Owen Hopper is a sound artist, composer, educator, and improviser whose work focuses on fragile correlations between landscape and meaning. Much of his work meditates on our relationship with technology, issues of modernity, acoustic ecology, and sonic perception. Through ideas that encompass digital media, chamber ensembles, field recordings, modular synthesizers, and loudspeaker arrays he develops pieces that seek to create thoughtful discussions; woven with our understanding of digital culture, popular music, and the environment.
His sonic world creates a balance between harmonious natural sounds and the sonic palette of digital glitches, sound degradation, and failure. His practice revolves around texture and timbre, density and openness, as well as aspects of minimalism. His music often explores the worlds of microsound, exploring rhythms and timbres at the edges of our perception. Much like exploring through a microscope, his music puts these fascinating sonic elements in the context of our everyday listening experience, amplifying the hidden sounds around us.
Deep Listening® is an integral part of his life and work. Besides daily practice, Owen completed the certification intensive I through Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2021. His text score Be Here Now was included in the upcoming book A Year of Deep Listening published by Terra Nova Books, part of MIT Press.
His projects have been funded through grants from the Ohio Arts Council, The Greater Columbus Arts Council, The University of Cincinnati, as well as Otterbein University. His work has been performed at ICMC, SEAMUS National Conference, New Music Chicago's Impromptu Fest, Earth Day Art Model, The Electroacoustic Barn Dance, West Fork New Music Festival, The Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium, Studio 300, the Midwest Composers Symposium, and at various concerts in the Columbus and Cincinnati areas.
He is currently on the faculty at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as well as Visiting Faculty at Miami University in Oxford, OH, where he teaches courses on music technology and popular music. He holds an MM in composition from CCM, where he studied composition and computer music with Mara Helmuth, and a BA from Otterbein University where he studied with composers Jennifer Merkowitz and Charlie Wilmoth.
He is a passionate believer in taking music out of the concert hall and presenting it in unique public spaces and does this as an active member of the greater Columbus and Cincinnati music scenes, playing in bands and solo as he continues to explore a deep, personal relationship with the guitar and an integrated aesthetic with his laptop. He also works scoring experimental films, doing foley work, and other sound-related media content. Owen Scored "sphragida" in early 2020, a political drama that has won awards at multiple film festivals, including an "Award of Excellence" from the BEA Festival of Media Arts. Owen is a lover of coffee, jazz, and strange films, and is also an avid rock climber.