Sarah Hopkins (b. 1958) is a unique Australian composer-performer, highly acclaimed for her visionary music and inspiring performances for cello, harmonic overtone singing, handbells, choir and the celestial Harmonic Whirlies of her own creation.
With a strong background and training in classical music, over the years she has moved into the realm of holistic music and developed a very distinctive compositional voice. Her solo, ensemble, choral and orchestral compositions demonstrate an expansive and pure musical style which resonates with the space and energy of the Australian landscape as well as the inner landscape of the human psyche.
Her unique style of cello playing embraces many new and ancient sounds including musical bird calls, deep earthy drones, lush heartfelt melodies and the haunting rhythms of the didgeridoo which Sarah emulates on her cello
Vocally she specialises in harmonic overtone singing - a magical, other-worldly sound which has its roots in Mongolia and Tibet. Sarah also produces celestial music playing her Harmonic Whirlies weaving together intricate patterns of movement and sound, music and dance.
|Sarah lives in Brisbane and tours nationally and internationally, performing her own original music, running workshops in Holistic Music and Harmonic Overtone Singing and working as an artist-in-residence.
Since 1981 she has represented Australia at many prestigious events in America, Europe and South East Asia. She has toured as a cultural ambassador for the Australian Government since 1992 to Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Germany, The Philippines, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia.
|Highlights include performing for the opening ceremony of the 4th World Athletics championships in Stuttgart, to an audience of over 50,000 people; having her highly acclaimed choral work Past Life Melodies performed by a choir of over 7,000 High School students with orchestra, didgeridoo and harmonic whirlies in the Sydney Olympic Stadium as part of the Opening Ceremony for the Pan Pacific School Games (2000); having her Sky Song music, co-composed with Alan Lamb, featured on Australia's Olympic 2000 bid CD; plus performing at the World Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany.
Sarah has performed her solo and ensemble Music for the Soul programs at the prestigious Festival de Musica Visual, Lanzarote, Canary Islands (1996); the Woodford Folk/World Music Festivals Qld (1995-1998); the Brisbane Biennial International Festival of Music (1997); the First National Reconciliation Festival (1998); the Universal Lightworkers Conference Qld (1998); World Expo 2000, Hannover, Germany; Millennium Concert, Christchurch NZ (2000); Singapore Arts Festival (2006); Music by the Sea Festivals (2002 - 2012); Mildura Wentworth Arts Festival (2010) and Mackay Festival of Arts (2010).
Recent projects : Artist-in-Residence during Indigenous Studies Week at Camberwell Grammar, Melbourne (2012, 2013 & 2014); & 'Voices Across the Pacific Choral Festival' Sydney & Brisbane (2014).
Sarah combines an open-hearted spirituality with the steely rigour demanded of her craft and makes wonderful music. Her choral, ensemble and orchestral compositions are regularly performed around the globe and her music is studied and performed in Australian schools and universities. Sarah's creation, the Harmonic Whirlies - beautiful musical instruments and powerful vibrational healing tools - are available worldwide along with her CD recordings Honour the Earth, Reclaiming the Spirit, Sky Song (in collaboration with Alan Lamb) Australia: Sound of the Earth (with Steve Roach and David Hudson) and Sounds of Global Harmony (in collaboration with the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, Anne Norman and Chris Neville).
Sarah's versatile and portable style of performance enables her to participate within a wide variety of settings including International Arts and Music Festivals, Corporate Events, Folk and World Music Festivals, Community Arts Centres, Universities and Schools.
She also provides uplifting music for Exhibition Openings, blessing ceremonies, self-development and music therapy groups, earth healing gatherings, weddings, funerals and birthdays.
Sarah's performances often include unique audience participation events using her sonorous and accessible handbells and Harmonic Whirlies. Playing music like this together can be such a unifying experience where all cultural differences disappear.