Biophony residents' record with a parabolic microphone under the guidance of soundscaper Chad Clifford of Wilderness Rhythms

Ayatana resident Linelle Stepto records at a Physics of Sound workshop

Artist Annie Dunning listens with an underwater microphone

Michael Grant teaches Ayatana residents to assemble an ultra sonic listening device

Ayatana resident Lucie Strecker listens to a tree through a stethoscope

earsResearchers at the Andrew Pelling Research Laboratory for Biophysical Manipulation show us new human ears growing on apple scaffolds for Stelark to show in SymbioticA's Demonstrable show

Residents enjoy a forest lecture on bats lead by zoologist Liv Monck-Whipp

Ayatana residents play crystal singing bowls in a sound healing workshop

Artist Nadya Eidelstein listens to a bark beetle in the bioacoustic lab of Jayne Yak at Carleton University


This specialized program is for artists to explore biology through sound

Bioacoustics for artists/Biology for sound artists

May 2021
Accepting applications

A biophony is the collective voice of non-human life in an environment.

The Biophony program is a research residency for artists interested in the acoustics of ecology and the sounds of wildlife. It will take place over a week in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada in the spring of 2021. The residency will involve twice daily excursions to focus on bioacoustics for collection of samples, introduction to equipment and research related to the biophony being conducted by a range of experts. Expeditions into wildlife sanctuaries, farms and research labs will be lead by scientists, naturalists, artists and healers to enrich our understanding of ecology by listening to and discusing the sounds made by and affecting wildlife.

Ayatana residencies are designed to support research by conceptual artists. Writers, musicians, film makers and dancers are always invited to apply. This residency will host five or six selected artists and preference will be given, but is not limited to, those working with sound art and performance.  The program lends itself well to ambient jams and talking about gear with the other residents.

We are looking for adventurous artists interested in experimentation who have a willingness to participate in spontaneous sharing of early-stage ideas in a small group. This action packed research residency leaves little time free for making art, but developing ideas and collecting material is encouraged at all times. The workshops will support the experimentation of new artistic projects in a friendly and analytical context.

To participate in Biophony you do not need any experience with biology or sound, but if you would like to collect digital samples you will need a device like a Zoom or a smart phone.

At least half of all Ayatana field trips are spent outdoors and some involve gentle hiking. Those who do not like the outdoors or to talk about art need not apply.

All activities are subject to change depending on ecological conditions, expert availability and other uncontrollable variables. Outings will go ahead rain or shine.

Artist talk: We invite you to give a private artist talk to share your work with the group.

Recording and Sound Engineering:
Learn to process your samples in a basic digital sound engineering workshop.

Physics of Sound:
Learn what sound is and how it works at the Ottawa University physics department.

Local maker will teach us to use an Arduino to assemble an ultra sonic listening device to listen to bats.

A local zooologist will join us with her bat detector to amplify their tweets and chirps on an outdoor lecture about bats.

Visit an Ottawa University laboratory where audible caterpillar communication is studied.

A guided walk and listen to the calls of the forest frogs of the Ottawa Valley.

Speach Analysis:
Study human sounds at the Sound Patterns Lab, Ottawa University.

Listen to the inside of trees and discus plant hearing at the Ayatana Tree Listening Station.

An owl prowl will be lead by an expert from the Ottawa Field Naturalist Society where residents will learn to call owls and identify nocturnal birds.

Residents will stroll through Gatineau Park lead by a naturlist from the Ottawa Bird Count who will show us how they use bird song to identify species and track migration.

Sound healing session:
Learn how sound affects the body and experience the soothing vibrations of a sound healer.

Explore the High Lonesome Nature Reserve with naturalist and soundscaper Chad Clifford from Wilderness Rhythms with his parabolic, binaural and underwater microphones.

Deep Listening:
Walk through Gatineau Park to practice deep listening and to use various analogue wildlife call devies.

Contemporary Art:
Ayatana will present a talk on contemporary artists working with sound and biology and their work.


Residents will be picked up in Ottawa, Canada and driven to the Ayatana Residency House, near the small town of Chelsea, Quebec. This culturally vibrant town, nestled between Gatineau National Park and the Gatineau River, is home to many scientists and artists.

$1300 USD
Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invites and supporting documentation will be given to accepted applicants to help secure grants and funding.

What is included:
All activities.
Transportation to all activities.
Supplies, equipment and technical gear.
A comfortable bed in the Ayatana residency house.
Most meals will be provided, cooked by our resident chef. *Residents will be responsible for paying for their own meals from restaurants, which will happen 2 or 3 times during the week.


5 or 6 artists will be invited to participate based on their portfolios.

How to apply:
Send the following material to ArtLovesScience@gmail.com
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of your work in any format

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.


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Listen to past Biophony residents' field recordings

For more images of past Ayatana adventures see our face book albums

Biophony May 2019, Chelsea Quebec

Biophony May 2018, Chelsea, Quebec

Biophony May 2017, Chelsea, Quebec

Peep, Croak, Growl June 2016, Chelsea, Quebec