Electronic music composer and modular synthesist Bart Hawkins’ dedication to inner sonic exploration began in the early ’80s when his practice of Zen Meditation and love of the Berlin School style of electronic music launched him into a world of musical landscapes, sonic textures, and silence, sparking a spiritual awakening into the power of sound. His time as a professional film & video producer and cinematographer soon led to experiments with tape loops, delays, re-recording techniques, and the mixing of ambient sounds to create visual listening experiences. Now, diving headlong into the world of modular synthesis, Bart’s sonic creations guide listeners through an electric universe of sound, vision, and consciousness.
Bart Hawkins’ newest album for Spotted Peccary Music, Entering the Axis Mundi, picks up where its predecessor Visions of Eden left off, continuing a sonic retelling of a creation myth. However, instead of the book of Genesis, this time Hawkins drew inspiration from the concept of axis mundi, meaning “cosmic axis”—the core of existence where time and space are nonlinear and all history convergent.
Hawkins found the perfect language of this concept in the modular synthesizer; its sounds are innately cyclical, yet in constant motion. He says, “The modular synth itself is an axis mundi, it pulls you in, where out of chaos comes clarity of focus, the center that all revolves around.” Tranquil opener “A Joyous Return” builds like a cresting wave as elongated chimes ripple around an anchoring modular synth pattern. The thrilling “To Ride a Pterodactyl” features some of Hawkins’ most innovative sound design yet. Here, he feeds the modular synth through a Moog Theremin to conjure the searing screeches of a prehistoric beast.
Throughout the nine tracks of Entering the Axis Mundi, Hawkins further establishes himself as a master of atmospheres extruded from the complex palette of the modular synthesizer. From the wistful adventure of “River Boat to Atlantis” to the galloping tension of “Race to Cosmos Redshift 7 Galaxy,” Bart Hawkins is at home in any world he weaves.
Release date: January 20th, 2023.