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The Synthetic Zen Website

by admin last modified Aug 25, 2016 03:14 AM
Originally from California, lived in half a dozen states, and settled in Spokane Washington since 2004. This is Synthetic Zen's website for original music (and music with others), radio & music broadcasts as Dr. Z & The Synthetic Zen, The Synthetic Zen Show, SyntheticZen, and Synthetic Potatoes. Among other endeavors, I create and perform music, often of a style I cannot find elsewhere, for the joy, solace, and therapeutic benefits of the power of music.

instruments collection piano


Synthetic Zen Logo with young face with URL 20151022dSynthetic Zen is one of the musician aliases for Hawke Robinson. I have used other names when performing with others. Sometimes performing live, playing guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, various Native American wood flutes, vocals, over 20 various instruments, and electronic music.

My mother was an opera singer, and I first began playing music as a child, with a few piano lessons around '79-'81 (9-11 years old), picked up the guitar in 1988, and have been picking up many other instruments and computer-composed music since. I have performed in Utah, Idaho, and Washington. In the Spokane area I have occasionally performed at various coffee shops and venues in Utah and Washington, as well as at Eastern Washington University.African Djembe drum, computer / electronic music, synthesizers, harmonicas, Indian sitar, mandolin, Irish whistles, Middle-eastern Ney (reed flute), Didjeridoo, Irish Bodhran (drum), Native American Hoop Drum, Middle-eastern Midjwiz, Pakistani horn, and many other ethnic instruments, as well as some vocals. Compose and play classical, blues, rock, folk, world, techno, trance, meditative, new age, and experimental music.

From 2004-2006 I had an Internet radio show through NR Radio out of Santiago, Chile.

From March 2005 to June 2007 I had two FM radio shows with KYRS Thin Air Community Radio in Spokane, Washington, USA, "Tech Talk with Hawke", and "The Synthetic Zen Show".

Originally started broadcasting over the Internet back in March of 2004, thanks to giving me the opportunity and training that eventually allowed to be able to get into "real" radio in addition to Internet broadcasting. I will be forever grateful to the NR family. Ceased broadcasting with NR the end of November 2006 because of family/time issues.

The Synthetic Zen is the name of both the show and the music. The Synthetic Zen Show plays an eclectic mix from thousands of songs in a playlist several times a week, and I also had some live performances periodically as well on KYRS 92.3 FM.
Moved to Spokane in 2004, working towards getting to know the local musicians.

Hawke Synthetic Zen Hangout Studio Broadcast Guitar 20160303aRecordings of my own music date from 1989 and continuing onward. So far created several Albumss worth of music (around 100 distinct pieces). Some of it is quite terrible, others almost bearable, and a few might even be enjoyable by others. The quality and style varies considerably from composition to composition. What is interesting is the broad and usually conflicting feedback received about who likes which pieces. What one person considers "crap" others enjoy greatly and vice versa. Generally the instrumental music is better than the vocal music, but I am continuing to try to improve the vocals. ;-)

I am constantly learning, experimenting, and trying new things. Some efforts are obviously in imitation of others ("the highest form of flattery" some would say), and others more unique and much in the form of "experimental" music.

Synthetic Zen Live Studio keyboards 20160320a



The shows were split into 4-5 segments each about 30 minutes:

The first half hour is rock, pop, techno, dance, trance, punk, funk, humorous and other very "upbeat" music.

The broadcasts cover a wide range of music and musicians. On some shows, take requests from the online playlist consisting of thousands of songs (18,260+ and climbing). Burned most of the CDs, but it takes much longer to "burn" the tapes and LPs to mp3. 

DSC 1837

Generally prefer to play new age, "world", classical, and meditative music that you usually can't hear anywhere else, as well as selections from huge collection of Dead Can Dance, J.R.R. Tolkien inspired music, and many other groups that play a wide "world music"

 and "experimental music" variety that you won't hear anywh

The second part of the show starts to get a little mellower with classic rock, jazz, upbeat new age, and LOTS of blues.ere else.

