Your Ocean Sound – Portrait: Hanna Brühwiler

Christel Clerc

By Christel Clerc
01.06.2021 | 10 minutes reading time

In spring of this year, we organized the hackathon „Your Ocean Sound“ . 130 audio files with biotic and abiotic ocean sounds inspired the participants to create almost 30 compositions. In this post we introduce you to the winner Hanna Brühwiler.

The competition “Your Ocean Sound” , organized by the team of the project „Hearing in Penguins“ " under guidance of marine biologist Cora Albrecht and the Mediasphere For Nature team, aimed to encourage an artistic and knowledge-based approach to the topic of underwater noise.

28 unique compositions were submitted that stimulate and bring to the surface the dialogue between the beauty and diversity of marine animal sounds as well as human-caused underwater noise. A total of 130 audio files from the collection of the “Hearing in Penguins” project inspired the creation of musical narratives.

The quality of the compositions and the acoustic narratives they contain have thrilled the researchers, an expert jury, and us as a team.

In the following posts we would like to pass on the word to a few of our participants and let them tell you about their journey and experiences with the hackathon. We are happy to present to you the faces behind the amazing compositions. Let’s start with the winner!

Hanna Brühwiler (1st Place) – Penguin-Dive

Hanna Brühwiler - Penguin-Dive

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Licensed under: CC BY-ND | Open in data portal


Touching people and setting them into motion. Hanna pursues these goals with her music. She studied a Bachelor’s program in Sound and Music Production and is currently completing her Master’s degree in Sound Design.

Hanna Brühwiler (Photo: © Julian Present - <a href="//" target="_blank"></a>)
Hanna Brühwiler (Photo: © Julian Present -

She was drawn to the “Hearing in Penguins” project via a LinkedIn post from the company KlingKlangKlong, whose co-founder was a jury member in the hackathon. By participating, she saw an opportunity to auditively pursue her enthusiasm for penguins and become more involved with underwater noise. Her enthusiasm for the subject and her musical expertise resonated with the jury, and she was awarded first place in the competition.

I was particulary interested in the infinite expanse of the underwater sounds and the challenge of communicating this in an audible format.

—Hanna Brühwiler

What is your composition about?

My piece allows listeners to look “beneath the surface”, and the association with the tip of an iceberg inspired me to the realization. I made audible the noise above water, the musical sounds inside the ocean and its population.

German Deep See Expedition „Valdivia“, 1898, iceberg with penguins, photo: Friedrich Wilhelm Winter, MFN, HBSB, K001 Nr. 1212
German Deep See Expedition „Valdivia“, 1898, iceberg with penguins, photo: Friedrich Wilhelm Winter, MFN, HBSB, K001 Nr. 1212

What role does the narrative play in this?

My narrative is an auditory journey of a penguin and puts us in its perspective. This “musical dive” invites an acoustic exploration of its world.

How did you experience Your Ocean Sound?

During the Mediasphere Meetup in April, I found the presentation about the recording situations of the sounds available in the data portal particularly interesting. This gave me a deeper insight into the sounds. The spectrogram view was exceptionally helpful for selecting sounds. I look forward to using the data portal as a resource for more creative projects.

We thank Hanna for the interview. You can learn more about Hanna on her webseite .

In the next blog post, we will present the composition of Francisca Rocha Gonçalves, who reached 5th place. Stay tuned!