01. What does HYPNOS mean?
Hypnos is the personification of sleep in Greek mythology. He is the
son of Nyx ("night") and Erebus, and the twin of Thanatos ("death").
According to some sources, both Hypnos and his brother live in the
underworld, though others say he lived on the island of Lemnos.
During the Trojan War, Hera (eager to cast her influence on the side of the Greeks) persuaded Hypnos to lull Zeus to sleep so that her brother Poseidon (who detested the Trojans) could intervene on behalf of the Greeks.
Hypnos gave Endymion the power of sleeping with open eyes so he could see his beloved, the moon goddess Selene.
You can read more about Hypnos here, at this excellent online Greek mythology resource.
02. What is the history of the HYPNOS label?
Founded in 1996, Hypnos was first conceived to release solo and
collaborative recordings by label founder Mike Griffin.
Before Hypnos even started, though, the idea was transformed into a functioning record label, designed to release a variety of work by like-minded musicians and sound artists everywhere.
The first CD was supposed to be Griffin's SUDDEN DARK, but that was pushed back and WASHED IN MERCURY by Saul Stokes was released first, early in 1997.
03. How do I order Hypnos, Binary and Hypnos Secret Sounds CDs?
Hypnos CDs are available for purchase directly from Hypnos. Visit the
Hypnos Online Store, where you may purchase CDs (not only Hypnos
titles) via a secure, automated server, or email
Hypnos Mail Order is now able to accept orders by mail or online, and payment may be made by check, money order, or credit card.
Hypnos releases can also be ordered from many other mail-order companies:
Soleilmoon (503) 335-0706
Backroads Music (800) 767-4748
Groove Unlimited (The Netherlands)
CUE Records German site / English site
DiN Records (Great Britain)
SMD (Synth Music Direct, Great Britain)
Playing by Ear
04. How do I contact HYPNOS?
The easiest way to contact Hypnos is by e-mail. The main email address
Plesae note that this has changed from the original address of firstname.lastname@example.org -- this original address has become so flooded with spam that corresponding in a timely and effective manner became impossible, hence the change in mid 2004.
If you prefer to communicate on paper, please write to the address below. Please note that unsolicited demo materials will not be considered:
PO Box 6868
Portland, OR 97228 USA
05. What about wholesale availability?
If your local store does not carry Hypnos releases, they should be
able to order them easily through our primary wholesale distributor.
Hypnos releases are distributed in the USA by:
phone (503) 337-0706
fax (503) 335-0805
06. What's the difference between Hypnos, Binary and Foundry?
At the time this question was answered, Hypnos and The Foundry were in a partnership,
so the Hypnos logo appears on several CDs from this period, and some releases were
referred to as "Hypnos/Foundry." That partnership has concluded though the labels retain
a friendly relationship. thus part of this answer is no longer applicable...
In case you're wondering who to contact with inquiries about the Hypnos, Binary or Foundry labels, this is how things are set up: Hypnos & Binary operations are set up in Hypnos HQ in Portland, Oregon and managed by Mike Griffin, while Foundry operations are based out of Berkeley, California and managed by Michael Bentley. It should be clarified that although Binary and Foundry are both often referred to as "sub-labels" of Hypnos, it would be more accurate to say that Binary is a "sub-label" and Foundry is a "partner label."
If you wish to contact The Foundry, email email@example.com or else visit www.foundrysite.com.
Otherwise, see 07 below for contact info for inquiries regarding Hypnos and/or Binary.
07. How do I get reach Hypnos or Binary (or Hypnos or Binary artists) online?
Hypnos has a web site, which you probably already
figured out, since you're looking at it.... but in case
you found your way to this page without entering the
Hypnos index page first, the address is www.hypnos.com --
for information specific to the Binary sub-label, take a look
If you would like to contact Hypnos or Binary, the best way is email. The address firstname.lastname@example.org will get you through to Mike Griffin, who is the owner and manager of the company.
You may also contact Hypnos artists at addresses like the following (generally "lastname" at hypnos.com):
etc... (remember, "lastname" at hypnos.com will usually work)
08. How do I get to be a Hypnos artist? And if I can't be a Hypnos artist, can you set me up with another label?
HYPNOS is a small, independent recording label. Generally our release schedule
is full through the next twelve months or so. While we are pleased to hear from musicians
or sound artists whose work shares a similar sensibility, we no longer accept
unsolicited demos. We're very, very busy releasing the music of artists with whom we
already have a relationship. If you want a spot on the Hypnos roster, you'll have to
bribe one of the existing Hypnos artists into quitting music and giving you his spot.
