'Inventors like Kempelen, Maelzel, and Mical built
the first automata that, by stimulating and filtering certain frequency
bands, could simulate the very sounds that Romanticism was simultaneously
celebrating as the language of the soul: their dolls said “Mama” and
“Papa” or ” Oh, ” like Hoffmann’s beloved automaton, Olympia.’
This sound has played a huge part in my interests as a researcher. My grandmother during the war used to mask the sound of the ‘doodlebugs’ with her radio… The sound indicates their presence but the terror lies in the silence which follows as their engines cut out and the bomb drops to its target. The radio would mask the process as it was too painful to experience otherwise. The home in which my grandmother lived would always have three radios playing in separate rooms (all different channels sometimes). The association was a comfort that lasted the rest of her life.