Rotting Microworlds

Quite close to the path and slightly downhill you may spot a massive boulder with a tiny pond next to it. With its different microclimates that emerge from the configurations of rockfaces, nooks and water surfaces, it is host to a multitude of plants, mushrooms and insects. When you close your eyes and listen carefully, you may hear the sounds of the wind blowing over the rock and the insects buzzing around the pond. Do you hear the microbes that are slowly decomposing and transforming rock, plants and insects alike?

Boulder’s weight bears down
Microbes consume and transform
Emergence abounds

Rot and technology
Nature’s wild diversity
Tundra brings us close

Unknowable otherness
Rot and evolution’s course
Wildness never stills


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.