'This is Anne Bourne, she is a cellist, keyboardist, vocalist and composer whose work in pop, rock and experimental music makes her Toronto's most ubiquitous secret weapon. Bourne is a gifted improviser who has worked with electronic art music pioneer Pauline Oliveros. She's an important figure in the city's avant-garde scene but also your go-to if you need a beautiful cello line in the sweet spot of your latest chamber pop masterpiece. She is fucking great.'   Allison Outhit (FACTOR) Now Magazine March 2016

At the Invitation oF Banff Centre for Art and Creativity Directors of Music Claire Chase and Steve Schick, and Director Of dance Emily Molnar, Anne joined the Faculty of the Creative Gesture: Collective Composition Lab, For Composers, Choreographers and Dancers. Anne imparts Listening Meditation and the Text Scores of Pauline Oliveros to Explore Presence and attention with the intersection of sound and gesture To allow new work and new ways to emerge through improvisation. CCLAB This summer July 28-Aug 11 2019

Anne believes each creative expression is an opportunity for holding the beauty of difference, through listening. 

Selected performances

May Waves Rise a live improvisation with film maker Matthieu Hallé film projection by candle light and live composition with Anne Bourne piano. 2019

APT an improvised trio, Live Image mix by renowned Swiss Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler, Anne Bourne cello and voice, and Taiwanese/ Canadian electronic musician Tom Kuo, Ohm Festival, Electric Eclectics Festival, 2009-11  youtu.be/JDV-jKAa9N8

Pauline Oliveros Telematic concert between Guelph, New York and Bogota, Columbia, Anne Bourne Jesse Stewart Ben Grossman Guelph, Jonas Braasch Doug Van Nort, New York, Ricardo Arias Bogota, Guelph Jazz Festival, 2010  vimeo.com/32304999

grain(san installation by Omaskeko Cree visual artist Duane Linklater, who deconstructed films 'Woman of the Dunes' and 'Nanook of the North', under his direction I transcribed his edit of Takemitsu's Dune score for solo cello, and Alutiiq poet/choreographer Tanya Lukin Linklater, transcribed the animal and human movement from 'Nanook' for dancer in a 45 minute performace to reflect the alteration of the film's portrayal in sand and ice, Images Festival, 2013

Returning Current interpreting whale and elephant composition, with 12 voices and solo cello, under the direction of Arts and Crafts recording artist Daniella Gesundheit, and renowned bioacoustician Katherine Payne, Music Gallery, 2014

Motion Memory and Mermaids an improvised duo concert set by composer Pauline Oliveros: V accordion, and Anne Bourne cello. Both instruments processed through the Oliveros Expanded Instrument System, EIS, in 16 channel surround, Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, 2014

 John Oswald’s a somewhat large ensemble a series of emergent performances with singer Mary Margaret O’Hara, 2014

John Oswald's Spectre for #1000 strings, Anne Bourne was featured cellist with Carol Gimbel's Wychwood Quartet, INTERsection Festival,Toronto, 2015  youtu.be/H36Ru1YUO8Y

Improvisation Anne performed in a 'Deep Listening' hour long improvisation over telepresence with Doug Van Nort in the DisPerSion Lab in Toronto, connecting with Chris Chafe at Stanford (CA) and Pauline Oliveros and Jonas Braasch at CRAIVE Lab at Rensellaer (NY) on March 29 2016

Improvised Quartet XAVANT Anne performed with Pauline Oliveros Doug van Nort and Ione in an electroacoustic improvisation for XAvant at the Music Gallery, October of 2016 

Every Sound is a small Action and Broke World, Intermedia Installation artist/ composer Christopher Willes; Satellite Anne Bourne live performance Gallery 8-11, Toronto December 2016   christopherwilles.com/satellite/

Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016 Memorial Intermedia Event, Produced by ICE with Ione, Park Avenue Armory, New York City, February 2017 in honour of Pauline Oliveros Anne performed solo cello and voice, her text score 'Horse Sings from Cloud' playing Pauline's grandfather's cello, leading 'TheTuning Meditation' for many voices. As Stuart Dempster noted a sound that one cannot forget. This lead to Anne's inspiration to keep the sound of the Tuning Meditation for all voices resonaant on the planet for as long as possible. Anne travelled with this score over the course of the following year Imparting it in places as divers as the Obey Festival in Halifax to the Royal Geographical Society Conference on the Soundscape of wellbeing in London UK 2017, and continues to offer the community sounding experience in a series of Deep Listening Intensives at the Music Gallery among other presenters.

