What does death sound like?

October 13, 2008

“A truck rear ended my car and I died instantly. All the traffic was at a stand still and a truck not paying attention to traffic, blasted into the rear end of my car. Not wearing a safety belt, I was thrown against the windshield and all of a sudden I was in this white silver light. A man’s voice, whom I couldn’t see, said to me “You can either come with us now, or you can go back.” The next thing I knew, I was back in my injured body. the music started pouring through me like Niagara Falls…”

In the film  ‘Touching the Void’ as Joe Simpson descends the mountain close to death and in the grip of delirium, he realises he is about to die because he is plagued  with the sound of  “Brown Girl in th Rain” going round and round in his head; “I was so pissed off… because i realised I was going to die to Boney M”. This post explores the audio experience before and during death – an event of importance perhaps, but little researched. Descriptions seem to have some commonality across cultures but of course come from either survivors of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and therefore compromised by memory and suggestion or from religious/cultural texts  – compromised by cultural values but perhaps a store of a cultural memory of death…

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