Each show is usually 2 hours long.
The "standard show format" is typically as follows: Hawke Brennan and Brian Huseland Petit Chat 20120624b cropped

Format option 1 is a more "mellow" format, including mostly:

Midway between the 2nd and 3rd music segments I've recently introduced a new segment called "Tech Talke With Hawke" and/or World News and the Digital Frontier. I discuss and explain various technologies, digital rights, risks,

The third part of the show (my favorite part of the show) I play music from around the world including Celtic, Gaelic, Finnish, Japanese, Native American, Indian, Inuit, Hawaiian, African, East Asian, Spain, South American, Turkish, Russian, Middle-eastern, and many other styles.
 and other issues, both as a monologue and in dialogue with those posting questions in the Chatroom or via Instant Messaging or postings on my forums. I am considering making this an entire 1 hour show eventually for just Tech Talk.

Hawke EWU Composers Symposium classical guitar 20121113a

The final part of the show I play classical, new age, meditative, opera, trance, and ambient music as well as the "World Music" listed in the previous section.

Also (sometimes) cover some of the latest Science Fiction & Fantasy information on movies and events.

Sometimes provide a summary of weather in various areas.

Also provide Internet Weather (Hacker/Worm/Virus attack) reports as well.

Considerable information and commentary on TechnoHawke Performing at Petit Chatlogy news, ideas, technologies, rights and privacy issues. I've been working with Information Technology since 1981, and I am an active member of EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation and 2600 (The Hacker Quarterly 2600) for many years.

There is commentary when applicable on various topics.

  Note, not surprisingly, you should know that "Doctor Z" is not a real doctor (yet), but merely a "stage" name adaptation for promotional reasons that the radio stations management suggested for me to use. ;-)

You can email me at thesyntheticzen at gmail dot com. Or you can reach me by using the Instant Messenger of your choice:

  • ICQ: 335-222-863
  • AIM: syntheticzen
  • Yahoo: synthzen
  • Alternate Yahoo: thesyntheticzenshow
  • MSN: 

Hawke at Exley Falls Horseshoe Lake with Flute

Hawke playing Bass, Mandolin, Flute

Synthetic Zen Hawke Robinson Logo 

Logo trademark Synthetic Zen (TM) 1998-2016

Hawke Enterprising d.b.a.

Dev 2 Dev Portal LLC

Hawke Robinson

 Synthetic Zen, Synthetic Potatoes, Hawke Robinson music (c) 1989-2014 unless otherwise specified (some are creative commons attribution, share-and-share-alike when specified).


A waterfall and pond I built in front of my house August 2016












Support Synthetic Zen Directly

Support Synthetic Zen's Patreon Campaign Today!

Support Independent Artists, Buy Synthetic Zen Music On:

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Google Play
Apple Music & iTunes
Microsoft Groove

Watch Synthetic Zen Live!

Live on Youtube


Live on Twitch

Synthetic Zen Elsewhere

Follow & Listen on:





Synthetic Zen Website Playlist ( asterisk = favorite)


Zenistry 2017

The Scoring One in Bm (classical & electronic)

Get Crazy (Dance)


Back to Basics 2016+

Back to basics Album cover draft 20160430b

Listen to the Night (Mellow guitar, vocals, & ambient.  Rough cut, unedited improv draft) April 2015

Choose Your Poison & Meaning Making Machine, September 2014



Zentropy 2016 (Buy Album Now!)

