One year after the collaboration with London-based producer Kelly Lee Owens and 2020’s solo piano track “Scene Suspended“, British producer and composer Jon Hopkins shared a new track titled “Singing Bowl (Ascension)” which is out now via Domino. It is the first in a new series of ‘Meditations’.
To create this piece, Hopkins recorded a range of vibrations created by a 100 year-old singing bowl found in an antique shop in Delhi. He then fed these into a laptop running a simple, generative system that triggered the hits and drones at random. This would allow synchronicity to play a central part in the composition process, and remove as much ‘thinking’ as possible from the writing. An earlier version of this generative piece was used as a sound installation at last year’s Helsinki Arts Festival.
He explains: “Like so many people I felt pretty paralysed by this situation when it first unfolded. All my plans for the year were cancelled, and everything felt so weird and dreamlike. But gradually I found I wanted to create something – to find peace and perspective through making music, as I have always done.
It felt beautifully pure to just use one acoustic sound source, and no synths. It was liberating to write something without playing anything on a keyboard – to avoid the familiar diatonic scale for the first time, and thus avoid any of my own conditioned playing habits. There was a magic in setting this generative system in motion then just letting the vibrations of this bowl create their own world. I listened to harmonics layering on top of harmonics for hours and was transported.”