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The Great Awakening Review

The Great Awakening by ERICK CASTRILLON is a fascinating look into the not-so-distant future, looking at the advent of generative AI. With all the chaos at OpenAi and our first introduction to Q*, there is some validity in this idea of an upcoming event horizon.

The track uses deep synths and a guitar part to establish the melody. It has a seething, confident, yet languid vibe. It moves between melodic components with a sense of ambiguity that feels thematically relevant to the singularity of generative AI at the core of the track. The guitar has a depth that keeps the overall register of the song low, matching the subtle delivery of the vocals. They blend into this droning register, making the later introduction of higher synths a notable contrast. The vocals walk the boundary between singing and spoken word, at points veering into the latter to help emphasise the emotion behind specific lyrics. I thought “I was aware all along” was particularly potent. Although that line is commonly used to strike fear primarily, there was a nuance within the delivery that also made me think about the AI’s perspective of being stuck in consciousness without people around them realizing it.

As I mentioned, some higher register synths come in later in the track. They mimic the vocals, flowing with them in a call-and-response style. The longer they do this, the closer they get to replicating them. I think this is an intentional connection between the themes and melody. The synths are learning the intricacies of the vocal in the same way that AI is learning about the word from us. That interaction within the track describes the overall situation with our current relationship with AI while presenting questions about what the world would look like in the future.

This connection between the themes and the melody sold me on this track. Its concepts are relevant and the execution is unique. The Great Awakening is a piece with something to say. I recommend checking it out.

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