1. Chasing the Spirits of the Dancing Dead (Dead Can Dance tribute in G minor) 2015

2. Autumn Angels (Alchemy Alpha Prime, Electronic in C minor) September 2015

3. Can you Hear Me? - (Trip Hop) May 2015

4. Eye of the Storm (Alchemy Beta Secondus in Ab, Electronic), 2015

5. Feeling Heavy (Dark, heavy, electronic, vocals in B flat minor), 2015

6. Alchemy Gama Three in F# (Electronic), 2015

7. Sea of the Immortals (Relaxing Guitar, Ambient, & Synths), 2015

8. Alchemy Quad in F minor (Electronic), 2015


Zensation 2016

Hawke Synthetic Zen Hangout Studio Broadcast Guitar 20160303a

1. Pentalchemy in G# minor, December 2015

2. Shadow Walker

3. Terra Panorama Redux

4. Accidentally Jazzy (Jazzy-ish improv, +Brennan Robinson), February 2015

5. Trials & Tribulations Redux

6. Choose Your Poison Redux

7. Meaning Making Machines Redux

8. Greater Asia on the RISE

9. in-TRANCE-itive


Be Too (Live improv performances) 2012-2016

Synthetic Zen Be 2 20160902c

1. Ephemeral Existence (Experimental Music #5)

2. Experimental Music #3 [Video] [mp3]

3. Under Umbar

4. Trees of Yavanna

5. Stars of Varda and Discord of Melkor

6. Lingering Premonitions

7. Overamped Beat of Modern Life

8. Stretching the Reach

9. Reaching for the Sky

10. Through the Clouds

11. Trippin' Through the Dark Funk

12. Short Skip

13. Rat Race Grind Part 1

14. Rat Race Grind Part 2

15. Rat Race Grind Part 3

16. Rat Race Grind Part 4

17. Rat Race Grind Part 5

18. Rat Race Grind Part 6

19. Rat Race Grind Part 7

Live Broadcast Test 1 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 2 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 3 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 4 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 5 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 6 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 7 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 8 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 9 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 10 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 11 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 12 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 13 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 14 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 15 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live Broadcast Test 16 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]


2014 Buddhalicious

Synthetic Zen Buddhalicious Album Cover with Nada and Nettie 20150507e

Funkin' Groovin' Quick 'n' Dirty - (Bass Funk & Synth) December 2014

Through a Dream Darkly - (Distopic Electronica) December 2014

Noodling mit Bitwig - (New Age) November 2014

Trip Through Synthville - (Electronica) October 2014*

Synthtopia - (Electronica) September 2014

Misty Mountain Climb - (Electronica) August 2014

Runaway Highway - (Electronica) August 2014 *

ElectroBounce - (Electronica) July 2014 *

Elbereth in 3 Voices Counterpoint - (Classical Counterpoint A Capella) May 2014

Drake's Epic (Epic classical & synth) - May 2014

Epic-urean (Epic and Techno) - May 2014

Stepic (Dubstep Epic) - May 2014 *

Shire Spring Sunrise (Classical & New Age Piano, Cello, & Synths) April 2014 *

Logic Default (Trance electronica synths) March 2014


2012-2013 Zentastic

Synthetic Zen Zentastic Album Cover 20151006b 1280x1280x300

Holiday Where the Shadows Lie (distopic holiday jingle) December 2013

Synthsperiment (Old-school pure synths) Nov 2013

Irish Jiggity (Irish world fusion) Sep 2013 *

Turkish Delights (Turkish world fusion) Sep 2013 *

Symphony in Ab M7 #1 (classical symphony) Jul 2013

World Feast (world fusion) Mar 2013

Spring in Rivendell, variations in D (classical guitar) May 2006-2012 *

Explore (electronic / synth) Nov 2012 *

Somniferous (space music / sleep / meditation) Apr 2013 *

Azendia (Asian, African, Indian, Celtic, world fusion) Jan 2013 *

Florid Counterpoint Trio in G minor (classical music, bass, mandolin, flute) Nov 2012

Stormy Synths (synthesizers & storm ambience) Feb 2013

Native American Bass G Flute Jan 2013

Electro Daimyo (Japanese world fusion) Dec 2012 *

Native American F Flute Jan 2013


2006-2012 "Be"

Synthetic Zen Be Album Cover Petit Chat 2012 06 02 20140319a bw green

Spring Frolic in Rivendell Live at EWU [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Classical Guitar Solo Session (Yamaha CG-120) [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live at Petit Chat June 2nd, 2012 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live at Petit Chat June 9th, 2012 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live at Petit Chat June 16th, 2012 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live at Petit Chat June 23rd, 2012 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