Still Listening Oliveros Memorial Concert and Installation at Duchow Library McGill University. For the installation of scores for Pauline Elysha Poirier created an animation of Anne's score 'Dreaming in the Womb' called Meridiens.  stilllisteningoliveros.com/meridians/

Ione spoken word reading of Dreams of Pauline AnneBourne and Claire Chase improvised accompaniment Montreal Nada June 2017.

Tone Festival Anne appeared at the Toronto in an electroacoustic collaboration with Matt Rogalsky June 2017.

Beethoven was a Lesbian* ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, UCLA, in October 2017 Anne travelled with spoken word artist Ione and the International Contemporary Ensemble to Los Angeles for a residency to impart the score for Oliveros' Primordial/Lift to prepare for Huddersfield (* from the postcard series 

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival  Primordial/Lift curated by Artistic Director Graham McKenzie, and Ross Karre Artistic Director of I.C.E. UK, Performance with Artistic Directors Ione, and Anne Bourne, members of ICE Joshua Rubin Daniel Lipell Ross Karre Fritz Hauser and Members of Distraktfold Linda Jankowski Alice Purton and Mauricio Pauly November 2017

3-2-1 Dance Tour of Ontario Duet with Choreographer Robert Desrosiers Composer Anne Bourne Solo Cello and Voice Performing Arts Theatre Network, 2018

Map by Years Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Anne Bourne performance of Karen Tanaka Song of Songs to accompany Krishna's Mouth Choreographed by Peggy Baker Danced by Andrea Nann and Natasha Bakht The Theatre Centre Toronto 2018

Moonhorse Dance/ Older and Reckless (Artistic Director Claudia Moore) Duet with Robert Desrosiers Composer Anne Bourne Solo Cello and Voice, St Catherines, ON 2018




"an earthy unrestrained musical force" - James Hale CODA

Biography (50wd)

Composer Anne Bourne creates soundfields from emergent streams of cello, voice, piano, and written words. Anne imparts the text scores and listening practice of composer Pauline Oliveros. Seasoned in international intermedia performance and song recording, Anne believes creative expression is an opportunity for attending the beauty of difference, through listening. 




Composer Anne Bourne improvises parallel streams of extended cello, voice, and piano, for dance, media, art and words. Anne began performing and recording internationally with acclaimed songwriter Jane Siberry. She shifted to collaborative emergent sound with artists such as pianist Eve Egoyan, composers Fred Frith and John Oswald; choreographer Andrea Nann and author Michael Ondaatje; Omaskeko Cree artist Duane Linklater and Alutiq artist Tanya Lukin-Linklater; filmmaker and live image mixer Peter Mettler; choreographer Robert Desrosiers; and renowned composer Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016. Anne performed the works of living composers James Tenney, Nicholas Collins, Alvin Lucier, and Pauline Oliveros 1932-2016. After a experiencing a performance in telepresence with Oliveros in New York, Anne spent a series of summers in the mountains of northern New Mexico with Oliveros, listening, and was inspired to shift her way of engaging with sound in the world, and singing. Anne's memoir of Rose Mountain is found in 'Anthology of Essays on Deep Listening.' Anne improvised in the New York premier of Oliveros’ composition 'Primordial/Lift,' in 1998, and appeared with her on all subsequent performances and recordings, the last at Issue Project Room, Brooklyn, 2013. Anne performed 'Primordial/ Lift' with Ione, International Contemporary Ensemble, Fritz Hauser, and Distraktfold at the Contemporary Music Festival of Huddersfield UK, November 2017. On faculty at the Banff Centre for Art and Creativity, Collective Composition Lab, Anne imparts the Oliveros text scores and explores the intersection of sound and gesture. Anne was the recipient of a 2017 Paul D. Fleck Fellowship at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Anne believes each creative expression is an opportunity for holding the beauty of difference through listening. 



Composer Anne Bourne improvises parallel streams of extended cello. voice, and piano for dance, media, art and words. 


