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Electronic Music Album: "The Awakening" by Helefonix

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

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Overall Impressions

Helefonix’s The Awakening is full of a deeply human sensibility. It foregrounds the human voice, emphasizing its tones, timbres and breaths as the other musical elements sketch in around the vocal sounds to enrich and deepen their meaning. Helefonix has woven a cloth of stories out of music on this album, touching fundamental parts of what it means to be human.

The fact that The Awakening is meant to be listened to in order is a big draw for me. Although I haven’t made a comment on every track, I enjoy how the album unveils different emotions and impressions as it evolves. I find myself pulled more fully into the heart-touching sensibilities within each piece as they weave a cohesive tapestry.

Another compelling aspect of The Awakening is the primacy of the human voice. The choir takes centre stage and Helefonix uses the wondrous properties of nuance and expression inherent in human voices to full effect. She creates music that brings out the emotional power of the singers and produces layers of living, breathing sound that interact beautifully.

I liken her use of sparse beats and other musical elements on this album to watercolour washes on pen and ink sketches. The human voice is the pen and ink while the drums, string sounds and other elements are like the paint that colours and fills in the other spaces. The musical elements outside of the voices help to delineate emotions more clearly and emphasize vocal parts with melodic lines or harmonic support.

My Favourite Songs Analyzed

“Somebody Waking Up” comes into being as an all-encompassing repetition of the phrase “somebody waking up” echoes out into wide, airy space. The vocal sounds are luscious and full of emotion, intertwining in a gently soothing melody.

The sound of voices all interlocking in a smoothly flowing tapestry of human breath and sacred sound is strongly affecting for me. The music has a living power as the words become timbral and textural components within it. There’s a feeling of peace and holy light about the music, as all of the vocal sounds form a detailed, beautiful whole that unfolds in exquisite sound.

The wordless voices have a vital flame in them as the deep strings form a lower supporting tapestry to open “Soul’s Cry.” A violin carries an expressive, dynamic melody that is full of emotive power. The string section emphasizes the energizing melody as the wordless voices leap into the music. The voices have a wonderfully worshipful feeling that permeates the song.

The strings unwind a melody with a striking feeling of yearning and reaching out in it. The choir is tender and fragile at times, full and resilient at others. The complexities of human life and feeling are laid bare in this music. The strings shine and flicker as the bassline throbs and actively propels the music, shaping it as the melody hopes and dreams.

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“So Lost” begins as a distant, misty glow comes in along with a slightly muffled voice. The main vocals come in as the medium-high keyboard carries an intertwining, repeating note pattern that ripples underneath the electronic pulse that shapes the music. High notes glow warmly along with vocal textures and leaping violins that unfurl in a bursting line.

Drums touch the music and the vocals become one more instrument. The way the breath and life in the singer’s voices comes through adds a touchingly human feeling to the music. The energizing strings leap out and whirl through the music as all of the different voices and sounds become one interleaved whole.

Reverent voices chant into the open space around them in a long flow of deeply emotive sound as “Sanctuary” starts off. The choir exhales as the lower and higher parts become one long breath, moving all around as a single droning note. I enjoy how the choir feels like an ancient, mysterious chant.

The voices swirl into a deeply peaceful and touching whole that intermingles harmonic sounds into something settling and grounding. Subtle electronic motion further contributes to the intensely moving sensations that are created by the human voices. This song fills me with a profound feeling of grounded ease.

“Enlightenment” opens as a male chorus adds a flowing, warming feeling and female voices weave in to create a tranquil tapestry. A flute carries a melody mingling caressing emotion with hopeful light as the choir chants wordless beauty.

I am drawn to the way in which the round notes surround the music in peace as a chorus winds through in the mid-range. The flute carries the elegant melody while the oboe’s reedy voice adds a distinctive signature, nasal and rich while the vocal sounds weave into a whole. The music touches the heart below the delicate flute melody.

Trembling female voices add a flickering feeling as “Firedancer” begins. Drums pound while the choir chants ancient words. The drums stop and all of the voices form a luscious, textured pattern over the throbbing weight of the drums.

The impression of leaping, dancing flames is clear and powerful for me. The tremulous voices shimmer like fire while metallic percussion adds further sonic layering before flowing seamlessly back into choral voices before the drum heartbeat fades.

"We Belong Here” comes into existence as a male soloist’s resonant voice fills the sonic space. The other choral voices chant in a beautiful line weaving words that feel from beyond time carrying a melody that aches with intense emotion.

All of the male choral voices twine into a timeless sound that speaks of ancient roots and the power of home. There’s a heart-touching feeling as all the vocals echo and intertwine into a flowing, interleaved exploration of the timbres and tones of the human voice.

Conclusion

The Awakening is musically complex, emotionally affecting and full of a deep, abiding sense of humanity. In these dark and difficult days, Helefonix’s music is a reminder that at heart, we all belong to the same species and are inextricably linked to one another.

© 2022 Karl Magi

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