Still, we get so many "Can I send you a demo please?" emails that I finally had to create a "form letter" email to deal with these inquiries. This email usually got me a response from the inquiring artist, hoping for advice on attracting the interest of other labels, or advice on how to eventually become a Hypnos artist. So I modified that "form letter" into what I call the "What to do if you're a struggling, unreleased artist" manifesto. This document not only states the current Hypnos position vis-a-vis demos and requests for assistance from beginning/unreleased artists, but also offers advice on how these struggling types might pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get their music into the game.
Somehow word got out about this "manifesto" and now I have people emailing me regularly, asking for a copy. To save you the trouble of emailing me, you may now read that document here.
09. When is Hypnos going to make t-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, mouse pads, logo golf balls, and other such merchandise?
This has been a surprisingly frequent request! Hypnos t-shirts were in the works as of late
January 2002, and were available for purchase in Spring 2002. If you think T-shirts are a
good thing, then you're encouraged to purchase a Hypnos T-shirt
Obviously the more we sell, the more likely we are to make more merchandise-stuff.
It seems kind of silly to me for a record label to make mouse pads and golf balls and toilet seat covers, though, don't you think? But Hypnos stickers might be a possibility too at some point.
10. I want to start my own record label -- what can you tell me about how to do it? Or, what was your process for starting Hypnos?
This is the flip side of question 08 above. It's a harder question to answer because it's so
complicated. Actually it's easy to start your own label -- just make up a name for the label,
get some CDs pressed (or lately, burn a few CDRs), and presto, you've started your own
label. But the hard part is how to do it right. Anyone can start a label, but 95% of those
who do, will fail within a year or two. So I think any answer to this question is incomplete
unless it conveys some of what is necessary to do it in a way that gives some hope of
Inspired by the "manifesto for beginning/unreleased artists" above (see manifesto), I have begun work on a document to instruct those who wish to know how to start their own label, and/or a document that illuminates some of the history of Hypnos and how it developed and grew. That document is here, and it's called "the 'how to start your own label and avoid dying quickly' cheat sheet." It's, umm, not exactly concise.
11. I'm a big, big Hypnos fan -- what I can do to help make Hypnos more successful any way I can?
Of course it very much appreciated that some Hypnos fans are so devoted, and want to do
whatever they can to help spread the word and help ensure the continued survival of
Up front it should be said that Hypnos is not in any danger of disappearing, but thanks for your concern. Hypnos is strong, stable and growing. Just because it's a small label doesn't mean it's teetering on the brink of bankruptcy or extinction. Now, with that out of the way, we're not too proud to accept your help & support. There are several things you can do, some of which the more dedicated among you may already be doing.
The most obvious thing: Buy Hypnos CDs! The more CDs Hypnos sells, the more incentive Hypnos has to make more CDs, and the more money Hypnos has to spend on making those future products. Yeah, I said it was obvious. You don't have to buy your Hypnos CDs directly from Hypnos, though of course we like it when you do. If it comes down to buying a Hypnos CD from Amazon, or not buying it at all, of course you should buy it from Amazon. There are several other worthy places to buy, among them Soleilmoon, our local ally and main distributor.
Next on the list: Help spread the word! You don't have to be a reviewer for Billboard or Rolling Stone magazines to let people know about a Hypnos CD they should check out. Go onto the Hypnos Forum and start a topic discussing your favorite Hypnos disc. Or go to Amazon.com (that place again...) and look up your favorite Hypnos CD (or two) and post your own review. Those user reviews are hugely influential in getting people to buy something they've never heard. Or if you don't feel like reviewing anything, loan a favorite Hypnos CD to a friend who might like it. Play a Hypnos CD at your next dinner party (as long as it's a mellow and kind of spooky dinner party), or when you have friends over. Call up your local radio show that plays interesting ambient-like music and ask them to play something by Jeff Pearce or Robert Rich or the rest of the gang. Go into your local record store and tell the manager of the Electronica or New Age section (or if it's a really cool store, the ambient section) you think they should order some Hypnos stuff, and they can get it from Soleilmoon distribution.
Lastly, and this may seem strange: Write your favorite Hypnos artist a fan letter or a thank you note! You can email all of them at "email@example.com" -- for example, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org... you get the idea. Remember, the people who make the music often have very little contact with the public. I'm constantly hearing the same question from these guys: "What have people been saying about my CD?" A little positive feedback goes a long way toward making these people (almost all of whom work full-time day jobs -- hard as it may be to believe, creating music on this level does not make one wealthy) see the value of what they do. Actually, the artists probably already think that the music they do has some value, but they'll always be pleasantly surprised to hear that somebody out there in headphone-land thought so too. Sometimes they need to be encouraged to continue, and if they know people are listening and enjoying the music, it can help them through when they're having doubts about whether there's really an audience out there. This doesn't help Hypnos directly, but it helps indirectly in keeping the artists in line so they don't get any wise ideas about retiring from music to join Cirque de Soleil or something.
