|Birth name||Jonathan Julian Hopkins|
|Born||1979 (age 33–34)|
|Genres||Electronica, Ambient Music|
|Instruments||Keyboard, Organ, Piano, harmonium|
|Labels||Just Music, Domino Records, Double Six|
|Associated acts||Brian Eno
Jon Hopkins (born 1979) is a London-based producer and musician who writes and performs his own melodic electronica and dance music. After starting his career performing keyboard for Imogen Heap, he has produced or contributed to albums by Brian Eno, Coldplay, David Holmes, and others. Hopkins composed the soundtrack for the 2010 film Monsters, which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Score. His third solo album, Insides, reached #15 on the Dance/Electronic Album Chart in 2009,. His collaborations on Small Craft on a Milk Sea with Brian Eno and Leo Abrahams and Diamond Mine with King Creosote both reached #82 on the UK Albums Chart. In 2011 Diamond Mine was nominated for a Mercury Prize, which is annually awarded for best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Jon Hopkins was born in 1979 in Wimbledon in the South of London, where he was raised. He first became aware of electronic music after hearing early house music on the radio at the age of seven or eight, and also became an avid fan of Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys. These records inspired an early fascination with synths.
At the age of 12 Hopkins began studying piano at the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music in London, where he continued until age 17. The composers that were greatly influential to him whilst studying were Ravel and Stravinsky, and he eventually won a competition to perform a concert of Ravel's Piano Concerto in G with an orchestra. For a time Hopkins considered becoming a professional pianist, only to decide classical performance was too formal and unnerving to pursue full time.
As a teenager he also listened avidly to acid house, early hardcore, grunge, as well as electronica artists such as Acen, Seefeel, and Plaid. When Hopkins was 14 he got his first computer, an Amiga 500, and started programming midi material. By the age of 15 he had saved up enough money from winning piano competitions to buy a low-level professional Roland synth, and on this he began creating his first full-length electronic compositions.
After finishing his final exams at age 17, Hopkins accompanied his friend Leo Abrahams to an audition for Imogen Heap's backing band. Hopkins decided to audition as well, and was hired to handle both keyboard and samples, while Abrahams was hired as guitarist. He toured with the new band for the entirety of 1998.
In 1999 Hopkins signed with boutique London label Just Music as a solo artist, and began recording his debut album Opalescent. At the time he was also working part-time as a studio session musician. Opalescent attracted positive press attention upon its release, and several tracks were licensed to Sex and the City.
The Guardian reviewed it as "Opalescent is a beautifully realized debut. Using synth oozes, phased and echoed guitars and pianos and chilled beats, his wonderful tunes drift from calm to eerie power like a restless sea. It will delight any lovers of beautiful music." DJ Magazine gave it 4/5 stars, and stated "Piano, guitar strings and slow beats blend like the clouds at sunset (or an opiate smoothy) filtering in and out like elegantly wasted beauty. Darker drums add a further depth."
- Contact Note
Hopkins released his second album, Contact Note, on Just Music in 2004 while still working as a studio musician. The album slowly gained an underground following but failed to take off, and led Hopkins to become disillusioned with his solo career, and take a break from writing in order to learn how to become a producer.
By 2004 Leo Abrahams, a friend of Hopkins and former guitarist for Imogen Heap, had been collaborating for some time with ambient musician and producer Brian Eno. Abrahams played some of Hopkins' second record for Eno, and Eno invited him to join them for a jam session. On the first day of their collaboration they came up with some of the music for Eno's upcoming album Another Day on Earth, and Hopkins became a long-term collaborator.
Shortly afterwards Hopkins also produced King Creosote's album Bombshell, which initiated his relationship with the Fence Collective. He also co-wrote tracks with DJ and composer David Holmes for Holmes' Holy Pictures album, and remixed for James Yorkston.
