Jon Hopkins drops transcendental video for new Ram Dass track

Grammy Award and Mercury Prize-nominee Jon Hopkins has released a beautiful visual for Sit Around The Fire, a new track taken from the electronic musician’s upcoming sixth album, Music For Psychedelic Therapy.

The ambient cut, which features samples from late spiritual teacher Ram Dass, lives in a video built around Dass’ seminal book on enlightenment, Be Here Now. The visual was created by Yes Please Productions, the design studio responsible for landmark lyric videos by The Rolling Stones, George Harrison and more.

The track builds on a recording by US musician East Forest, who collaborated with Ram Dass on his final recorded teachings in 2019. Hopkins layers hypnotic beats and piano atop one another in a Brian Eno-esque fashion, resulting in an immersive and transcendental effect – something that Yes Please has mirrored in the visuals. 

The video almost entirely comprises images taken directly from Be Here Now – geometric shapes and deities fading in and out at the calmest of paces, mirroring Ram Dass’ whisper: “Everything in you that you don’t need, you can let go of”. Cut-up, redrawn and repurposed, the images are supported by on-screen text crafted directly from Be Here Now – Yes Please scanned an original copy of the book and created a ‘new’ font to use specifically for Sit Around The Fire’s visuals.

The constantly evolving sacred geometry emphasises the connections between the body and spirit with the sacred language of the universe – something Ram Dass was a true believer in. A rich, gold foil detail was added atop the imagery, nodding to its prominence in traditional Indian artwork, eventually climaxing in a burst of warm light to evoke the sense of a magical, psychedelic awakening.

The artwork and final video were respectively provided and approved by the Love Serve Remember Foundation, a charitable organisation established to continue the teachings of Ram Dass. 

Lucy Dawkins, co-founder at Yes Please Productions, says: “Our brief from Jon was to use Be Here Now’s artwork and aesthetic to capture the meditative, otherworldly nature of Sit Around The Fire. It’s a wonderful track, and Jon’s done Ram Dass incredible justice.”

Tom Readdy, co-founder at Yes Please Productions, adds: “We’re both big fans of Jon’s work, so to get the chance to launch his new album – with nods to someone as culturally seismic as Ram Dass, no less – was a real pleasure. We’re proud of the result and we can’t wait to see Jon on tour this winter.” 

Music For Psychedelic Therapy is released on November 12th via Domino. Jon Hopkins tours Europe in November 2021.