The themes are: backgrounds / influence-inspiration / communication-cooperation vs. solo / ambiguity (trough visuals / trough 4x videos) / creativity in general / and the point – the motivation. Welcome to Jon Hopkins.
So, the background. You are the classical player of a piano. You played (for example) Ravels piano concerto in G. You have this huge background from classical music. and you transformed to something like elsewhere. It was just about classical music?
No, it existed in parallel. To my electronic music. When I was about 8 or something I started to having piano lessons. I have already told to myself to improvise with the piano and I was more interested into the electronic stuff and having playing around with…
Already at the age of eight?
In terms of listening. Yeah. let me see, we can make that point that… I was playing and listening to the stuff on the radio and I was getting excited about what I was hearing in electronic music productions. And simultaneously learning the piano and also, I was learning the basis of how to work with it…
But where was it all born? What was the starting point? Was it classical music. I suppose?
No. It was music in general, it wasn’t limited to one particular genre. It wasn’t about one thing.
I am speaking more about the approach. When you started to learn how to play music.
Yes. I told myself to improvise with piano, acoustic.
I don’t know if I can say it in general but when you are so strong, I like some domain for example for you (in your case) Ravel. It is something to play Ravel…
Yes, it is difficult (laugh). But it wasn’t what I was interested in.
You were going somewhere else and this is this influence. What was it? Why you made this step if I can say?
What I was trying to say before is that it wasn’t a step. I was always interested in electronic stuff
and it was happening in parallel to the classical music. So, when I go back to the 17, I felt like I have done enough for the classical music so I stopped doing that and then let the electronic side make what I already wanted to do.
General question. What is your inspiration?
Hmm… I think it is a desire to communicate something, just meaningful to me and to transmit feelings. The feelings of the music transmit. If I am getting it right. Hopefully the music can make you feel certain reflective euphoric kind of joy or melancholia or whatever it is. So, yeah, the intention is to trying to communicate those things to people to transmit joy and lots of other stuff. Not like basic joy but a deep experience of some sort.
The communication you transform in you from you and to somebody.
I don’t think it is easy to answer this like a lot of artists don’t know why they create stuff but they just have to do it. It’s a drive a very deep drive. It’s like the way I make sense of the world or whatever. It’s the way I process the existence, maybe I can say that.
Yes. I think the majority of the answers could be something like this. Ok, about creativity… I don’t know if you know Hermann Vaske. He is posing this question: Why are you creative?
Well. I think that it’s interesting. I think that you don’t really choose to be. I am convinced that you don’t. It is something that just happens. It is something that needs to happen. People that are creative tend to need to be creative for some reason. So, like I said it could be processing your own life and maybe that’s how you look at the world. That’s how you view and understand process of living. And I do think it’s something in that.
So, then we can say that everybody, not has to be, but everybody is creative in some sense?
I think that they probably are.
Philosophical theme. On different points of view.
I don’t know, probably I imagine but I think that maybe not everyone is lucky enough to find the thing that they are that great at… It’s incredibly lucky, if you do find that thing and you are able to do only that for your living. That’s why I constantly feel so lucky to do this. Because this is what I would have to do anyway. I don’t feel like I have a choice.
Ok. Hypothetical question. If you were not a musician, then what will you be?
I would probably be some sort of really terrible yoga teacher or something (laugh) I have no idea. maybe I would be an artistic graphic designer. Maybe I would be someone who works like a ranger in a park or something. I don’t know. Something to do with nature or something to do with yoga.
Are you practicing yoga?
Yeah, and meditation. Maybe I’d be a meditation teacher that would be good..
Like you will become a guru.
No. I don’t believe in gurus.
But in some way, you are already a guru you are communicating – one versus mass. You already are transmitting something through you.
Yes. More like a transmitting thing than a guru though. More like broadcasting ideas. You know – through music. But I am not a guru.
I’ll jump straight to cooperation and solo. You have a lot of names with whom are you communicating. For example, Coldplay or David Holmes, in movies David Lynch or Peter Jackson. It’s a huge amount and now you are playing solo. So, when you are playing music, what you prefer?
I think I prefer what I am doing now. The collaborations were more things that I did. I did always enjoyed them, but I think there were more things that I did because I wasn’t able to make this other thing work when I was younger. it took longer to make this work.
You became disillusioned with your solo carrier before?
When I was 25, I did 2 albums and you know, it kind of hit a dead ends. That is when I moved into working with other people.
I don’t know if magical or natural thing what can happen is communication, right? Yeah. Exactly. I do wish to plan to do more of it. I do.
From the theatre milieu I am focusing on everything on the stage and when you are on stage it is already a theatre you are not only playing nice samples. citation: ‚Jon Hopkins is not a button pushing man, he is bona fide composer and trained pianist.‘ So, you are like a ‚man made‘ because you can even play and you make some background visuals, you developed your intense live show, so you are cooperating when you are playing music also with other elements. This I love.
Yes. I don’t create visuals; I work with visual artists. I have people a crew with me and it’s a big part of a show. I don’t make videos myself; I do oversee them and guide them towards ideas that I like. I like a lot of back-and-forward meetings and talking about it, like for example the visuals to the track ‚Luminous Beings‘ was my idea of a DMT molecule in the sky the constellation. That was an idea I had like some few years ago.
About this ambiguity. When I saw your videos like my catch of point…a girl with a man… (‚Collider‘ music video) dynamic music. It was a feeling or some kind of energy of a rage? Another video a road and a skater (‚Open Eye Signal‘ music video). Where he was going? Something abstract…
Yeah… I love that, it’s so good. The video you are talking about from the last album, I didn’t write those stories but they are amazing. Videos are really incredible. But this album is a little bit different.
author: Jozef Ch.