In early 2007 Hopkins was invited by Brian Eno, who was producing Coldplay's upcoming album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends, to join the band in the studio for a day. Hopkins ended up staying and contributing to the album for the next year, co-producing several tracks and playing organs, harmoniums, and other keyboard instruments on others. The intro to the track "Violet Hill" came from an improvisation with Hopkins and Davide Rossi, the album's string arranger. Throughout this time period Hopkins was periodically creating his own solo tracks, and his song "Light Through the Veins" was adapted to serve as the introduction to the album's first track "Life In Technicolor." "Light Through the Veins" was also picked by the band to serve as the backing for the track "The Escapist", which is hidden at the end of the album. Viva la Vida was released in 2008, and won Best Rock Album at the 2009 Grammy Awards and became the best selling album of 2008. Various people working upon the band's next album, Mylo Xyloto, have also mentioned that he is involved with the songwriting of the album.
After the album release Coldplay asked Hopkins to serve as the pre-show DJ and opening act for their 2008 World Tour. Hopkins toured with the band for six months through England, the United States, and Japan. He performed at venues as varied as Madison Square Garden and the London O2 Arena, often to crowds as large as 20,000 people.
Hopkins also has co-writing or producing credits on albums by artists such as David Holmes and Dan Arborise. He is also known for remixing a variety of artists, including Wild Beasts, Nosaj Thing, Imogen Heap, Four Tet, and James Yorkston. He was also one of the few producers chosen by Radio 1's Rob Da Bank to remix film director David Lynch's first electronica release, "Good Day Today" / "I Know", which was released on Sunday Best Records.
In 2008 Hopkins was commissioned by choreographer Wayne McGregor to compose music for Entity, a production of McGregor's "Random Dance" group. Entity was performed live at Sadler's Wells in April 2008 to critical acclaim. A world tour followed throughout 2008 and 2009.
Hopkins signed to Domino Records in late 2008. Hopkins's third album, Insides, was released by Domino Records on May 5, 2009. It included the track "Light Through the Veins", which had previously been used on the Coldplay album. Some of the tracks had been written by Hopkins sporadically since his last release, while others were based on the music he had composed for the Entity production.
Hopkins developed an intense live show to support the release, resulting in club and festival performances across Europe and the United States. He secured supporting slots with The xx, Röyksopp, and Four Tet. Many of his live shows utilized background visuals featuring the animations of Vince Collins.
According to reviews, the album "takes its cues from ambient electronica, but uses strings and piano, along with some very tasty beats and dubstep-influenced bass on some tracks." TinyMixTapes stated the album "strikes me as his single most aggressive release yet. His sense of timing, the clarity of his production, and the variety of effects he employs draw you into the story that each instrumental tells. Jon Hopkins is not a button-pushing man of presets; he is a bona fide composer and a trained pianist. Craftsmanship sets him apart, and allows Insides to be as incredibly moving as it is and always will be. It will easily be one of the best electronic albums of 2009."
Paul Clarke of the BBC wrote that "Hopkins [is] capable of producing music as epic, soaring and emotional as any power ballad in his own way. Take "Light Through The Veins" for example...a close relative of Ulrich Schnauss' "In All The Wrong Places", it's a majestic piece of widescreen shoegazing which grows ever more expansive throughout its entire ten minute duration...no amount of reflected glory could ever fully illuminate Insides' mysterious depths."
In June 2009 Hopkins was invited by Brian Eno to play some solo shows at the Luminous Festival at the Sydney Opera House. A few weeks prior to leaving, Brian Eno asked Hopkins to join with himself, Underworld's Karl Hyde, Leo Abrahams, and the Sydney-based improv trio The Necks in the group "Pure Scenius", the planned finale for the Luminous Festival. They then improvised music based on pre-planned themes, putting on three 1.5 hour shows in the Opera House with Hyde on vocals. Pure Scenius was repeated a year later in Brighton, when Eno was curating the Brighton Festival.
Also in 2009, Hopkins collaborated with Tunng on the EP Seven Gulps of Air, which was commissioned by designer Christopher Kelly for London Fashion Week. Seven Gulps of Air was listed as one of Drowned in Sound's singles of the year.
In 2009 Hopkins collaborated with Brian Eno and Leo Abrahams to score the Peter Jackson film The Lovely Bones. In early 2010 Hopkins composed the score for the short film Rob and Valentyna in Scotland directed by Eric Lynne, which won an honorable mention for the short film-making award at Sundance.
