Music for Psychedelic Therapy is Jon Hopkins first full-length since sister albums, the GRAMMY-nominated Singularity (2018) and Immunity (2013). For this collection, Hopkins wanted to make something that faced the opposite direction, something egoless and introspective, made with total, raw honesty. “It felt like time for a reset, to wait for music to appear from a different place,” says Hopkins. That place ended up being Tayos Caves in Ecuador, where Hopkins went on a life-changing creative expedition in 2018.
“‘Sit Around The Fire’ exists from one of the deep synchronicities that ushered this thing (Music For Psychedelic Therapy) into being,” comments Hopkins. “I was contacted by East Forest, who had spent some time with Ram Dass in Hawaii before he passed. He was given access to several lesser-heard talks from the 70s, and asked to set them to music. He sent me some starting points, including the beautiful choral vocals he recorded which open the piece. I put my headphones on and with Ram Dass’ voice inside my head, I sat at the piano and improvised. What you hear is the first thing that came out - it just appeared in response to the words.”
Hopkins elaborates on Music For Psychedelic Therapy: “What grew from this experience is an album with no beats, not one drum sound, something that is closer to a classical symphony than a dance / electronica record. Something that is more like having an experience than listening to a piece of music. Maybe something far more emotionally honest than I had been comfortable making before - a merging of music, nature and my own desire to heal. The freedom from traditional rhythmic structures unlocked so much - it felt like I was free to explore a new form of rhythm, one that you discover when you just allow things to flow without letting yourself get in the way.