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Matthew Bourne

Musician in Residence in Xiamen, China
24 February – 6 April 2012

Born October 6th, 1977, Avebury, England, pianist and composer Matthew Bourne first came to national attention as one of the winners of the Perrier Jazz Awards in London, 2001. In the same year Bourne graduated from Leeds College of Music.

About his upcoming visit to China, Matthew told us, “It is wonderful to have been given the opportunity to create new music – especially in a country as dynamic as China and within the uniqueness of a city such as Xiamen. I am very much looking forward to being inspired by Xiamen and its people, involving them in the creative process and hopefully learning much from each other throughout the duration of the residency.”

Bourne’s unique ability to create powerful imagery through an esoteric piano language along with spoken word samples earned him the Innovation Award at the BBC Radio Jazz Awards in 2002. Bourne continued to develop this methodology, delivering intense and highly personal performances at an international level – many of these becoming the focus of Bourne’s PhD research, undertaken at the University of Leeds. During this period Bourne was the recipient of the IJFO (International Jazz Festivals Organisation) International Jazz Award in 2005, performing at key international festivals in mainland Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and the USA.

By this stage, Bourne had also become co-leader of The Electric Dr M, Distortion Trio and Bourne/Davis/Kane and was beginning to work in a wider context, in the UK and Europe, with other international jazz musicians and with producers such as Dan Berridge (Broadway Project) – a successful partnership that has resulted in the music for two albums (In Finite [2006] and One Divided Soul [2009]) and three award-winning films (Indians [Richard Penfold, UK, 2005], Here is Always Somewhere Else [Rene Daalder, USA, 2008] and Flikan (The Girl) [Fredrik Edfeldt, Sweden, 2009]).

Throughout the last decade Bourne’s particular stamp of individuality and virtuosity, combined with an uncanny ability to communicate with his audiences, attracted commissions from major festivals and organisations to write and produce large-scale projects (The Glenn Miller Project [Leeds Fuse Festival, 2006], Ending [Conservatoires UK, 2007] and Songs from a Lost Piano [Arts Council/Sound and Music, 2009] and music for dance (Mekwae and The Dancical [RJC Dance, 2004/2006]), as well as classical composition (…and I didn’t fall in love, again. Autumn 2004 [BBC/London Jazz Festival, 2004] and Written/Unwritten [London Sinfonietta, 2011]) and collaborative electronic works (Phone Book [Michael Tippett Foundation/Bath International Festival, 2006] and Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals [FuseLeeds, 2009]).

Bourne has released two solo albums (The Molde Concert, 2007 and Montauk Variations, 2011) as well as several collaborative works.

Bourne has continued to pursue his interest in music education, working for a number of years at Leeds College of Music, lecturing in principal study piano, composition and composition analysis. He became Artist in Residence in 2008, leaving in 2010 to pursue his own projects as a leader.

Bourne continues to be in constant demand as a pianist and analogue synthesist and has recorded and performed with Sam Hobbs, Franck Vigroux, Laurent Dehors, Marc Ducret, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Andrea Centazzo, Seaming To, Peter Wareham, Barre Phillips, Roger Turner, Paul Dunmall, Tony Bevan, Annette Peacock and Nostalgia 77.