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Five Sound Questions to Karl Kliem

Video and sound artist Karl Kliem from Germany is next in the ongoing Five Sound Questions series. On Everyday Listening we have seen his great sound and light installation Minus 60°
Karl also is a founding member of Frankfurt based media lab MESO. To read more about Karl Kliem and his work and watch some of his videos, visit his website at
1. What sound from your childhood made the most impression on you?
There are three sounds that come to mind. One is the sound of my mother, plugging in the flatiron on the other side of the wall where I was lying in my bed and waking up from that. I still have it very present in my ears, although I didn’t hear the sound for about thirty five years. It was a sound of safety and protection, because I knew my mother was there.
Then there was the deafening sound of the exhaust of our Massey Ferguson 135, sitting next to my father on the tractor, driving without a top. And also the sound of the the old egg grading machine that closely resembled the beat of “We Will Rock You”.
2. How do you listen to the world around you?
Not talking.
3. Which place in the world do you favor for its sound?
The shore. The woods. The seats in the back of airplanes.
4. How could we make sound improve our lives?
By reducing the bugging ones. E.g. street musicians in front of my office, playing the same song over and over again.
5. What sound would you like to wake up to?
Waves at the shore. Rain on a roof. Sorry for not being fancy here.
Also read the answers of other artists in the Five Sound Questions section.
Photo by Heinz Berger

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