able to hear a pin drop.

Farty museum

But not everyone has welcomed the announcement and several residents have already raised objections. "We can do without this," said Karen Nimby, whose house backs onto the museum site. "We are already home to the National Smell Museum and for the last four years we've played host to the International Wind and Rain Expo. The last thing we need right now is this racket."

Mr Dali nevertheless remains confident that he can overcome any opposition. "People really have very little to worry about," he said. "The whole building has been especially soundproofed to prevent any of the exhibits escaping, we use vibration-damping materials on all surfaces and the gift shop has been fitted with a silencer. They won't even know we're here."

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