Nostalgic Audio Objects

“In Britain until the Second World War, the broadcast announcer was an anonymous authoritative (ruling-class) voice.” (Williams, 1988, 39)

One of the broadcast announcer on the Soviet radio during the Second World War, Yuri Levitan, had a velvet baritone with metal overtones. His voice embodied the power of the Soviet state. Levitan was an incarnation of the Soviet Leviathan. His intonations were triumphant and conquering, unwavering and suspenseful, and affective: prompting the listener to act and feel.

Please listen to this broadcast. The music of the radio was a familiar interlude. Then the voice of Levitan interjects and sounds like a voice of fate: “Attention! Moscow speaks.” This is the announcement of the German attach on Russia on June, 22, 1941.

This kind of presentation was a general mode of radio presentation at the time. For people back then, Levitan was almost a family member, a party comrade. Now, his voice is a nostalgic audio object.


Willliams, Raymond. (1988) Television: Technology and Cultural Forms.

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