Matthew Bourne (musician)

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Matthew Bourne
Born(1977-10-06)6 October 1977
Avebury, England, UK
GenresAvant-garde, Jazz
Occupation(s)Bandleader, composer, educator
InstrumentsPiano, keyboard, cello
Years active2001 - Present
Associated actsThe Electric Dr. M, Bourne/Davis/Kane, Distortion Trio

Matthew Bourne (born 6 October 1977) is a British Jazz musician.

Childhood and education[edit]

Bourne was born in Avebury, England, and grew up in a small village situated in the Cotswolds, where he took up the trombone aged nine. In 1989, Bourne attended Kingham Hill School and began playing Cello the following year. After seeing Frank Sinatra play on television in 1993, Bourne began to teach himself the piano.[1]

Bourne enrolled at Leeds College of Music in 1995 where he began to explore contemporary classical composition and avant-garde. During his time at the college he performed Michael Daugherty’s Piano concerto ‘Tombeau de Liberace’ and John Cage’s ‘Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra’. In 2001 Bourne graduated from the MMus Jazz Studies course.[2] Bourne has subsequently taught as a part-time lecturer at Leeds College of Music and has a PhD in Performance from the University of Leeds.[1]


Matthew Bourne's success began in 2001 when he was named the Perrier Young Jazz Musician of the Year. His success continued the following year when he was awarded the prize for Jazz Innovation at the BBC Radio Jazz Awards. In this period Bourne was profiled in The Observer Music Monthly as "the future sound of jazz",[2] and 2005 he won the International Jazz Festivals Organisation (IJFO) International Jazz Award. His first solo album, The Molde Concert, was recorded live at the Molde International Jazz Festival and received positive reviews. This performance showcased Bourne's inventive use of samples (including audio clips from The Simpsons and other TV shows) as well as his "cyclonic energy and virtuosity" and "ramblingly self-deprecating and sometimes off-mic announcements".[3]

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, leading to notable collaborations with artists and groups such as Nostalgia 77, Marc Ribot, Paul Dunmall, Annette Peacock, John Zorn, Pete Wareham, Barre Phillips and Tony Bevan.

Bourne has been commissioned to write works for Bath International Music Festival, London Jazz Festival, Leeds Fuse Festival as well as from pianist Joanna MacGregor and Faber Music. Bourne’s work has been broadcast on various BBC Radio and Television programmes.[1]

Montauk Variations, Bourne's first studio album as a solo artist was awarded Leftfield Album of the Year by the Sunday Times. Its "lyrical and romantic" [4] mood marked a change in musical direction from the avant-garde tone of his earlier work.[5] Montauk Variations caught the attention of Amon Tobin and Nancy Elizabeth, both of whom invited Bourne to rework their material, and Simon Green of Bonobo selected the composition "Juliet" for inclusion in his release of the Late Night Tales compilation series.

In 2015, Bourne embarked on a UK tour with an audio/visual project entitled Radioland. This was a collaboration with Antoine Schmitt and Franck Vigroux to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of Radio-Activity by Kraftwerk. The Anglo-French trio "take the album’s melodies and textures as the starting point for avant-garde explorations" [6] that saw Bourne performing on a variety of analogue synthesisers as well as singing in German through a vocoder.[6] An album of this music, entitled Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited was released digitally on The Leaf Label in December, with physical copies available in January 2016.[7]

Bourne's second solo album, moogmemory, was released on The Leaf Label on 4 March 2016. This is the only album ever recorded to feature only the Lintronics Advanced Memorymoog, a Memorymoog synthesiser converted by Rudi Linhard in a process which is the "equivalent of open heart surgery" replacing "1,300 components over eight weeks".[8] A companion EP entitled moogmemory plus was released in November 2016. The first three tracks were composed during the process of creating moogmemory, but the release also includes new material and a cover of Sussudio by Phil Collins. [9]

Discography (Collaborations)[edit]

Discography (As A Solo Artist)[edit]


  • Perrier Young Jazz Award, Musician Category, 2001
  • BBC Radio Jazz Awards, Innovation Award, 2002
  • International Jazz Festivals Organization (IJFO) International Jazz Award, 2005
  • Braaid Eisteddfod, Overseas Award, Instrumental Competition, 2007
  • International Visual Communications Association (IVCA) Bronze Award for Music (shared with Dan Berridge), 2007


  1. ^ a b c Matthew - Bio
  2. ^ a b Leeds College of Music - Alumni and Fellowships Archived 30 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Fordham, John (3 August 2007). "Matthew Bourne, The Molde Concert". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  4. ^ Longley, Martin (2012). "Matthew Bourne, Montauk Variations Review". BBC Music. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Montauk Variations". The Leaf Label. 6 February 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b Lewis, John (23 March 2015). "Radioland: Kraftwerk's Radio-Activity Revisited review". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited". The Leaf Label. 29 September 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  8. ^ "moogmemory". The Leaf Label. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  9. ^ "moogmemory plus". The Leaf Label. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.

External links[edit]