Please use headphones to fully experience this soundwalk
Screenshot Forest Floor 4965 2022-01-23 185333

The Underground sound Project

in Prospect Park

Trailhead by Dog Beach, Prospect Park, NYC

The Underground Sound Project is a collection of subterranean acoustic recordings made by artist Nikki Lindt over the course of a year. They were made in Prospect Park, other natural areas within the five boroughs of NYC and in rural Cherry Valley, NY. The recordings are made by placing microphones underground, underwater and even inside trees.

The Soundwalk is experienced along the trail shown on the map below. While stopping at the designated locations along the map, you can experience the corresponding subsurface sounds. Along the way you will encounter sonic features, such as a frozen stream, an old growth tree, soils, the underground rumbling of waves crashing on a seashore, the roots of wildflowers in a windstorm, and many more!

So put on your headphones and come explore the melodic, resonant, and otherworldly sonic ecosystem right beneath our feet!

The Soundwalk is experienced along the trail shown on this map. While stopping at the designated locations along the map, you can experience the corresponding subsurface sounds. Along the path you will encounter features, such as a stream, old growth tree, soils, wildflowers, and many more.


  Welcome to the Soundwalk


  We Are Here, narration and underground sounds


  Some Last Words


After hearing our trees and broader ecosystem speak, how do you respond?

Add your reply to the response gallery:

