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Tyler Hawkins

Artist Story

I've been interested in electronic music since the early days of W. Carlos, Isao Tomita and Klaus Schulze with their large format Moog and ARP analog modular synthesizers. Furthermore the notion of using harnessed electricity to propagate and organize sounds into musical expressions has always seemed intriguing.

Many know me for my connection to classical guitar and the baroque lute. However, my musical interests run wider than that. My latest recording project “Auroraspotting” marks a significant shift for me artistically by having emerged, for over three years now, into the world of electronic avant-garde and ambient music. It's been an arduous and strange path to follow but the challenge of discovery in working with open architecture tools like modular synths turns the creative process upside down. And like everything else about music, the possibilities seem pretty infinite.

For a few years now I've been thinking about musical ways of portraying the Northern Lights, sort of in the spirit of the early impressionist composers and how they painted images with their music. What might this new music sound like? How can I convey these incredible visual experiences with an audience who may never get a chance to see them? What might serve as an appropriate musical medium to work in? These questions soon morphed into a kind of creative obsession. So too did my drive to learn more about the growing rebirth of modular synthesizers, the same ones I’d been impressed with earlier on in life.

Ironically, electricity soon became the conduit for all these thoughts and processes. Being able to create music around this theme and having access to instruments that offer endless possibilities seemed like the right match.

Auroraspotting is a collection of electronic music impressions inspired by the many startling encounters I’ve had with the Auroras we see here at home in the Northwest Territories. Each composition was recorded using primarily analog modular synthesizers and outboard effects routed direct to disc in LogicPro X. Microphones were used only on the wildlife field recordings taken just outside our back door on the Hay River and along the shore of the Deh Cho.

Artist Bio: 

Tyler is a co-founder of the Hay River Early Music Society. His main role in the society is to co-ordinate planning and assist in the organization of the NWT International Lute Festival now celebrating its 10th season.

Tyler received a BFA in performance on the 17 string classical guitar from York University. He is a life long guitar enthusiast with over 40 years of study and performance experience in a wide range of music genres - ranging from jazz-fusion to ambient and early baroque music - including the baroque lute. He is also an electronic music sound designer and composer. Check out his SoundCloud site at:

Tyler has independently released 2 compact discs of baroque lute music for 17 string guitar. Both are available through a variety of online distributors including iTunes.

Last Updated: April 15, 2019
South Slave
Hay River
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30 Miron Drive
30 Miron Drive
Hay River, NT X0E 0R2
(867) 874-3574

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