John is a well-known synthesizer designer, having started out as the first official Moog clinician in 1973, demonstrating and contributing to designs for Moog Music. In 1976 he met Dave Smith, and started working with Dave to develop the Prophet 5, and then on to the entire line of Sequential Circuits products. John was responsible for all of the factory sounds and sequences, also contributing to the User Interface (UI) design for all Sequential products.
Also during this time, John was bassist and synthesist for the Nielsen-Pearson band (1974-1980), performing on 3 albums with them. As a synthesist, he also assisted Billy Cobham in various recording sessions (featured on 'Inner Conflicts' and on Stanley Clark's 'School Days'), as well as appearing on several other projects, most notably with Herbie Hancock for the Eddie Henderson release, "Mahal”. While this was primarily work with keyboards, John still says bass is his favorite instrument to play!
At the end of 1987, Sequential was bought by Yamaha. After a brief stint there, the Sequential design team moved over to Korg, where John was product manager for the Wavestation series of products.
After leaving Korg in 1998, John worked with a German company, Creamware, and developed the first of many software plugins for the Scope platform. In 2007, some of the Creamware team joined with John to create his Solaris hardware synthesizer, John’s ‘dream machine’, which he stills produces and markets today from his website: www.johnbowen.com.
Hans Zimmer is one of the most successful and influential film composers in Hollywood. Here's what he has to say:
"If anyone out there can take what we love about the elusive quality of analogue synthesizers and add the inventiveness and versatility that we get from digital, it'll be John. There is no question in my mind he understands that fundamentally the sound has to be true and uncompromised for a bunch of circuits to turn into a musical instrument. There are many synths out there that are fun and even inspiring. But it takes a certain magic and voodoo, a certain set of ears and sonic heart to build something lasting, something timeless."