The project really made me consider how our sounds affect the world around us. Almost every noise we make has a ripple effect that can be heard in every direction. Considering this will impact the way I go about my days. How do the sounds I make impact the natural world around me? It helps me understand that everything we do as a society not only impacts us and our personal lives but the lives of the plants, animals, and other natural living things close to us.
- Martine G. Brooklyn, NY
The sound of nature through the soil humanized my surroundings. I feel inspired to protect the trees and waterways which are reacting and responding to the elements as I do.
- Stella A.
This project inspires me to be more attentive to sound in my natural environment without any technological interference. I realize how much we’re all tuned into our technologies in terms of sound scape, and this technology based project actually motivates me to make a departure from my technology interference and listen to the collage of sounds in both urban and natural environments more attentively. Ironically this tech based project in nature is a mirror for our tech enthrallment outside of nature, because while in the park, I rather have my headphones off. How powerful!
- Mimi, Brooklyn, NY
I love this project and how well the artist fully listens to the world around her, highlighting how each component is a complex living system. I love the rhythmic sounds of precipitation and how it seems as if our soils are jamming to the beat.
- Anonymous
The experience of Nature’s intimate sounds of a human-made park was a controversial activity of our relationship with the non-human world. Realizing from noisy and hectic city. Oftentimes we forget we still are part of Nature and all our actions have an impact on them.
- Anonymous
I respond with silence and a willingness to learn from the ancient wisdom of our forest. I distill my experiences into words and artwork to communicate the messages of our ecosystem. Thank you for this wonderful experience!
- Heather, Brooklyn, NY
It’s fascinating to hear the sounds underneath all these paths we walk, accessible above ground. The natural percussive quality of water and acorns falling contributes to an organic music that we otherwise wouldn’t experience or be changed by. Thank you for this project!
- Serafim, NY
Mostly I am just ever more grateful for the good living and energy of the trees and soils and waters of our city. They persist and they thrive in this tough environment. Hearing the soundscape helps me to feel more of a kinship with these living things.
- Georgina, NY
They are so beautiful and relaxing. I could listen all day. Thanks for sharing.
- Mary Hunt, Walshville, IL
It makes me want to apologize and let them know that all the sounds and vibrations and trash are hard on us too.
- Jake, Brooklyn, NY
What sounds calm and peaceful on the surface can sound powerful and harsh below the surface! It was mind blowing to hear the sound of the falling snow.
- Maura Bivens, Las Vegas, NV
I believe the project invites people to use their senses, those that we don’t often or sometimes can’t quite single out. It trains our ears and short-after activated the brain (temporal lobe) into more thoughtful, active and engaged listening. This project was calming, engaging, under-worldly but more importantly accessible and thought-provoking.
- Milreyly Cas, Queens, NY
I've never thought of 'underground' as something full - or, I guess, I typically think of it as something hollow. Especially in terms of sound. I loved experiencing the underground as such a full and vibrant space.
- H. Lee
I feel like there is an entire world underneath us. Every step I take is felt underground. I feel like nature is very consistent in its sound while human sounds are fleeting.
- Josh P., NY
The most significant impact was from Human Engagement, The drastic difference of the sound we produce and how it's interpreted by other organisms is jarring and fascinating. Do our noises disrupt the organisms' lives or are they trivial in how they live?
- Caden C.K
I feel renewed passion for our local park and charged up to protect it.
- Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY
We humans are an important part of the soundscape and have a responsibility to preserve and maintain the sonic environment for all species.
- Rich Bitting, Cincinnati, OH
We are all connected in so many ways. Everything has a voice.
- Anonymous
After listening to the sounds that plants and living things that live in the soil hear, I feel peaceful and glad that I’ve slowed down for a moment today to think about what they experience. I hope to plan more moments like this in my life. Thank you.
- Suzanne Sewickley, PA
This project gives a new voice to these living beings that go otherwise unheard in such a fast paced urban environment. The work that Nikki put into creating this walk shows her selfless intentionality and desire for more symbiosis between human and nature. This was a much needed pause for me personally, and I can imagine it is the much needed mini retreat for every New Yorker who happens upon the sites.
- Olivia, Brooklyn, NY
I really enjoyed listening to the vibrations of the subway inside the tree. I think its the perfect example of how city and nature come together in New York City and how even under harsh conditions nature persists here.
- Elise, Queens, NY
There are so much sound to process, recorded, live, unspoken, spoken, manifest, and unmanifest.
- Iki Nakagawa, Brooklyn NY
I am intrigued by the connectivity within these recordings; connections between humans and trees, infrastructure and trees, water and soil… it’s all so rich! Thank you for this beautiful offering!
- Ania Upstill, NY
This experience reframed the way that I think about sound as an impactful presence in space. I love walking through this park and I now have a new perspective on how the park experiences me walking through it.
- Amanda, Brooklyn, NY
I was moved, thrilled, and enlightened. I resolve to continue reporting missing urban trees to the City Parks Dept.
- Brett, Brooklyn, NY
Sound is all around us, in everything around us. The soil, plants, water, trees are integrated with us and alive with sound. Fascinating. Thank you.
- Donna McArdke, Springfield, MA
I had never thought much about the sounds of nature, and definitely not imagined how loud and beautiful the sounds could be. For me, when listening to leaves and acorns, it sounded like roaring thunder. Now I will be able to associate the powerful and dominant sound of thunder with something delicate and calming as the falling of leaves.
- Lachan R.
It was a soothing, relaxing, and meditative experience. I felt as though nature moved through me. It opened my eyes (or rather ears) to a whole other world of sound.
- Sumit
I never realized how musical nature is...underground the plants and wind became instruments for "Mother Nature".
- Zoe Smith
This is stunning. It reminds me of being in the ocean or a swimming pool, going underwater and how different it feels when listening to the moment underwater. It’s quiet but still full of sound. I am excited to take the walk!
- Amy, Alexandria, VA
Hearing the soil and forest speak makes me think about translation and interpretation: how can we know what they are saying since we only have our human perspective? What kind of relationship is needed to continue to interpret their language? And what does accountability to the ecosystem look like for each of us? How do we know what our ecosystems say in response?
- Neha S. Astoria, NY
This walk made me think about art-making. It was interesting to realize this is a man made project.
- Anonymous
I really enjoyed this walk— I spend a lot of time in the city rushing from one place to another, so this project allowed for stillness and slowness to enter back into my day. I had the pleasure of experiencing the recordings with a group of scientists, artists, stewards, friends… which added richness to the walk. The underground sounds reminded me of wearing a stethoscope— a handful of spots sounded similarly to pulses/heartbeats… thank you!
- Sonja, Brooklyn, NY
I collapsed definitions of the city and forest - they are the same, a forest is a city for non-humans.
- Mary M., Brooklyn, NY
It makes me feel like I’ve become more socially aware, and almost less self involved just having acquired this knowledge. it feels like I was let in on a secret and there’s cities under our cities, and it just makes me feel more excited because I always thought first was one inanimate thing.
- Alexia, Brooklyn, NY
I thought this tour was amazing! I'm someone who loves to immerse myself into nature, specifically the sound aspect!! It was really a good ASMR moment.I think it will give people a lot more empathy to others and to nature. We are all just living day by day and these ecosystems are living with us and they experience the same things we do.
- Lisbeth Henriquez
It makes me wonder what these sounds mean to other species. like when the tree is hearing the rumble of the train, I know Nikki mentioned it’s been found that tree roots respond to vibrations from the water and move towards there, so like, what does the tree think of the train? how does a bird use the sound of rustling leaves, how are plants responding to our above ground sounds on a cellular level?
- Demi
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