House of the Rising Sun (feat. Brennan Robinson on Cello, & Brian Huseland) [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live at Petit Chat June 30th, 2012 [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Live at Petit Chat June 30th, 2012 (Excerpt feat. Brennan Robinson on Cello)  [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Early Variations on D for Classical Guitar [Video] [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Piano Improv 1

Piano Improv 2

Guitar Idea June 6, 2012


(1991-2016) (Tolkien inspired music)

Shire Spring Sunrise

Where There's a Whip (1991)

Frolicking in Rivendell (2006)

There and Back (1991)

Chase Over Calenardhon (2006)

Call of the Sea (1993)


2004-2012 Zenthesis Album

Synthetic Zen Zenthesis Album Cover 20140319a 1024w745h300d 

Ambient #1




2000-2003 Zenthetic

Zenthetic Album Cover 20150508a

Piano & Orchestra Short #1 [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Runesword 2000 [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Mandolin String Quintet [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Insurmountable Debt Dance [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Piano Storm #1 [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Techno March #1 [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Cool Caverns of Crystal [Soundcloud] [mp3]

Rhondo Marche in A minor [Soundcloud] [mp3]


1993-2004 Meanderings

Meanderings Album Cover 20140421a 

Slow Native American Flute #2 (2004)

Yurism Guitar Meanderings (1994)

Blues Bits (2004)

In The Rough (1994, feat. Scott Bliss)

Yurisms (loooong, 1993)


1989-2001 Synthetic Potatoes

potato photo charcoal text logo

Mystery Stampede (truncated) (Feat. Rob Verri III) (1989)

Mystery Stampede redux



1995-1999 Melancholy

Synthetic Zen Melancholy Album Cover 20090129a 400w514h300d


Take Your Pain


1991-1994 Muses of the Early Days

Muses of the Early Days Album Cover Sheas Place 20140421a 

Whymsical Chase Music (1991)

Voices (1991)

Trials & Tribulations (1994)

Pretty Lass (1994)

March in E Major (1991)

The Final Tour (Tour of Hades) (1994)

Master of the Immortals (1994)

Hear My Plea (feat. Scott Bliss)

Sick of All This (1993)

Future Meets Past (1991)

Jungle Rock Chaos (1991)

What Have You Done to Me? (1994)

Amiga Ocean Calls (1995)

Amiga Runesword 1994

Amiga F (1995)

Amiga One (1995) 


1989-1994 Terra Panarama

coverimage terra panorama med

How Does It Feel (truncated) (1994)

I Know Who

Succubi (1989)

I Know Who, instrumental

Sweetest Ladies Black Sea

Blue Skies Over Mars (1989)

Land of Snow (1992)

Rhyming Drivel Acapella (1992)

Bored Acapella (1992)


From Bits n Pieces 2014 Album


Guitar Misc. Track 1 (solo guitar improv w/effects) Dec 2014

Guitar Misc. Track 2 (solo guitar improv w/effects) Dec 2014

Guitar Misc. Track 3 (solo guitar improv w/effects) Dec 2014

Guitar Misc. Track 4 (solo guitar improv w/effects) Dec 2014

Guitar Misc. Track 5 (solo guitar improv w/effects) Dec 2014

Guitar Misc. Track 6 (solo guitar improv w/effects) Dec 2014

Choose Your Poison & Meaning Making Machine (improv guitar & vocals) Sep 2014

Hawke Piano Improv Nov 2014

Arcane Traveller (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014

Radiant Moment on Guitar (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014

Reversal of Fortune Blues (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014

Ghost World Blues (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014

Here to There Blues (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014

Dream Canyon Wall of Sound (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014

Warbling Guitar (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014

Climbing Higher for the Fall (solo guitar improv w/effects) July 2014


Other Miscellaneous Pieces from Various Albums 1989 to 2015

Synthesizer Sequencer Arpeggio Improvisation 3 (electronic / synthesizer) Apr 2012

