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This recording was made a few years ago while I was in a hotel using iffy wifi to ‘phone’ my dad via Skype. I’d never heard Skype turn someone’s voice like this before and didn’t really know what to do, and couldn’t stop giggling (as is clear from the recording). Subsequent googling indicated that it had been due to some buffering error, but it always makes me laugh to hear it. My dad died yesterday so I suppose this is a bit ‘in memoriam’-y but let’s not be down in the dumps – he found it quite funny too. In the call he’s saying ‘hang up, hang up’, encouraging me to restart the conversation which we eventually did successfully.

I once tried to recover my dad’s normal speaking voice from this by running the audio through Audacity and slowing it down but it sounded just as hilarious then. Haha  🙂


Added: 17 Feb 2018
Just seen the most amazing tweet from James O’Brien (above) and there were some lovely touching responses about people ringing up the phones of people who’d died to listen to their voices on voicemail. After my dad died (5 Nov 2016) I found a recording of a voicemail message I had from him in June that year. He’d had some periods of ill health and I think making this recording was an insurance for me in case anything happened – I’d failed to think of doing the same for my mum sadly, who died in 2010.

Dad did send further voicemail messages to me in the months before he died though I deleted them. There was one on my landline after he died but I was too miserable to sort anything out in terms of recording that one and sadly with time the messsage also passed beyond the point of recovery. So I’m glad I have this. He’s telling me about the London to Penzance overnight sleeper train – there was a BBC Four programme on about it (he often rang to tell me about things he thought I’d enjoy watching on television or on the radio). I went on the train in 2015, it was lovely.

He sounds Scottish, and curiously a bit more high-pitched than his voice was in real life, he had a fairly deep voice most of the time, but it still sounds like him. He usually called me darling, though he didn’t here. I quite like that the recording sounds a bit ‘grainy’. It’s just me holding my iPhone next to the landline speaker and recording on the voice memo app. I know the m4a file won’t change but I like to think that it will gradually degrade with each listen and eventually fade away (here is a lovely event I went to, where we heard voice recordings from decades and even a century ago – Edison wax cyclinders).