Breathing Microworlds

Do you see the microworld that looks like a mixture between creek and pond? It is about 400 meters north of you, just down the slope of Saana. Maybe it is a well?

The running water gathers an overwhelming amount of moss and lots of other inhabitants like tardigrades and other microbes. When you listen closely, you can hear the moss breathing, slowly, over the course of days and months.

Tundra’s shifting wells
Breathing life into the world
A world within worlds

Soft mossy carpet
Mossy tundra whispers peace
A calming rhythm

Microbiome breathes
Moss still whispers beside the well
Soothe your weary soul


The surrounding of Kilpisjärvi is host to many “microworlds” — relatively small places like rocks, small ponds, or streams that gather a relatively big variety of plants, mushrooms and small animals.

During a residency at the Kilpisjärvi Biology Station in 2019, Till Bovermann became interested in the sounds and interrelations within such microworlds. He recorded them and performed together with them with his electronic live-coding system.

The ‘Pathways to Science and Research Stations’ R&D&I services Residency by Helsinki University allowed him to use the collected material to compose sound pieces that focus on specific aspects of the microworlds he found relevant.