Ayatana residents listen to wildlife through a parabolic microphone

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

German artist 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

The ear of a morphos butterfly under a microscope. It's in his arm pit.



This specialized Biophilia program is for artists to explore biology through sound


Bioacoustics for artists

May 5 - 11, 2017


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

The Biophony program is a research residency for Canadian and international 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 2017. The residency will involve daily excursions into natural habitats to focus on bioacoustics for collection of samples and exploration of a range of Canadian wilderness. Expeditions into forests, wildlife sanctuaries, farms and research labs will be lead by biologists, naturalists and experts to enrich our artists understanding of ecology and bio diversity.

Most Ayatana residencies are designed to support research by visual and 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 absolutely 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, so 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 Biophilia 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

Learn to process your samples in a basic digital sound engineering workshop.

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

A local bat expert will join us with her bat detector to amplify their tweets and chirps.

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.

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 at day break to hear the dawn chorus lead by a field naturalist with expertise in identifying birds by song.

Sound healing session:
Experience the soothing sounds of an experienced sound healer.

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

Visit an apiary to record the sounds of bees.


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, surrounded by mountains and nestled between Gatineau NationalPark and the Gatineau River, is home to many scientists and artists.

$1200 USD
Residency places are limited to 6 artists. Official invites will be given to accepted applicants to help in the procuration of 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.

How to apply:
Send the following material to
1. Artist CV
2. Artist statement (about 200 words)
4. Portfolio 5 – 10 examples of work

Only applications that follow these guidelines will be considered.


Friend us on Facebook for future calls for applications and posts about art and science fb

Listen to past Biophony residents' field recordings

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

Biophony June 2016, Chelsea, Quebec

Sept 2015, Chelsea, Quebec

July 2015, Wolfville, Nova Scotia

May 2015, Chelsea, Quebec

Sept 2014 Wakefield, Quebec

Aug 2014 Wolfville, Nova Scotia

July 2014 Wolfville, Nova Scotia