This is an abstract from the Beyond Listening symposium program.

Être Terre: A sound installation to listen with intimacy to earth vibrations

Lorella Abenavoli and Arthur Enguehard

The sonic SciArt installation “Être Terre” creates the conditions of a simultaneously intimate and shared listening of terrestrial vibrations captured by international networks of seismic stations. Near-real time received seismograms are audified and spatialized through divers loudspeakers to create evoluting listening spaces, either local and almost private, or ambient and necessarily common. The system is made reactive to our own seismic presence thank to an in situ additional seismometer.

In the continuity of hybrid researches and creations such as Lorella Abenavoli’s “Le Souffle de la Terre”1, Florian Dombois’s “Auditory Seismology”2 and Ben Holtzman’s experiments with the SeismicSoundLab3 our work explores the epistemological radicalities of listening in science and the power of sonic experience to support the development of embodied forms of attention to the earth/Earth.


Lorella Abenavoli is a sculptor and audio artist. She has been living and working in Montreal for seven years, since she moved from France to do a PhD at the Université du Québec to Montreal. She developped her research toward the sound medium working it into audio installations. In 1996 she started a major sound art project entitled Le Souffle de la terre/the Pulse of the Earth of which idea is to create a sound space bringing to us the deepest recesses of the earth in order to hear them in real time. Since 2004 this sound artwork has been exhibited in Europe, Canada and United States. From 2009 to 2011 she worked as artistic director of Avatar, Quebec City’s artist center devoted to research, creation and dissemination of audio and electronic art. For some years she has written articles about sound in the arts. She is a sessional teacher at UQAM and obtained in 2017 a Ph.D. in whtich she described sonification practices among the arts. She is developing her own artistic research practicing sonification working on trees, cosmos, meat. She has been teaching at Prep'Art and ESA of Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne since 2018.

Arthur Enguehard grew up in Nantes and currently works in Paris (France). He studied Earth Sciences at the Geosciences Department of École normale supérieure - PSL (ENS - PSL) and Sorbonne University. On the side of his academic career, he engages as educator with specialized audiences in metropolitan France and French Guiana. In 2019, he co-founded the association PePaSon: Pédagogies des Paysages Sonores, encouraging the development of a french speaking network for sharing practices around sound walks and forms of mediation of listening. He is currently developing a Ph.D. in the SACRe doctoral program at PSL University, the EnsadLab at École des arts décoratifs de Paris and the ENS Geosciences Department entitled Listening to the (E)arth: Hybriding sonic arts and geosciences, production of knowledge and sensitization toward environment.

Lorella Abenavoli and Arthur Enguehard: Être Terre: A sound installation to listen with intimacy to earth vibrations