Emerging as an arranger and accompanist, keyboard player for songwriter Jane Siberry, in 1982. Anne recorded and traveled internationally as a concert performer, with Jane and many award-winning songwriters on Warner Music, Reprise and WEA. Noteably Anne was also a founding member in world songstress Loreena McKennit's band participating in the development and celebratory international debut in Spain. Anne has played on several multiple-platinum recordings in Canada that were Juno and Grammy award winning, including 'Blue Rodeo's 5 Days in July' on which Anne was invited to the legendary farm recording to sing back ups with Sarah MacLachlan and improvise cello on several songs, especially Greg Keelor's ballad What is this Love. Anne accompanied Greg Keelor with Sarah McLachlin on his solo recording produced by Pierre Marchand and toured the recording with Greg nationally. Anne's work can be heard on Loreena McKennit's Juno and Grammy award winning recordings including 'Book of Secrets' which achieved mulitple Platinum in Canada, USA, Argentina, and Germany.

After appearing as a guest artist with her brother Pete Bourne for the recordings of his band Copyright, Geffen with the famed punk friends Thomas Anselmi and Christian Thorvaldson of Slow. Anne recorded on the epic Smile by Ian Blurton Change of Heart and van toured to Montreal. Anne also recorded with Glenn Milchem on the debut of his independent solo project The Swallows.

Anne released several singles during this time including the original songs 'Evangeline' on Moose Records, released with performances to raise awareness for the Oka Crisis. Anne's song 'Las Vegas' was recorded by Damhnait Doyle, for EMI. Anne was signed to northern California label Wyndham Hill for their singer songwriter debut. Anne's single ‘Blue Ballet’ was produced and recorded by Jocelyne Lanois, released on Legacy, 1989.


As resident composer for Robert Desrosier Dance Theatre, Anne began a practice of creating music for the dancer as a living score. Anne’s creation and performance collaboration with choreographer/dancer Andrea Nann produced a series of dances called Meditations which culminated in a score for a solo piece Andrea developed with author Michael Ondaatje, titled ‘Meditation IV: on loss and desire,’ with opening text from his novel ‘Anil’s Ghost’ as a point of departure. Anne received a Golden Sheaf Award for Best Original Music, 2005, for her composition in the film version of this piece, directed by Veronica Tennant. Anne also composed and performed emergent music for Azerbaijani dancer/choreographer Sashar Zarif, in which a theatrical staging required her to spin while playing cello and singing. In collaboration with choreographer Yvonne Ng, anne improvised cello and voice while Yvonne danced her solo involving one hundred pairs of shoes placed in the lines of the Chartres labyrinth.


Anne composed for film, notably her score for Sous Sol, for Montreal producers Max Films; also in collaboration with Ken Myhr with director Peter Lynch, Project Grizzly, for NFB; in Atom Egoyan’s Cannes award winning film ‘The Sweet Hereafter,’ improvising voice and cello with Sarah Polley in collaboration with composer Mychael Danna; and on Peter Mettler’s ‘ The Top of his Head,’ for composer Fred Frith. Anne also composed scores for NFB and CBC producer Michael Allder, first at the National Film Board, and then working with Ken Myhr and producer Allder to redesign the theme song and scoring for David Suzuki ‘The Nature of Things,’ for CBC.


Improvisation was a sanctuary for Anne. After her departure from classical concert piano training, her involvement in the deconstructionist improvisation dialect in Toronto began with witnessing CCMC at the first the Music Gallery on St Patrick St. David Mott invited her to join the late 70's improv group New Music Coop, lead at the time by David Mott and Tina Pearson at the time and based in the Music Gallery. The first guest composer she worked with was James Tenney. After meeting John Oswald at a composers meeting at Linda Catlin Smith's home, Anne joined a long running trio with John Oswald and Music Gallery Record Label and Glass Orchestra founder Marvin Green. John's ensemble expanded to include David Prentice and Tinna Kiik and as a quartet they travelled to Argentina to perform in Experimenta 97

Anne began to shift her focus from songs to improvisation as a performer, songs without words.

Fred Frith who Anne had recorded with in Montreal on the score of a Peter Mettler feature film, called her up to make a trio concert enroute to NY. Fred suggested a trio with John Oswald as the three often ran into each other in Montreal at New Music America and  at FIMAV in Victoriaville Quebec . The Rivoli concert was recorded by Phil Strong and after an edit and mix by Fred with Myles Boisen, collectively titled dearness and released on Spool, in 1998. Anne decided to release this recording after rejecting the previously abstaining from recording in her practice, because she was five months pregnant with her daughter, and she thought it might be interesting for her to hear a recording that was made while she was in utero.

