Sounding Soil – the project


Sounding Soil is an inter- and transdisciplinary research, awareness and art project that investigates the acoustics of soil ecosystems. In this study, methods to record and measure the acoustic activity and composition of soil organisms are being developed with the objective of assessing biodiversity in soils rapidly and affordably by acoustic means. Recordings of the soil fauna will be part of a sound installation, a soundmap and sensitization activities. The project aims to create a first-hand experience of soil ecosystems and increase soil awareness in broader parts of society, be they the urban population, agricultural producers, political decision makers or students.

The SRF programme «Einstein» dedicated an entire programme to ecoacoustics, Sounding Soil and Marcus Maeder: Watch programme from 21.11.2019 (only in German).

We’re very happy that Sounding Soil is amongst the 2020 nominations for the STARTS Prize, granted by Ars Electronica and the European Commision. STARTS is a prize honoring Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts. The prize is awarded at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz (A).


Sounding Soil – the movie

Building awareness through art


The sound installation and small, mobile listening stations provide public outreach. We are present at selected locations and events to answer questions. We also provide information and tips at the installation and on the website.

Anyone in Switzerland who is interested or just curious can borrow the equipment and record sounds from the soil themselves.

Farmers are directly dependent on healthy and fertile soil. Initial experience with Sounding Soil has shown that they are not only interested in soil sounds, but would also like clear, simple information and advice on healthy soil. Together with our partners, we would therefore like to accompany and advise farmers in recording their soils.

Sounding Soil could be suitable for the training and further education of farmers in Switzerland’s agricultural training centers. It will also be exciting for prospective agricultural scientists, geographers and soil ecologists to hear different soils during their training.

Large quantities of chemical fertilizers and plant protection products are used in private gardens. In order to demonstrate environmentally friendly alternatives, we aim to cooperate with organizations that offer knowledge, tips and courses for organic gardening.

We want to bring Sounding Soil to schools. Pupils will make their own audio recordings of to try to find and identify soil animals. This lets them combine a hands-on experience with new knowledge about the soil ecosystem.

With Sounding Soil, we want to reach politicians and decision makers. Soil sounds can be used, for example, to draw attention to the important role of healthy soil during discussions on agricultural policy.


With Sounding Soil, Biovision uses innovative means to raise public awareness about ecology and sustainability in the food system with the aim of ultimately achieving a sustainable approach to food (from production to consumption) and the environment. The condition of our soils is of great relevance in discussions about global good supply, in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and, in particular, in the climate debate.