In 2010 Hopkins was commissioned to create the soundtrack for the British science fiction film Monsters, which was directed by Gareth Edwards. To create the score, Hopkins partly utilized string parts performed by arranger Davide Rossi and guitar by Leo Abrahams. The soundtrack album was released on November 29, 2010 on Domino Records. In 2011 the score was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Score.
- Small Craft on a Milk Sea (2010)
In 2010 Hopkins collaborated with Leo Abrahams and Brian Eno to create the album Small Craft on a Milk Sea. Released on Warp Records in late 2010, the album is based on a three-week session of improvisation wherein the artists recorded about six hours of material a day.
- Diamond Mine (2011)
In 2011 Hopkins collaborated with Scottish musician King Creosote to create the album Diamond Mine, which featured lyrics and vocals by Creosote sung over musical backdrops arranged and recorded by Hopkins. The album was a culmination of about seven weeks of work spread over seven years of recording and collaboration, from whenever the two artists had the opportunity to get together. The album was released on March 28, 2011 to positive acclaim, which included a glowing review from NPR. On July 19, 2011, Hopkins and Anderson were announced as nominees for the 2011 Barclaycard Mercury Prize, which is annually awarded for best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Since 2009 Hopkins has performed shows at music festivals such as Moogfest, Mutek in Montreal, and Electric Zoo in New York, as well as several performances at influential LA/San Francisco club night Low End Theory. In 2008 and 2009 he supported Coldplay at venues including Madison Square Garden and the London O2 Arena, to crowds as large as 20,000 people. Between 2009 and 2011 he also toured with acts such as Four Tet, The xx, and Röyksopp.
On March 6, 2013, Hopkins announced that his fourth solo album - entitled Immunity - would be released by Domino Records on June 4 in North America, and June 3 in the rest of the world. A trailer for the album featuring a snippet of an (as yet) unnamed track from the album was made available through YouTube. The first single "Open Eye Signal" was uploaded on Pitchfork's YouTube channel on April 24, 2013.
According to reviews, "Hopkins's aesthetic is perpetually intriguing. He transcends genres, melding digital coldness with subtle, bucolic textures; veering from skewed elegance to strange, unsettling depths." "He makes powerfully emotive, instrumental music that consistently crosses genres, ranging from solo acoustic piano to explosive, bass-heavy electro." Also, he "meticulously constructs lush, downtempo arrangements, blending digital beats and soothing ambience."
As of September 2010 his studio setup relies on a Logic system, though all his previous releases were on Cubase VST, used in conjunction with an old version of SoundForge. He began using Logic when it became clear that his old system was not powerful enough to handle video for film soundtracks.
- Studio albums
|5.||"Lost in Thought"|
|11.||"Cold Out There"|
|2004: Contact Note|
|2.||"Second Sense" (vocals by Imogen Heap)|
|3.||"Contact Note" (vocals by Lisa Lindley-Jones)|
|9.||"Reprise" (vocals by Imogen Heap and Lisa Lindley-Jones)|
|11.||"Black & Red"|
|12.||"Luna Moth" (vocals by Lisa Lindley-Jones)|
|2009: Insides - Dance/Electronic Album Chart #15|
|1.||"The Wider Sun"||2:37|
|6.||"Light Through the Veins" (samples on Coldplay's "Life in Technicolor" and "The Escapist", from "Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends")||9:21|
|7.||"The Low Places"||6:37|
|9.||"A Drifting Up"||6:29|
|2010: Monsters Original Soundtrack|
|2.||"Open Eye Signal"|
|3.||"Breathe This Air"|
|6.||"Form By Firelight"|
|2006: The Fourth State|
|1.||"The Fourth State"||32:14|
|2009: Seven Gulps of Air EP|
|1.||"Seven Gulps of Air" (with Tunng)||3:36|
|2.||"Small Memory (Tunng remix)"||4:57|
|3.||"The Low Places (Geese remix)"||6:59|
|4.||"A Drifting Down" (a new version of "A Drifting Up")||6:57|
|5.||"Light Through the Veins (Tom Middleton remodel)"||9:09|
|1.||"Vessel (Four Tet remix)"||??|
|2.||"Wire (Nathan Fake remix)"||??|
|2009: "Light Through the Veins"|
|1.||"Light Through the Veins"||9:25|
|2.||"Light Through the Veins (Radio Edit)"||4:21|
|3.||"Light Through the Veins (David Holmes remix)"||6:40|
|4.||"Light Through the Veins (Ewan Pearson's Dowtown Lights remix)"||14:35|
|2011: "Bubble" (With King Creosote)|
- Collaborative albums
