While we wait for a follow-up to his 2018 album Singularity, Jon Hopkins has been sporadically sharing new remixes and longer experimental pieces like his 20-minute “Singing Bowl (Ascension)” from earlier this year. The latest offering from the producer is a cover of Thom Yorke’s elegiac “Dawn Chorus”, which he has shared today, saying:
“I felt such bliss the first time I heard this piece – it seemed so mysterious and hypnotic, oblique but warm. I thought there was so much beauty in that chord sequence that there was room to explore it on the piano and see what grew from it. One day in early April when everything was particularly quiet and surreal outside, I went into my studio for the first time in weeks and ended up recording the whole thing in one take. I left it very raw and upfront, with just some sub bass and vocal drones in the background. The whole thing was done in a day and was a very cathartic experience.”
The immediacy of the single-take recording is immediately captivating, and only deepens with the knowledge that it’s played on an upright piano that Hopkins has had since his childhood. While he eschews singing, instead just playing the melody and adding some ethereal atmospherics, the audible creak of the instrument and its pedals adds more than enough humanity to make this a blissful experience.