Sheppard’s audio work Dawn Chorus/Evensong interrupts the denaturalized urban landscape with music derived from birds. The composition is played outdoors over multiple speakers, which produce an immersive sound from dawn until dusk. Working with a composer, Sheppard has taken spectograms of birdsongs on Lake Ontario. These images were subsequently translated onto a musical staff, and the graphic notation was then played by musicians. This sonic translation harmonizes with the urban soundscape—the sounds of streetcars, cathedral bells, cars, people, as well as local bird songs.

Co-commissioned and co-presented by the City of Toronto and the Toronto Biennial of Art,
and made possible with the generous support of the RBC Emerging Canadian Artist Program.


Lou Sheppard (born in unceded Mi’Kmaq territory, Canada; based in K’jipuktuk | Halifax, NS, Canada) is an interdisciplinary artist. Sheppard graduated from NSCAD University, Halifax and studied English and Education at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax. They use processes of translation and metaphor to interrogate structures of power in data and language. Sheppard has exhibited internationally, and was included in the first Antarctic Biennale and the Antarctic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. They received the Emerging Atlantic Artist Award and is currently Artist in Residence in the Faculty of Education at McGill University, Montreal.

Exhibition Site

Toronto Sculpture Garden

115 King St E.
Toronto ON
M5C 1G6