David Hykes

From Academic Kids

David Hykes (1953 - ) is a musician, composer, author, experimental filmmaker and meditation teacher and founder-director of the Harmonic Choir. He was born Taos, New Mexico and currently resides in France where he directs Harmonique/Centre, a music and meditation center near Paris in the forest on a medieval stone farm site. The Harmonic Chant, developed by Hykes is based upon the natural harmonic overtones present in the universe since the Big Bang and universal to all music. Hykes was inspired by traditional world music of Tibet, Mongolia and Tuva, medieval Gregorian chant, North Indian Raga music and singer Sheila Dhar, Just Intonation composers La Monte Young and Terry Riley, and primordial polyphonic singing of Europe. "Harmonic Presence" is the meditative system Hykes has developed combining music, contemplative awareness practices, and healing sounds. Educated at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio where he studied with the avant-garde or experimental filmmakers Tony Conrad and Paul Sharits. He also received an M.F.A. from Columbia University in New York. He began experimenting with harmonic or overtone singing in 1974. He founded the Harmonic Choir in 1975 and later incorporated his activities in New York as a not-for-profit arts organization called the Harmonic Arts Society Inc. on September 11, 1981.

Hykes collaborated twice with the English theater and film director Peter Brook, contributing film music for Meetings with Remarkable Men (1979) and training Brook's French Mahabharata cast. Hykes has also contributed music to the films Travellers and Magicians, Dharma River, Dead Poets Society, Ghost, and Baraka, among others.

He has been awarded numerous grants and fellowships for his work, notably from: UNESCO's Fund for the Promotion of Culture, several grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (USA), and the New York State Council on the Arts. He teaches sacred music and meditation at leading retreat centers such as Esalen Institute and Kripalu.


  • "HARMONIC MEDITATIONS" label: Sounds True (Spring 2005)
  • HEARING SOLAR WINDS, label: Signature(Radio France), distributed by harmonicworld.com (2003)
  • RAINBOW DANCES (for your rainbow heart), (2002)
  • EARTH TO THE UNKNOWN POWER, label: BMG Classics/Catalyst (1996).09026-68347-2 recorded at The Kitchen
  • TRUE TO THE TIMES (How to Be?) David Hykes with Bruno Caillat and Peter Biffin, label: New Albion (1993)
  • LET THE LOVER BE, David Hykes with Persian zarb master Djamchid Chemirani; label: Auvidis (1991)
  • WINDHORSE RIDERS, David Hykes with Persian zarb master Djamchid Chemirani; label: New Albion (1989)
  • HARMONIC MEETINGS, label: Celestial Harmonies (1986)
  • CURRENT CIRCULATION, label: Celestial Harmonies (1984)
  • HEARING SOLAR WINDS, label: Ocora(Radio France), distributed by Harmonia Mundi (1983)

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