I recently did some recordings with Silverline Memories in Newcastle which involved an afternoon with the attendees of a dementia cafe.

Sandra from Silverline had told everyone that I would be coming along to record and asked them to bring a photo that brought a smile to their face.

I arrived with my recording equipment and camera and moved around the room, sitting with each couple while everyone else drank tea, ate biscuits and talked. It was an afternoon full of laugher and chatter.

The couples were all different; mothers and daughters, a mother and son, husbands and wives all with different stories to tell.  The pictures showed the foreign holidays, the Australian wedding, the skydiving jump and a new unexpected grandson.  Although very different, they were all connected by some form of dementia in their family. Nonetheless, it was an afternoon full of chatter and laughter.

The audio and pictures were brought together to form a Soundslide of the project and help tell the story of who they are, what they do and how they help the people who pass through their door. But since recording I’ve heard that one of the gentleman, Malcolm, sadly passed away and it made me realise how even more important that audio will be to one family in particular.

As I’ve said to many people, and in here previous blogs too, pictures capture wonderful memories. But it’s often the sound and the voice that really captures the imagination. When was the last time that you had to stay in the car a while longer, just to hear the end of someone’s personal story on the radio? When was the last time you heard a tune that sparked an emotional memory and had the tears rolling down your cheeks?

My Dad passed away almost 28 years ago, and I will never again be able to hear his voice. Although, of course, I remember the silly things he used to say, I will never hear how he said them, or how he laughed when he said them.

So for me capturing the sound of people is as important, if not more important, than capturing the images of the people we love.

Malcolm’s family is over the moon with this Soundslide. So here it is so you can see it for yourself.

If you are running a project or company and you think you might benefit from capturing the voices of your service users or your customers, and would really like to highlight the benefits of what you do, then please get in touch for a free consultation. Contact me on

Posted on June 15th 2015

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