PhD, Artista Migratoria Sonora


Sounding Underground - Online environment

sounding underground
Entrance México Metro, Sounding Underground

Sounding Underground is a virtual environment that invites you to interact with the soundscapes of three underground public transport systems: London, Paris and México City. Commuters’ memories and imaginations are represented in sounds and images that have been selected by volunteer commuters through an ethnographic process. These sounds are assembled in a sound score that acts as a multimedia user’s interface. The score contains sonic features unique to each metro, as well as some shared sonic spaces. Sounding Underground also invites you to write memories, produced by listening. These memories are published randomly on the "Listening and Remembering" page.
This work was funded by the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship 2007 -2009, and supported by the Institute of Creative Technologies IOCT at De Montfort University. This work brings to the surface the unique sonic features of the soundscapes from the metros of London, Paris and Mexico City, as well as the common ones, as they were listened to and selected by commuters from recordings of their routine journeys. This work reveals not only political and social aspects of these cities, but also suggests symbolically that every journey becomes a metaphor of people’s inner life. Publications derived from this work include “Creating Sounding Underground” (2013) in Digital Creativity Journal, and “Sounding Underground: listening, performing and transforming the commuting experience” (2011) in Sensate Journal. Sounding Underground has been exhibited in art venues and academic events in the cities of Berlin, Boston (MA), Burgos, Edinburgh, London, Manizales, Mexico City, Morelia, Nantes and Towson (MD), and was awarded an honorary mention by the IAWM New Music 2011 Competition, International Alliance of Women in Music, for New Genre.
To have a journey and read more about this work please visit
To read about its development and outreach please visit

Sounding Underground from Ximena Alarcón on Vimeo.