DAVID HYKES (www.harmonicpresence.org)
Composer and singer, music and meditation retreat and workshop leader, visual artist, writer and long-time spiritual practitioner, David Hykes has been a leading pioneer in the sacred sounds revival worldwide since 1975. The musical and meditative vehicles of his approach --his vocal "music of the spheres" Harmonic Chant, and the Harmonic Presence work-- blend spiritual cosmology, music, meditation, sound yoga, and healing harmonization. They are a principal source for the modern overtone chanting and healing sounds movements. His work has been honed, blessed and transformed by direct contact and dialogue with a number of traditional teachers. He has had the honor to contribute music to collaborations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Gyuto and Gyume monks of Tibet, to the feature film "Travellers and Magicians," by incarnate lama Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, and to "Journey into Buddhism," the trilogy of Buddhist documentary films by John Bush. He was honored to give music to the Gurdjieff Work for the film "Meetings with Remarkable Men," and by the support of Yehudi Menuhin. He has contributed music to the films "Dead Poets Society", "Ghost" and "Baraka", among many others. He has been giving concerts, retreats and seminars in many different countries since 1975, the year he founded The Harmonic Choir in New York. The modern "harmonic singing," "overtone singing" (terms he created) and "healing sounds" fields were just some of the doors opened by the first of his 10 CDs, "Hearing Solar Winds," with The Harmonic Choir, the world's best-known vocal overtone CD, released in 1983 and, some 300,000 copies later, re-mastered and re-released by the Harmonic Presence Foundation in 2008.
His musical influences and inspirations include teachings and sacred chant traditions from Tibet, Tuva, Mongolia--he was among the first western pioneers of "throat singing", visiting Mongolia in 1981 and collaborating with the Gyuto and Gyume monks in New York in 1985; medieval European chant (he initiated harmonic explorations in Western sacred space in 1978, in the Thoronet Abbey); Advaita Vedanta, Indian nondual philosophy, and his close friend and mentor, the late North Indian raga singer Sheila Dhar; cosmology and astrophysics; the Gurdjieff-de Hartmann music and its source teachings; Just Intonation composer-performer pioneers La Monte Young and Terry Riley whom he met in New York in 1974; master composer Steve Reich; and Sufi music from Persia and Turkey.
Hykes was born in Taos, New Mexico in 1953, where his Taos Pueblo godmother said to him, "we gave you the privilege to sing". He grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attended Antioch College and Columbia University, lived in New York City from 1974-1987and moved to France in 1987 at the invitation of the French Ministry of Culture, where he maintains a retreat and research center in a 12th century Cistercian stone farm-site and park in a forest southwest of Paris, traveling the world giving concerts and retreats dedicated to transformation and healing through sound, listening, and meditative awareness practices. He gives concerts and sound meditation events as a solo artist, with The Harmonic Choir, and his other groups in dozens of countries, festivals, cities, sacred spaces and spiritual communities around the world. He conducts retreats, seminars and workshops in major centers in Europe and America. David Hykes is the author of numerous private publications, oral teachings, and recordings about cosmological music and meditation. Information about his retreats, concerts, and teachings is available through www.harmonicpresence.org or by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.