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David Hykes — Biography


davidhykes.jpgComposer and singer, sacred music and meditation retreat leader, 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 –the universal sacred music called 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 revered traditional teachers.

His root guru was Lord Pentland of the Gurdjieff Foundation in New York, Paris, and San Francisco. He also received teachings from “his Teacher’s Teacher,” Madame Jeanne de Salzmann, who chose his music for her film on her Teacher, the great modern Awakener, G.I. Gurdjieff, “Meetings with Remarkable Men”.

David Hykes has also 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 “Travelers and Magicians,” by revered incarnate lama Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, and to the filmed trilogy “Journey Into Buddhism”, visionary Buddhist documentary films by John Bush.

He was honored by the support of Lord Yehudi Menuhin , and North Indian raga singer and writer Sheila Dhar .

As a prolific film composer , he has also contributed music to the films “Dead Poets Society”, “Ghost” and “Baraka”, among many others.

He has been giving concerts since 1975, and conducting retreats and seminars in many different countries since 1980. He founded The Harmonic Choir in New York in 1975; the group is entering its 32nd season. The modern “harmonic singing,” “overtone singing”(both 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, now re-mastered and re-released by Signature/Radio France. The 25th anniversary of this legendary recording will be celebrated 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 modern harmonic explorations in Western sacred space in 1978, in the Thoronet Abbey); Advaita Vedantin 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 1974-1987>

He moved to France in 1987 at the invitation of the French Ministry of Culture, where he maintains a retreat and research center, the French branch of the Harmonic Presence Foundation, in a 12th century Cistercian stone farm-site and park in a forest southwest of Paris.

He travels the world giving concerts and retreats dedicated to enlightenment 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 many countries, festivals, cities, sacred spaces and spiritual communities around the world.

He conducts retreats, seminars and workshops in major centers in Europe and America (Esalen, The Breathing Project…), sometimes with breath and consciousness author and teacher Dennis Lewis.

David Hykes is the author of numerous private publications, oral teachings, and recordings about meditative spirituality, music and sacred sound.

Source: harmonicworld.com

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