The history of us in our voices

An audio experience

Close your eyes. Think really hard. Can you hear the voices of the past? What are their stories?

Storytelling has passed through the generations with word of mouth stories for hundreds of years before technology allowed us to record, or even before the written word. For generations we have kept precious pictures from the past to remember those who came before us. Great grandparents, grandparents, family members and friends who are gone. We can see them but we can’t hear their voices.

I don’t remember my grandfather’s voice anymore. I cannot hear his thick Wisconsin Irish accent. His then learned Scandinavian / upper Midwest vernacular or his sense of humor. Try as I might, I cannot remember. I never heard my great grandfather’s voice. Did he speak with an even thicker accent? What was his daily speech and cultural slant?
All I have the stories that my parents and family members remember. Through stories, my father fills in those gaps of history and the few photos that I have.

This project will honor the tradition of storytelling to tell the stories of my brother, my father, his father and many of my now passed men of the my family. The story will consist of snippets of my dad, my sister, my mother telling various stories and other day to day conversations. My hope is to capture the raw, unprompted voices telling their stories in their own words without the burden of prompts or knowing they were being recorded.

Ellis Mason
Ellis Mason Oct 26 1839 - May 18 1918
"Sweet be thy slumber" Unknown who inscribed this after his death.