|Year||Album details||UK Albums Chart||Notes|
|2010||Small Craft on a Milk Sea
|Honest Words (EP)
|2012||The Jubilee (EP)
- Musical contributions
- 2005: Another Day on Earth by Brian Eno - keyboards
- 2006: Around in Circles by Dan Arborise - production, mixing
- 2006: De-Fence 10x10:02 EP
- 2007: Bombshell by King Creosote - production, mixing
- 2008: Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay - co-production, co-writing, keyboards
- 2008: The Holy Pictures by David Holmes
- 2011: Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay - "light and magic", keyboards
- 2006: "Wire" on Electric Fence
- 2011: "Abandon Window" on For Nihon
- 2002: "Breathe In" by Frou Frou
- 2003: "Deepest Blue" by Deepest Blue
- 2004: "Evergreen" by Clarkesville
- 2005: "Vice-Like Gist of It" by King Creosote
- 2006: "Spider" by Leo Abrahams (2006)
- 2007: "Woozy With Cider" by James Yorkston
- 2007: "Green Grows the Laurel" by The Memory Band
- 2009: "First Train Home" by Imogen Heap
- 2009: "Hey, Who Really Cares" by Headless Heroes (ft. Alela Diane)
- 2010: "Two Dancers" by Wild Beasts
- 2010: "Angel Echoes" by Four Tet
- 2010: "Us" by Nosaj Thing
- 2011: "I Know" by David Lynch
- 2011: "Panta Rei" by Agoria
- Ranta, Alan (2009). "TinyMixTapes review". TinyMixTapes. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Monsters Original Soundtrack". Domino Records. November 29, 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Monsters (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". Amazon.com. November 29, 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Insides Charts as Number 15 for Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. May 23, 2009. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Home Page". JonHopkins.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "King Creosote and Jon Hopkins: Bubble". SoundCloud. March 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Boilen, Bob (May 15, 2011). "First Listen: King Creosote and Jon Hopkins, 'Diamond Mine'". NPR. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins Interview". Clubbers Guide New York. March 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Seymour, Jane Jansen (November 23, 2010). "Classically Trained Electro Master: An Interview with Jon Hopkins". Pop Matters. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Hollo, Peter (May 31, 2009). "Jon Hopkins interview by Peter Hollo". Cyclic Defrost. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Lavin, Polly. "Meet the audio sculptor Jon Hopkins". Ibiza Voice. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins - Opalescent". Soundwatching. April 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins". Domino Records. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins Interview". JustQualityMusic. May 19, 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Lymangrover, Jason (2009). "Jon Hopkins". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Opalescent reviews". Just Music. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins Interview". Coldplay.com. November 12, 2008. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins". Mutek 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Clarke, Paul (April 29, 2009). "Classically-tinged electronica from Coldplay's co-producer". BBC. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Roby, Wendy. "DrownedinSound's Singles of the Year: 2009". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins". IMDB. 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins Nominated for an Ivor Novello Award". Domino Records. April 20, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Free Jon Hopkins and King Creosote Download". Coldplay.com. March 29, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- Kirn, Peter (September 2, 2010). "Interview: Jon Hopkins Talks Live, Studio Process, Habit, Instinct". Created Digital Music. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
- "Jon Hopkins interview by Peter Hollo". Cyclic Defrost. May 31, 2009.
- "Jon Hopkins Interview". JustQualityMusic. May 19, 2010.
- "Interview: Jon Hopkins Talks Live, Studio Process, Habit, Instinct". Created Digital Music. September 2, 2010.
- "Classically Trained Electro Master: An Interview with Jon Hopkins". Pop Matters. November 23, 2010.
- Official website
- Jon Hopkins on Domino Records
- Jon Hopkins on MySpace
- Jon Hopkins on Twitter
- Jon Hopkins on Facebook
- Jon Hopkins on Last.fm
- Jon Hopkins on iTunes
- Jon Hopkins on CD Universe