Listen to Twitter.
In real-time.

#tweetscapes is offline.

After three years of turning Germany's Twitter data into a 24/7 real-time composition, funding for the live online version of #tweetscapes has run out.

We're working on putting a version of #tweetscapes on permanent display somewhere in the real world. Until then, this page merely documents the project. Thank you for your interest and support.

Check out this video if you want to know what #tweetscapes was about.

Germany's Twitter stream, turned into sound.

#tweetscapes converts all German Twitter messages into sounds – in real-time, instantly when they are being sent. Each tweet creates a distinct sonic event, depending on its contents.

#tweetscapes lets you experience what's happening on Twitter right now in a totally new way. Listen to the rhythms of the social web, hear trending topics emerge. Become part of the stream.

A collective composition.

#tweetscapes is a sonification – a representation of data through sound. It's also a never-ending interactive composition, performed 24/7 by Germany's Twitter users.

Are you one of them? Join in and send a tweet right now. Include a #hashtag to easily recognise your tweet. Listen and watch carefully, the conversion only takes a second.

The sound of it.

A fascinating thing about Twitter is the way in which a single tweet or topic can get forwarded, multiplied, and spread across the whole twittersphere within minutes.

Looking only at the list of text messages that is your Twitter timeline, you don't get a feel for the development of these discussions in their entirety. You can't tell the overall vibe.

We made #tweetscapes to let you experience Twitter through your senses instead of your brain. To instantly and constantly update you on the state of the twittersphere, using your most capable organ: Your ears.

And, yes, we like the sound of it, too.

Did you know?

Your ears are much more sensitive to timing than your eyes. Through #tweetscapes, you can hear the rhythms of the Social Web accurate to a fraction of a second.

Sonification rules.

#tweetscapes allows you to follow online discussions simply by listening. Each German tweet creates a sound – not arbitrarily, but according to a set of rules that are designed to give you an intuitive understanding of what's going on. Like,

  • there are different types of tweets and they make different sounds. For example, a tweet that's a direct reply to another Twitter user will sound different from a re-tweet, a forwarded Twitter message or a message including a thematic keyword – a #hashtag.
  • if someone has many followers, his tweets will sound louder than those of users with fewer followers.
  • Tweets originating in the west of Germany appear to come from the left, and the other way around – and if they're sent far from the center of Germany, they sound like coming from far away, too.

Did you know?

Sonification is an actual scientific method. It's the auditory counterpart of visualisation. A possible application is to turn complex data into sound and then use your ears to identify patterns that are not apparent from only looking at the data. Dr. Thomas Hermann, who was involved in the development of #tweetscapes, is a pioneer in the field.

It's all about the #

#tweetscapes is all about discussion topics and how they develop. This is why every tweet that's marked with a #hashtag – a keyword – will create a distinct sound, a different one for each different #hashtag. This sound isn't picked by us, but created by the computer.

This means that if several people send tweets including the same #hashtag – because they're talking about the same topic –, you will hear the same sound over and over again, allowing you to easily follow the ebb and flow of the discussion.

Find out more about how #tweetscapes works

Did you know?

A sunday evening on #tweetscapes sounds totally different from a week-day's afternoon. Come back often to experience the musical changes throughout the Twitter-week.


In 2012, #tweetscapes received the Award of Distinction in the Digital Musics and Sound Art category of Prix Ars Electronica.

It's one of the most important awards for creativity and pioneering spirit in the field of digital media.


The web may be the natural habitat for #tweetscapes, but it regularly takes other forms as well. It's been exhibited numerous times as an audiovisual surround installation, for example at ZKM Karlsruhe, or as part of the CyberArts exhibition at OK Linz.

Learn more about the #tweetspace installation

We also play concerts, improvising with the sounds of the live Twitter stream, making it possible for the audience to interact with the music via their mobile phones. We premiered this at Berlin's infamous Berghain club in January 2012, joined by Jochen Arbeit of Einstürzende Neubauten.

Learn more about #tweetscapes live

On the radio.

#tweetscapes was commissioned by Deutschlandradio Kultur (German National Radio). From 2011 to 2012, it was broadcast several times per week, giving listeners the opportunity to musically interact live on air via their Twitter clients.

It was created in cooperation with CITEC Institute Bielefeld, and Sound Studies, University of the Arts, Berlin.

Anselm Venezian Nehls


Sound artist and musician Anselm is a co-founder of HEAVYLISTENING.
He is responsible for the #tweetscapes concept, as well as the sound programming.

Get to know Anselm

Tarik Barri


Audiovisual composer and visual artist Tarik created the real-time visualisation that complements Anselm's Twitter soundscape, using his custom built Versum software.

Get to know Tarik

HEAVYLISTENING was founded in 2011 by Carl Schilde & Anselm Venezian Nehls.
They create and curate award-winning sonic experiences.

Learn more about HEAVYLISTENING