sound field: nearshore

Nearshore was a one hour long multi-channel spatialized sound installation created by Anne Bourne as a “soundfield” that accompanied a sculptural installation by Striped Canary.

What is heard is changed by listening and changes the listener.

Pauline Oliveros

Amidst the twisting and undulating wooden forms that crested and dove in Confluence, visitors were guided by this riveting sound work.

Statement from the artist:

Imagining rivers capped by the rushing concrete highway in cross motion, I play with the perception of time and space, using gesture, and magnification of sound. Slowed pace and subsonic, in particle form. Listening through the concrete for resonance and a geological imprint of the underground tributaries.

The nearshore, where land meets water, a vibrant more-than-human sound field, inspires a careless song. Cello microtones emulate the sound of trucks passing, to embrace the perpetual tone of the Gardiner, which plays through the heart of our city, as music. Imagine the resonance of this site, in eons, when rivers flow into the great lake system, that opens brackish to deep ocean.

What do the underground rivers sound like clear? Walking the nearshore, listening through the concrete, an immersive array of sonics becomes something not heard before, the underground lines of intention, of water.

Project Team

Composer: Anne Bourne
Sound Designer: John Gzowski
Piano performed and recorded by: Anne Bourne, St Andrews By the Lake 
Cellos performed by: Anne Bourne
Cello recorded by: seraphim
Additional cellos recorded by: Graham Walsh 
Tambora and bass drum performed by: Brandon Valdivia
Biosphere field recording reference: Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens, William W. H. Gunn, Lake Ontario, Apr 2, 1955. Macaulay Library, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

With gratitude to Stephen Vitiello, Matt Rogalsky, Mitchell Akiyama, Maria Lantin, Tom Kuo, Garnet Willis, Dispersion Lab, and Pauline Oliveros.




  • Exhibition Place

Presenting Partners

  • The Hilary & Galen Weston Foundation ​
  • ​Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund
  • ​Government of Canada


The McLean Foundation
​J.P. Bickell Foundation