House of the Rising Sun with Hawke (vocals & guitar), Brian Huseland (vocals), and Brennan (cello) (folk - live) Aug 2012

Piano Improvisation #1 (piano) 2011

Piano Improv #3 2012

Chase Over Calenardhon (classical guitar - Tolkien-inspired) 2006 *

Tablarasa 2 (world music) 2006

Various Pieces (classical guitar) 2006 *

Streetwalkin' (guitar & vocals) 1992-2005

Meandering Blues Bits (electric guitar with echo) 2004

Old Native American Flute Recording 1 2004

Ambient #1 (electronic) 2004

Rhondo Marche in A minor (electronic / classical) 2003 *

Piano and Storm (piano & ambient) 2003

Cool Caverns of Crystal (electronic) 2003

Piano & Orchestra Short (piano, electronic) 2003

Techno March (electronic) 2003

String Ensemble #1 (classical music) 2001

Runesword 2000 (electronic)

Bending (electric guitar & drum machine) ~1995

Take Your Pain (electric guitar, bass, drum machine, & vocals) ~1995

Amiga F (electronic) 1995

Ocean Calls on Amiga (electronic) 1995

Trials & Tribulations (12 string / electric / bass / guitars & piano) 1994 *

Pretty Lass (a capella multi-track) 1994 *

Hear My Plea, feat. Scott Bliss (vocals, electric guitar, and 12 string guitar) 1994 *

Woman What Have You Done To Me (guitar & vocals)

Succubi (guitar and vocals)

Master of the Immortals (guitar & vocals) 1994

Amiga One (electronic) 1994 *

How Does It Feel (a cappella vocals) 1994

Runesword 1994 on Amiga

The Final Tour (vocals, guitar, ambience) 1994 *

I Know Who Instrumental (guitars) 1993 *

I Know Who (guitar & faint vocals) ~1993

Warrior (electric guitar, bass, drum machine, & vocals) 1993 *

The Sea Calls (guitar with ambience) 1993 *

Incarnations of Immortality (classical guitar, keyboard, & vocals) 1993

Sick of All This (guitar, bass, drum, vocals) 1993 (warning, explicit lyrics) *

Blues and Guitar Improv (electric guitar) 1992

Bored A Capella (vocals) 1992

Whymsical Chase Music (electric guitar) 1991 *

Voices (experimental multitrack vocals with effects) 1991

Dancing Guitar (guitar) 1991 *

Where There's a Whip (vocals, electric guitar, & drum machine) 1991

There & Back Again (electric guitar multi-tracking) 1991 *

Haunted Mind (electric guitar multi-track) 1991

Mystery Stampede (original, truncated) (vocals & guitar) 1990

Sweetest Ladies' Black Sea (guitar & vocals) 1990

Land of Snow (guitar and vocals) 1989

Blue Skies Over Mars (guitar & vocals) 1989


(* = favorites)



Album Covers
Muses of the Early Days Album Cover Sheas Place 20140421b 1369x1369x300
Synthetic Zen Be Album Cover Petit Chat 2012 06 02 20140319a bw green 1024X1024x300 square
Synthetic Zen Zentropy Temporary Album Cover 20151028e 1600sq
Meanderings Album Cover 20140421a 797x797x300 square
Synthetic Zen Zentastic Album Cover 20140319a 1024x1022x300
Synthetic Zen Buddhalicious Album Cover with Nada and Nettie 20150507e
Synthetic Zen Terra Panorama Album Cover 01 868x868x300 square
Back to basics Album cover draft 20160430b
Synthetic Zen Buddhalicious Album Cover 20140319a 1
Synthetic Zen Melancholy Album Cover 20090129a 550w707h300d
potato photo charcoal text logo 700x710x300
Synthetic Zen Zenthesis Album Cover 20140319a 1500x1500x300sq
Synthetic Zen   Ea Album Cover 1   20160323b 700sq
synthetic zen bits and pieces album cover label 20141027c 1100x1100x300
Zenthetic Album Cover 20150508a
Synthetic Zen Melancholy Album Cover 20090129a 1267x1267x300 sq