Luminous Beings
Jon Hopkins
about 1 year ago | by: Kyle Gill
by: Kyle Gill
about 1 year ago
A sonic masterpiece that teaches how sacred places are often stumbled upon after battling confusion and disarray
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Luminous Beings is a nearly 12 minute song that slowly evolves and changes throughout, letting melodies overlap, join, and then drift away. Right at the start of the track, a low bass sound is pitch bent down to the point where you can actually hear the individual pulses emerging into the tempo of the track. New sounds continue to emerge out of nowhere and join in seamlessly. As more and more layers get added into the mix and it feels as though it's nearly hit critical mass, everything drops out. It's at this point that a series of soft, plucky, synth touches in at different times, just slightly off-tempo. Each pluck is panned to dance through headphones while listening.

So what of Jon Hopkin's weird sounds and off-tempo melodies? When discussing the track, Hopkin's refers to that moment: "I sought to capture a feeling similar to the sensation of struggling through bracken and brambles, getting scratched, lost and confused, then bursting suddenly into a clearing to find there is nothing but space, clear air, stars." What makes the track so beautiful is how well it captures an organic feeling of being confused and struggling, for it to all at once be washed away -- and to find out on top of it that some elements of the chaos are actually fundamental to the newly discovered sense of clarity.

Around the 7 min mark, the synthesizers, bass lines, and plucks drop away to let acoustic strings have the center stage. Drums reintroduce the bass and build the song back up until many of the same elements from the track's start have returned. This time, however, there isn't the continual buildup growing larger and wider. It's as though the dust has settled, and though time marches forward, what lies ahead is sacred.

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Audio • Vault