To Clean the Ears

To Clean the Ears

Elise Kermani

Kermani responds to LaPlante.

Hi Skip -

Wow. That was quite an essay!

Yes, I know Schaffer’s work. I made a decision not to put any references or footnotes in this article and to keep it very simple and general. You had an interesting reaction to “Wak Auf,” and I’d have to say that most of the time I didn’t know what I was doing either (!)… but I felt that I was being lead by a strong desire to create this piece. In listening to the CD I realized that it was about creating this huge “mass” of sound - to make a piercing deep and rich “vertical” noise. Using the Masked/Veil of Sound as a way to hear “deeper,” or “clean the ears” as Pauline Oliveros might say.

Yes, the MIX of signal (electronic/acoustic) was central, and to capture the feeling of the reality of “horror.” I truly felt like I wanted to “wake” myself up and to wake up “humans” to a deeper consciousness. After Sept. 11, it seems now that “Wak Auf” acted as a precursor to the violence, that I was using my “gut” to make this piece. Now, it seems Shamanistic. If we performed “Wak Auf” again, it would be a different sort of waking up… The action of “waking up” is central to my experience of being human and making art.

Thanks for your words and honest criticism.