At the Guelph Jazz Festival Anne was invited to perform a duo with New York drummer the graceful phenomena Susie Ibarra the morning after the last concert Susie played with In Order to Survive Quartet. William Parker played solo. 

While Fred Frith and Pauline Oliveros were both on Faculty at Mills College in Oakland they invited Anne to come down to play a concert, Fred said Anne was the one thing they had in common. Anne travelled to Mills with her young daughter in tow and performed an improvised concert with Fred Frith Pauline Oliveros and India Cooke

In a trio APT Anne Improvised voice and amplified cello with Taiwanese via Long Island electronic musician Tom Kuo, and live image and sound mix by renowned Swiss- Canadian film maker Peter Mettler, marathon performances were improvised at OHM Festival and at Electric Eclectics

Anne improvised compositions with pianist Eve Egoyan, performing live at the Stone in New York with Eve and Fred Frith.

Anne was introduced to composer Pauline Oliveros in 1994 when she was invited by composer James Tenney to perform in a distance concert with Deep Listening Band (Pauline Oliveros Stuart Dempster and David Gamper) based at The Kitchen in NY, with ensembles in Paris and Toronto. Each ensemble improvised together via PictureTel, with audiences in each city. This began a long phrase, and inspired an opening up of the composer's way; the way distance concerts could dissolve political boundaries for sonic gestures of compassion, and the technological development of an architecture for this, the way peace could be more exciting than war, was a rare comet moment for Anne. 

Following this experience in 1994, Anne began annual summer journey's to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, to retreat with Pauline Oliveros, Ione and Heloise Gold where Anne developed a Deep Listening practice. Anne was one of the first six, les six    (Anne Bourne, Abbie Conant, Norman Lowrey, Tom Bickley, Dominique Mazeaud, Kim and Abbie Conant,) to receive a Deep Listening Certificate to teach Oliveros' text scores. In the summer of 2018 les six will be honoured, as will Pauline Oliveros for the 20th anniversary at a retreat in Sonoma CA.

As a performer Anne engaged with Oliveros in a stream of compositions and performances, including the improvised 'Lunar Opera' at Damrosch Park, Lincoln Centre in NY, 2000. Anne was both Communications Producer and performer for the International Convergence: a gesture of sonic peace. For the Convergence musicians gathered to form ensembles online from Switzerland, Australia, Canada and the US. Sound pieces were composed between sound artists, visual artists, spoken word artists, musicians and composers. At a time when conflict was rising, the Convergence opened another way of connecting for a sensory creative experience. 

Also over this long phrase of being present with and for Pauline, Anne performed the premier of Oliveros’ composition Primordial/Lift, NY, with Pauline, David Grubbs and Tony Conrad, for release on Table of the Elements, in 1998, and all subsequent performances and recordings, including vinyl on TAIGA, 2010, and the 2013 reprise at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY. Anne presented Oliveros' graphic/text score at Art and Science of Deep Listening conference, EMPAC, NY, 2014. Primordial/Lift is a piece that encourages the listener to track the resonant frequency of the earth, while listening for the microbiological processes of the body.

One listens as if the earth is a being, sub-audible sound is perceived by it's gradual changing.

Pauline Oliveros' Primordial Lift (1998) structures the musicians' performances around a low frequency oscillator, a mirror to the resonate frequency of the earth in its acceleration from 7.8 to 13hz and beyond at which point the magnetic fields of the earth pass through a zero point and a polar shift may occur. The performers play an abstract mass of cello, guitar, violin, glass drones and accordion as the oscillator matches a steady, imperceptible shift in amplitude in step from 7.8hz through 13hz ("Primordial") for the first 45 minutes, then plateaus for a further 30 ("Lift"). Tonight marks the third performance of this complex and surreal work. Primordial Lift was last performed at ISSUE in 2010, released as a double-LP on Tiaga in 2012. (Issue Project Room 2013)

In 2017, Anne and Ione were invited by Artistic Director of ICE Ross Karre, and Graham McKenzie, Artistic Director of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, to impart the score of 'Primordial/Lift,' to International Contemporary Ensemble, with Swiss-based percussionist Fritz Hauser, and UK ensemble Distrakfold, for performance at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, UK, November 2017.