12. Can I download artwork from Hypnos CDs, to use as a desktop picture on my computer?
Well, you couldn't before but now you can. To get you started, here are the first
two sets of desktop pictures in a variety of common desktop resolutions. These
are James Johnson's Entering Twilight and Jeff Pearce's To the Shores of Heaven.
These seem to be among the two most commonly-praised CD covers, and are definitely the
two most-requested when it comes to "Can I buy a poster?" or "Can I buy a T-shirt?" questions.
1600wide | 1280wide | 1152wide | 1024wide | 800wide | 640wide
To the Shores of Heaven
1600wide | 1280wide | 1152wide | 1024wide | 800wide | 640wide
Obviously you should download the one that fits your computer's desktop resolution. I'll assume you know how to figure this out -- if not, do the following:
Windows -- right-click on your desktop and select "properties" and then "settings." This tab will show your screen resolution (something like 1280x1024 -- in this case you'd download the "1280 wide" image)
Mac -- open the Monitors control panel (OS9 & earlier) or Displays control panel (OSX) and you'll see the display resolution listed there.
Once you've determined the right resolution, the easiest way to make this your desktop picture is to click on the link above, and when the image loads in your browser, either right-click or control-click on the image, and select "set image as wallpaper." You can also select "save image as..." if you know how to take a downloaded image and make it into your system's wallpaper. These are all the instructions I'm going to give on this -- if you can't figure it out from these instructions, consult your computer's documentation. If you can't figure it out from that, I guess you'll have to stick with the nifty default picture your operating system gave you.
Another interesting note -- even those who aren't interested in adding these pics to their computer's desktop will notice that these images (especially the 1600 wide and even the next two down) are substantially more detailed than the printed CD booklets. So if you've ever really wanted to figure out "Just what IS that a picture of?" maybe this will help you.
13. How much traffic does the www.hypnos.com web domain get?
Hmmm, more than you might think. But how to measure this? In the early days of the web,
a person with a web site might brag, "My site gets 4,000 hits a month." Of course, the
term "hits" is misleading. Every time a person visits www.hypnos.com, they visit numerous
pages, and many of the pages include graphics, so several files will be loaded up. Each
one counts as a "hit." By that measure, the Hypnos site gets about 20,000 hits per
day, or close to 600,000 hits per month. Like I said, those stats are deceiving. The
two most popular features on the hypnos.com domain, or I should say the most frequently-visited
web destinations, are the Hypnos Online Store, and the Hypnos Forum. Each page in both the
Store and the Forum, loads multiple files of various types (html, cgi-bin, and graphics both
jpg and gif). So a single person who browses the Forum for 15 minutes, then checks out the
Hypnos News page, then visits the Online Store and looks at a few new CD releases, might rack
up several dozen "hits" as a single visitor.
A more meaningful statistic than "hits" is "sessions" or "unique visits." "Sessions" are discrete visits -- if a person visits several pages, as in my example above, their whole visit will count as one "session." If they go away and them come back to hypnos.com hours later, each visit will count as a "session" as long as an hour or so has elapsed between visits. Hypnos.com receives an average of over 20,000 sessions per month, or more than 700 per day. That's a lot of eyeballs!
Update October 2004: More recently, the web site stats are even busier. Almost 1,000 unique visits (sessions) per day, and about 25,000 "hits" (file loads) per day.
Update March 2007: The whole hypnos.com domain is even busier, especially the Forum and the Store Recently we've seen almost 3,000 unique visits (sessions) per day, and almost 28,000 "hits" (file loads) per day.
14. The hypnos.com site has a lot of pages to visit -- is there a way I can search all the pages for one subject, artist, or keyword?
Yes, there actually is a functioning search page here which will scour the whole hypnos.com domain (including the Hypnos Forum and the Hypnos Online Store). It will allow you to use and/or Boolean functions so, for example, you can search for all pages where the words "Jeff Pearce" AND "Richard Simmons" appeared.
15. What is ChromaStatic studio? Does Hypnos run a professional recording studio that's open to the public?
ChromaStatic Studio is the name of the personal, home studio of Hypnos founder Mike Griffin (aka M Griffin). It has gone through several incarnations, and in fact I'm going to create a "studio information" page for those interested in gear/software type stuff, here.